Monday, August 27, 2012

The Flying Ace

You might be surprised to learn that imaginary play doesn't come easily in this house.  It's not that we lack creativity or inspiration, it's that no one is satisfied until the imagined idea has been fully realized (including all working parts and full functionality).

Take our latest project, a DIY airplane.  It all began Saturday morning at 8 AM when Aidan found a thin piece of wood with a whole in the middle. "This would make a great propeller!" quickly progressed to repeated requests to clear out a work space, drag out the saw and start whittling this stick down to a perfectly designed aero-dynamic working propeller.  He even sketched out the exact cuts that would be needed to craft this masterpiece.  Now, I know what you're thinking, "Small children shouldn't use saws."  And you are correct (with all the time he's spent learning to solder, we just haven't gotten around to wood-working).  So, Aidan's Saturday morning project was quickly becoming Matt's Saturday all-day project.

This is where I came in.  "How about we get out a cardboard box and you can turn it into your own pretend airplane!"  Aidan actually agreed to this and set the above-mentioned stick aside.  Down in the basement we found a giant box that held the petticoat from my wedding.  We emptied that sucker out (New giant hoop skirt for the Adelaide will be coming soon!) and hauled it out into the yard while I explained how much fun he could have crafting HIS OWN make-believe airplane.  "Will it be safe to put an electric motor in a cardboard box?" he asked.  Clearly, I was not getting through.  "It's going to be pretend, so it doesn't need a real motor.  You can use markers, tape, extra junk lying around the garage...".  "Oh, I'll just use a gas-powered motor then," he replied.  Sigh...

We carried his bin of miscellaneous garage junk into the backyard and gathered up some markers, crayons and rolls of duct tape.  Adelaide put on her plastic hard hat and goggles.  She is clearly no stranger to "play" in the Hawkins house.  The kids jumped into this new activity with tons of enthusiasm and very little arguing.  I swept off my back deck and cleaned off the furniture while they scribbled with markers and stuck pieces of tape to the box.  Eventually, it was time for Adelaide's nap and I took her inside to get cleaned up and take care of some inside chores.  Matt took over airplane supervision.

This is what I found when I returned...

 You'll note the working wings and tail rudder with separate cock pit controls, spinning propeller, and my favorite, the in-cabin headphones for noise reduction.  This cardboard box airplane probably could make it over the pond if we could get it up onto the roof.  

And I think I am fighting a losing battle over here because, when it comes to imaginary play,  clearly no one is on my side.

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