12.04.2008

tough to build without the instructed supplies

I give up
sorry... but I give up

my older son dean was talking about building a periscope
apparently he saw something about building a periscope in that book THE MOST DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS
Dean has the periscope page bookmarked along with the pages for a tree house with a trap door and other standard boy tom sawyer/huck finn adventure sort of stuff

I had not seen the instructions in the book but I had an idea of how something like this could be assembled
while we finished up dinner I scrambled for some packaging tubes, some tape, a pair of scissors, and a multi-tool
Lisa found a few small mirrors and a mirror from a compact make up kit
we had to have four mirrors
I knew if I was going to make one periscope it would make more sense to make two
it is a recipe for trouble to give something to one boy and not the other

as the boys played I checked online and verified my notion of how things were done
every mention of DIY Periscopes I saw used long tall milk carton boxes taped together
I figured that my round mirrors would work well with round packaging tubes

not far into the process I had assistance
I had requests for trying things out
little hands were pulling things in various directions
little minds were ready for the finished product with no desire to mess with some crappy prototype that demanded the use of adult hands holding things in place

interest in things faded as they could not experiment with the unfinished periscope
young grant peeled away first
while dean tried to understand how things would work
for a few moments he tried to puzzle things together
I dispelled his efforts by telling him that we would approach things again tomorrow

it is tough not being the dad who does his son's science project
I tried to have all the components ready for assembly
so that the boys could help build the periscope in a snap
but the boys arrived before I could trouble shoot the assembly process
the busy hands appeared before I had completed the dry run

I guess in the time it took me to write this blog entry I could have gone to the basement and found a cardboard box and manufactured myself a long rectangular tube
from that I could have followed the instructions online

I give up for now
the mirrors have been located
this is a project that can happen this weekend
that is if we have a spare minute
this weekend is pretty well booked up with playdates/kid's basketball games/christmas tree selling/and adult cyclocross events
but we may find that spare time and spare energy to approach this father son task again

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