“Why don’t I?” I responded, “Because that's way off-topic.”
He said, “Yeah. Like you've never been off-topic before.”
With no comeback in sight, that pretty much settled it.
Aside from being off topic I also (secretly) worried that anyone reading this would think I was being very irresponsible in my parenting. I felt like I was saying, “Give them power tools. They’ll entertain themselves all the way to the hospital.”
Stephen, somehow sensing my need to fool everyone into thinking I am Little Miss Perfect, rose to the occasion. With joyous cries of, “Look at me! You’ve got to take a picture of this!” He promptly jumped off the top of the ladder in dare-devil fashion. Not once, but Five Times. Fool that I am, I took those pictures. Thank you, son. Now would you like that horror movie before you go to bed?
Eric tried to ensure that Stephen understood the responsibility he was about to undertake and the experience he would need to develop, one small job at a time. That went over really well, because Stephen’s next response was to say, “Okay, then after I hand you the nails, I want to hammer in the shingles at the top of the roof.” Yes, Dear. That was exactly what we meant.
Step Two: Safety First!
Teaching him to use the buddy system (just like in the pool, never do a job alone) was a matter of conquering the boy-cub-ego.
As for tool safety, Eric had Stephen practice on the ground with remnants until Stephen felt comfortable with a tool. Wise choice. Turns out Stephen has all the confidence and bluster due a nine-year-old, and little bitty muscles to match. He had grand ideas of simply guiding the powered screwdriver and plowing through the wood, zippity- zip.
Ha-ha-ha! (Oops! Was that my out loud voice?)
The reality is tools don’t do the work, people do. And that club house was a LOT of work. But so worth it- we'll have the fun of hanging out in it for years to come, but the best part is that I'll have these pictures forever. See my favorite one below with that pinched face Stephen is making? I'll have it FOREVER! Mwahahah!