It’s a Whittle Car

Following the school bully debacle, David decided that Joe might like to get involved with Cub Scouts. Sure, it’s mid-way through the year but there are several boys who Joe knows in his new pack and frankly, there has to be something this kid is into besides Super Mario and toenail biting binges.

This weekend is the big Pinewood Derby. Joe has been to exactly one Cub Scouts meeting and we’re so totally clueless as to what the whole thing entails. How un-American of David and me, right? I mean, how in the world have we made it to the ripe old age of (not going to say) without ever having participated in a Pinewood Derby race? I blame David. He’s the one born to do things like this…no wait, I blame my in-laws for not exposing my husband to the world of Cub Scouts and the fine art of pinewood derby car engineering. Okay, not really. I actually thoroughly enjoy my in-laws and their son was busy doing things like soccer and hockey and waterskiing and skiing and being chased by the ladies.

Joe, on the other hand, is still entirely innocent about the ladies and he is not interested in soccer. He made this clear last fall when beckoned David to him with his finger at a game and loudly whispered, “I HATE SOCCER!” in David’s ear. Okay, then…point taken.

The kid likes to run and bike. He wants to learn how to surf this summer. If he sticks to those pursuits, someday he’ll be radical. Hell, he might even possess tiger blood and some goddesses. (We’ll keep the rampant drug use, mixed with batshit crazy out the mix.) For now, he could use some social skills to go with his ADHD so, Viola! Cub Scouts. He likes it. He had fun helping (watching) me build his derby car. He sanded the right rear bumper for about 5 minutes and used a normally forbidden black Sharpie to write his number of choice on the car. He’s with David as I type, weighing the car, sanding axles and polishing wheels… the graphite lubricant is waiting.

Until yesterday, I had no idea that this entire process existed.

We picked the car up last weekend. It was a block of wood, some nails and four plastic tires. Huh…

It sat on the counter untouched for an entire week as Race Day quickly approached. I thought the whole idea was that the boys would ensconce themselves in the workshop with man-tools and hash out a design together. The block of wood would gradually take shape and become a race car through Joe’s hard work and imagination. He’d feel pride of ownership and a bit of reward for his hard work and perseverance.

I walked past that block of wood and it began speaking to me. Well, aren’t you a shitty parent.

It’s not my job. I’m the mommy.

You know… the other blocks of wood are almost done. Joe isn’t getting anything out of this experience and how, by the way, is he going to learn to commit to a project or club or relationship if you don’t turn me into a car?

I sat down with the block of wood and a cup of coffee. Oh God, you’re right Block of Wood… we’re not teaching him the right lessons. Where did we go wrong? No wonder the kid has the attention span of a flea…it’s my fault entirely!

Do you know me? I mean personally know me? No? Well, let me tell you that watching that block of wood languish on the counter was killing me. I thought, surely that thing should have some sort of shape by now. A few more days went by and David put some markings on it and put it back down. I just couldn’t help myself. We were three days from Race Day and my need to take control won. I Googled pinewood derby cars and realized how much work needed to be done and it needed to be done immediately!

I rifled through David’s workshop, located a hacksaw and lopped the front end off. Then I got busy whittling. Using one of my beloved (and très expensive) paring knives, the hacksaw and some sandpaper, I spent the better part of my Thursday sawing and whittling a semi-lame car out of a block of pine. No, it’s not fantastic – I agree, but at least the car was on its way and could be painted and race-worthy in time for Saturday morning.

Joe wanted his car to be red. Done.

Joe wanted flames and the number to be ‘909’. Done buddy, and I like your unintentional nod to The Beatles.

My baby says she’s the one
After nine-o-nine
I said move over honey,
I’m traveling on that line

Good luck, little guy!

If you have ever enjoyed Narragansett No.7, do me a whittle favor and click below to cast a vote!
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory