Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Young Engineer

 An electrician was working at our house yesterday.  He let me take a picture of some of the beautiful thingamajigs which he uses in his work.  I loved the primary colors of the different do-dads separated into little compartments.  While he was here I showed him the broken doorbell.  He said that the button and plate needed to be replaced, and that my husband could do it himself.  The wires are very low voltage.  The electrician showed me that it is safe to touch them,  and told me that it is a simple job.  I decided that my son could do it with my assistance.

 My youngest has been taking things apart since he was two years old.  He loves to figure out how things are put together and how they work.  Instead of an art table in the kitchen, he had an electronics table.  It was always piled a foot deep with dismantled mechanical and electronic things.  When he was in kindergarten, his teachers supported his interest by asking parents to bring in broken things which the students could disassemble and explore. 

 Toys have two lives in our house.  First, they are played with.  Later, when they break, they are dismantled and studied, and recently, sometimes repaired and reassembled.

 In this pictures he is pressing the screwdriver onto the contact points to make the doorbell ring. 

The project took a long time because we were learning.  We saw how the doorbell works.  We chiseled the hole in the wood to make it the right size for the new mechanism.  My boy found the wire stripper, because the wire broke a couple of times when we were trying to wrestle it back into the hole.  We stripped the wire, wrapped it around the contacts and tightened them in place.  He brought the portable electric screwdriver/drill, drilled pilot holes, and put in the screws.  There was a lot of exploring and investigating and experimenting.  Every time I went to look for a tool, he would make the loud old-fashioned mechanical bell jangle non-stop, making my teeth rattle.

 I love to watch children concentrate.  My son was gloriously absorbed and completely lit up with the excitement of repairing something our family needs.  His intense expression in this picture reminds me so much of my husband. 

 In this pictures he is telling me all about it.  He loves to tell us what he is learning and how things work, very much like a little professor.

 In this pictures he is popping up and down like a jack-in-the-box to make it hard for me to take a picture!  That's why he is smirking.

What a joy to watch talent develop and unfold.


Folky Dots said...

I love this!

Amanda said...

Just precious. :)

prettydreamer said...

Oh Beth, absolutely fantastic ... love this post! ~pamela

Beth said...

Thanks!!! I've learned so much having a little engineer around! Beth