Saturday, July 11, 2009

7/11/09 Radio fix

After Katrina's gymnastics class (moderately successful), the three played on a playground in the same park for a while. I was cold and anxious to get home, but this was pretty fun to watch -- and do. I showed Gabriel how to do a chin-up, and impressed him (and surprised myself) when I climbed up a pole that he couldn't. But watching him and his energy and coordination around the playground underscored that any physical superiority I have over him is short-lived.

Julian and Katrina also had fun climbing around, though at a much more beginning level.

More of all three.

This time, Julian was the disagreeable one with a group shot. Gabriel is always happy to pose with his sister.

Later in the afternoon, I was going through boxes, and came across a retro-looking radio I'd bought years ago, I think to give away as a gift. I put batteries in, didn't work. Cheap piece-a-junk anyway and I knew Dave wouldn't like its cheesy retro-look...then I had a brainstorm. Gabriel. He was looking for something to do anyway while Katrina was napping and Julian fell asleep in his room during a long, long timeout. (Not long enough for the offense of yelling out the car window at a group of people, "Poop in your pants!")

So I showed Gabriel the radio and its simple, chintzy controls. He lit up like a night sky on July 4th. I asked him to test the batteries, all worked, so I gave him a screwdriver and told him to just take the thing apart. He needed a little help (righty tighty, lefty loosey!), but each step of the way he shouted in excitement. "MOM! LOOK! There's DIODES in here!" He exalted in the discovery of various components, and I gave him a flashlight so he could see inside better.

But he didn't get very far. Incredibly, he must have wiggled the right wires, and the damn thing started to work. I couldn't have set it up better if I'd tried. Gabriel was so excited that he got the radio to work. Actually, I was sort of hoping he'd completely disassemble it, just for "fun," but it kicked to life before he could. I told him to button it back up, and he played with it the rest of the day.

Gabriel snootily claims he knows a lot about electricity, and in fact, he doesn't yet. But his interest is keen, his enjoyment of learning it intense, and the opportunities deep. I don't see that going away anytime soon.

The only bummer is that Dad, who also did a lot of radio-fixing as a kid, wasn't there to share his son's elatement.


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