Sunday, April 22, 2007

If I had a hammer...


Brendan's been going about the house singing this song- I'm not sure where he learned it because he's not using the Peter, Paul & Mary cadences I learned as a child... But it's apropo, for sure. Ever since mid-last-week, when the weather cleared up & became Spring-like, Brendan's favourite outdoor activity has been hitting rocks with a hammer. I've begun referring to it as "doing hard time" to other adults who might understand what I'm talking about (he doesn't) :) It's been great. He's not a big physical activity kind of guy, so it's always been difficult to motivate Brendan toward fitness activities. He's had a love/hate relationship with gym class at school all year, mostly because there has been an emphasis on martial arts & Brendan hasn't been comfortable with that for various reasons. He did enjoy last week's class, though, which focused on self-defence moves :) After Brendan got so stuck in his anger a few weeks ago (that he did some hazardous things) Charlie has been thinking of ways to help him "get it out". He found some break-your-own geodes on his workbench & decided to let Brendan have at them, with great success. I ordered more geodes to break, but Brendan, in the meantime, has found much bigger, ehm, fish to fry...

The rock in the pictures was nicknamed "Goliath" by Brendan last summer after we helped him haul it out of his backyard mud hole. Last year's physical activity was digging a hole in the back yard... until he met Goliath. The hole remains, nicknamed "Brendan's mud hole" for obvious reasons, & it gives him great delight on rainy days to check & see if it's full or overflowing with water :) Anyway, Goliath had taken residence under a tree & Brendan decided to tackle it until the geodes arrived. He & Charlie lifted it onto an old sled so that he could slide it closer to the house (I don't know why) & Brendan began whacking away at it. The first thing to give, unfortunately, was the hammer. The next day, with hammer strapping-taped back together & the addition of eye protection, Brendan went back at it. The kids next door would periodically interrupt their basketball games to come & give it a few whacks, too, & it's become quite the conversation piece among the neighbours. (Reminds me strongly of Tom Sayer & the fence, actually.) We replaced the tape on the hammer frequently all week long, & he kept at it, sometimes for an hour or 2, after school most days. (One benefit of this whole activity has been that he falls asleep really quickly at night :) and although he's needed treatment for minor scratches, there have been no blisters...) Brendan was just about giving up on doing much of substance to ol' Goliath when, this afternoon, he & Charlie hit the hardware store & bought a new hammer. I had pre-nixxed the sledgehammer idea as too dangerous, but the one they came home with (in the next picture) was definitely a step-up from the original... In fact, within half an hour Brendan had reduced Goliath to this:

According to Charlie, he had to tape the new hammer because it started to break. (shaking head in wonder) I guess we can file this under: "How to help your kid feel strong & productive & even kind of cool". :) My main question is- are the geodes I bought going to really fit the bill, now that he's reduced a huge rock to shards? Maybe he'll be happy to produce shiny sand from them...

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3 Comments:

At 9:58 PM, Blogger kristina said...

Singing and hammering----sounds like a fine way to pound out thoughts and feelings, and just pound!

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger Club 166 said...

It makes me happy to know that we're not the only ones to have ourselves a "digger".

The rock pounding sounds like fun!

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

:) Thanks folks!

Brendan seems to be a genetic "digger". My younger brother had a "diggy" place when he was little & Charlie's older brother had one, too, with all of the attendant machinery (in miniature :). Brendan inheirited a lot of the machinery, but has taken a more purist, shovel-only, approach :)

 

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