“Mama, come see my invention!” is a normal cry at our house.
So is, “Hey, Mama, come quick and see this bug I caught!”
Yes, it is a rare treat to be able to live with an inventor and a bug scientist. What occupations are your children currently practicing? Children can be very creative, can’t they?
Nathanial is my inventor. He is always asking me who invented things, and he always wants to know if I have come up with any ideas for inventions. “Has this been invented yet?” “Has anyone ever done this before?” “What can I invent?”
Most of the time, I do not know who invented something so I have to try to remember to look it up so he knows the answer. Of course, sometimes I forget which is not too helpful. Slowly but surely, he is learning to look things up on his own.
For example, he is really into birds right now so he is constantly looking up birds in his bird books and looking up recipes for food for the birds. He asks questions about how to attract birds and does a lot of reading on the subject. One of his inventions was an elaborate bird feeder that he pounded into the back yard next to a pile of wood that needs to be split. I asked him what he was doing, and he informed me that he was planting a “bird garden” there and that was his bird feeder. It was a long rectangular box constructed on a fence post. He wanted to put a peanut butter and cornmeal concoction in it. Since I didn’t get all the ingredients fast enough, he ended up using his bird feeder invention in his wastewater treatment plant, and then when it got windy, it fell and broke.
Little setbacks do not slow him any. He quickly moves on to another invention. One day, he wanted some empty milk jugs. Upon my questioning, he informed me that he was building a bottle cap launcher. (The boys stepped on the milk jug with the cap loosely fitted. The pressure shot the cap off.) I was talking to my husband about this invention when I learned that his friend’s son had built a potato launcher. It can shoot potatoes some 300-500 feet or something like that. It is quite fun. My concern is, couldn’t a falling potato hurt someone? Nobody else cared about that. They wanted to know if they could shoot bottle caps that high or that far. Maybe if you stomp on it hard enough, I guess. If you pass my house and see people stomping on milk jugs, you now have a clue to what is happening.
Another invention by Nathanial was his snowplow. He tied a contraption made up of two by four boards to himself and hauled it around the yard. It did leave a path.
Now, when there is a great inventor in the family, a brother cannot be outdone, so that is why Tyler is the great bug scientist.
We ran into a slight problem with this though when my young Isaac, then two, saw a ladybug crawling across the carpet and yelled, “Bug! Daddy, bug!” He pointed a chubby finger and stepped back for Daddy to capture the bug. Daddy was then supposed to deposit the bug in the bug canister for later study like Brother does, but Daddy didn’t follow along with the status quo. Instead, he crept close to look at the bug. Then when Isaac was coming closer to see, Daddy shrieked as if he had been attacked, which sent little Isaac into hysterics. Isaac would not go near ladybugs or any other kind of insect for weeks. Daddy’s joke backfired, and he was very sorry for scaring Isaac.
When Isaac noticed how brave his brother, the bug scientist, was, he decided that he wanted to be a bug scientist too, and a big fight ensued over who could have the bug binoculars and butterfly net. Alas, the bug scientist agreed to share.
Everything was going smoothly. The bug scientist had several specimens to study, and his trusty assistant showed plenty of admiration, so everyone was quite smug and happy. Then came the arrival of a big, ugly, black spider. It was about an inch long and hairy so it looked even bigger! It was seen running under the inventor’s bed, so he called in the bug scientist to catch it. The bug scientist took one look at it and said he wasn’t going near that thing for fear it might “eat him”.
Daddy was called in, and the assistant watched from atop of the bed while his brothers carried on about the “poisonous” spider in their midst.
“How do you know it is poisonous,” I asked.
“It’s BIG!” The bug scientist, who had found me safe in the kitchen, wouldn’t return to his room.
After much commotion and furniture moving (including the bed), the spider was captured minus two legs. In the haste of the hunt, the bug scoop accidentally snipped off the legs. By the time I saw the BIG spider, it was shriveled up and didn’t appear that huge. I mean, he was big, but he wasn’t a tarantula or anything.
The bug scientist wanted to know if the spider had a family in the house anywhere. I assured him that things were safe, and he did go to bed.
Maybe Nathanial can feed Tyler’s bugs to his bird friends.
Isaac, who is always a good helper, is always standing by to assist.
Yep, I live with an inventor and a scientist. Someday, they will be rich and famous and take care of me, and I will be able to brag about their humble beginnings. Uh, that is unless they change careers next week. Moreover, I have to live through the multiple exciting scenarios, and at this rate, they are wearing me down. I think I’ll go to bed. I don’t think there are any bugs or spiders nearby.
I think I will dream about Nathanial’s current invention, which he is drawing up, the one that will weed along the fence without disturbing the plants I want to keep. It goes, “whirr, wham, smack,” and I don’t have to bend over or wear gardening gloves. That ought to leave us sitting pretty. . .
This Reflections is reprinted in honor of the boys’ birthdays. Happy birthday, Nathanial!