It's a rainy Monday night. Wonder Boy has so much energy it's practically oozing out of his ears. Wonder Dad and I are both exhausted. Long day at work. Tough workout to boot. But the Boy is just so excited about this old style toy he made at camp (a ball in cup) that he can't sit still.
He's already mastered the basic play so next he starts taking requests for more difficult maneuvers.
Wonder Dad challenges ... "bet you can't do it with your mouth?" thinking this might occupy him for a few minutes. Yeah. Not so much. But we all had a good laugh anyway.
He went on to try clasping the stick between his toes. That one took a bit longer and he had to sit on a bar stool for best results. He tried balancing it on his shoulder (holding it down w/ his chin) as well. But I had to call a halt when they started considering inserting the pencil in his nostril. You gotta have boundaries, right?
They're forecasting more rain tomorrow (& we need it so I really hope we get it). But I am not sure this toy will survive the week at this rate!
Each summer, since we both work full time, Wonder Boy spends the bulk of his days at a day camp run by the local school district. It's a camp that is filled with lots of fun things to do, plenty of outside time, and even the occasional field trip.
But the older Wonder Boy has gotten, the more we have felt a need to break up his summer, to introduce other activities.
So I did a hard target search for summer fun and one activity I found was a day camp called "Camp Invention."
Not long after we registered for camp this spring, we got a nice fat introduction packet in the mail. I knew we had hit on something fun when I read a list of items to send with our camper on their first day.
Sure, they had the usual stuff - lunch, snack, sun block, comfy shoes, etc. But what caught our eyes was the call for "take apart items." They were looking for things like broken down old tape players, VCRs, RC cars, and the like that the kids would cannibalize and use to make NEW THINGS during the course of the week.
Our friends and co-workers found out about the need for these kinds of things and apparently cleaned out their closets to make sure that Wonder Boy and his camp-mates had plenty of material! Wonder Boy walked in on day 1 with an old walkman, a VCR-DVD player, a VCR player, several remote controls, and a coffee maker.
We learned that the take apart items were used for all kinds of challenges over the course of the week. But the most formidable assignment of the week was to build a "duck chucker." That is, they worked in small teams to build a device that would toss a rubber ducky (no actual ducks were harmed in the making or implementation of the "duck chuckers") as far and as accurately as possible. When the Boy learned of this particular mission, he couldn't wait for camp to start!
I can't blame him ... sounds like a fun way to spend the week, if you ask me - just trying anything that came to mind to overcome the various challenges presented by the camp directors is an exercise I can wrap my head around!
And to think of the things he learned without feeling like he was learning - it just blows me away. He learned that HE can overcome obstacles. He learned that you can use what's around you in ways you might never have imagined. He learned about working in a team to reach a goal. He learned about mechanics and physics.
There is always so much to look forward to during the summer months. We are blessed in that there are several celebrations to bring a little spice to the hot months.
The two that Wonder Boy and I seem to enjoy the most are Father's Day and Wonder Dad's birthday! And as luck would have it, these dates fall within a month of one another, so once we start ramping up for Dad's day in June, we get to keep on rolling all the way through mid-July. It makes for a lot of fun!
Like with Father's Day, Wonder Boy is generally "in charge" of gifts and cards and that kind of thing while I take the lead in the designing the menu for the day.
This year on Father's Day, we tried out a number of Paleo recipes in an attempt to keep our celebrating on the healthy side of things. The two biggest hits of the day were the chocolate strawberry donuts and the bacon-shell tacos, so we vowed to include them in Wonder Dad's birthday preparations as well.
I mention this because another facet of Wonder Boy's planning for his dad's birthday is the theme. He likes to have a theme when designing cards, picking out presents, and planning any special activities. Last year, he picked "Zombies" as the birthday theme. And the year before that he did up a special Angry Birds theme.
In our planning discussions (usually in the car on the way to work/camp each morning), Wonder Boy was struggling to find a theme he could sink his teeth into (yes, there is a pun there ... wait for it). But by the time we got through Father's Day and the bacon-shell tacos had been such a big hit, Wonder Boy knew what he wanted to use for this year's theme.
You guessed it!
You can't go wrong w/ bacon, right?!
So we started the day w/ those chocolate strawberry donuts and then 'bacon-ified' them by sprinkling them with bacon pieces while the chocolate glaze was still warm. Wonder Boy designed a bacon birthday card. We found bacon-ish gifts (a t-shirt featuring bacon and a board game for the whole family to enjoy called Mr. Bacon's Big Adventure). For dinner we tried the bacon-shell tacos again, but I'm afraid I learned a hard lesson - don't use thick cut bacon - and they fell apart. But we made the best of things and just had tacos with the bacon added to them. Then we took some of the extra pieces of bacon, chopped them up, and used the bacon bits to top a big bowl of ice cream! YUM YUM YUM!
So that's the story of Wonder Dad's Bacon Birthday! Wonder Boy must have really enjoyed himself, celebrating both his dad and his favorite salted meat, because he asked for the same treatment on HIS birthday this fall.