A good friend of mine always tells me that she loves my boys' "creative energy". I'm pretty sure that's code for something else, but she has a good point. If I had to bet on what their college majors would be, I would put a lot of money on the engineering field for Captain Competitive and SirWhineAlot. I'm a little concerned that Good Time Charlie will either not make it into college, or will flunk out after having way too much fun at his fraternity mixers. He has recently been asking if he can skip preschool and just go to hockey class everyday, which is a bit disturbing coming from a five year old. Unfortunately, not surprising though.
Alternative Engineering is what my boys are really all about. I'm pretty sure it's not a true form of engineering, but my boys have mastered it nonetheless. My inventive definition of alternative engineering is: when a person takes an object or objects and consistently finds an alternative use, other than what it was intended for. My boys are genius' at this. Toilet paper becomes home decor, anything that resembles a long cylindrical object is a sword, pasta can suddenly be transformed into a gun at the dinner table, mail is for making animal habitats, hoses are for cleaning windows that were just professionally washed, balusters are for climbing onto built in bookshelves, transformers and legos are for plugging the toilet..... I could go on forever. You get the idea right?
My favorite story of the boys is really about alternative engineering at its finest. Two years ago, some very good friends let us borrow a moon jump for our basement for the winter. We thought it would be a great idea to let them burn their energy off in the moon jump, rather than running around the house like crazy people. One particular day around Christmas time, the boys were downstairs in the moon jump (or so we thought). We noticed that their was a ton of laughter. I have learned that laughter can either be very very good or very very bad. Since I thought they were just jumping, I just worked upstairs and enjoyed the laughter..... who doesn't love to listen to their kids laugh? Since I had music playing upstairs, I couldn't really hear what was REALLY going on. About 5 minutes later, Captain Competitive runs upstairs to tell CC Senior and I, "Hurry, hurry, you have to come down and see how cool this is." At this point, I'm still thinking I'm going to see some jumping moves or something of the like. But what CC Senior and I really saw was something that resembled a Christmas war zone. The moon jump was deflated, and the 3 boys, (all 5 and under at this point), had figured out how to take the blower off the jumper and use it to project my Christmas ornaments across the room and into the wall. I'M NOT KIDDING. They were using the blower as a launcher, and had launched ALL the ornaments from the basement Christmas tree across the room, into the wall, and then onto the floor (in many many broken pieces). The scary thing is that they were SO proud of their engineering capabilities. They weren't even worried that they might be in trouble, that maybe this wasn't such a great idea. They couldn't have been more excited to show us how they had just mastered the laws of physics. I can't even remember how we reacted. I mean, who thinks their kids are going to dismantle a moon jump and use it as an ornament launcher? All I can hope is that they are so creatively brilliant that someday they will put their "creative energy" to good use.
Unfortunately, the story does not end there, it only gets better. Shocking, but better. A few weeks later, after many, many conversations about the appropriate uses of toys, we bring the moon jump and the blower out of time out for the boys to use again. I hear the usual jumping and noises from upstairs, and then the dreaded LAUGHING. Now Christmas was over at this point, and the ornaments were all smashed to pieces. There wasn't much else in the basement to launch across the room, so I couldn't figure out what could be so funny. I walk down to the basement to a very unnerving sight. Three little boys were watching their privates move up and down from the force of the air coming out of the blower. "Watch this mommy, it's SO COOL." I was absolutely speechless. I still am just thinking about it.
At that moment, the blower went away, FOREVER. I also realized that these little surprises (or incidents) were what life was going to be like for many many years to come. I guess it just comes from having a house full of boys. Hopefully by the time they all get to college, Alternative Engineering will actually BE a major. Because they are all going to ace it. Maybe even Good Time Charlie.