Monday, February 4, 2008

Ben, the Battery Boy

I remember the good old days, when one of those really irritating battery powered toys ran out of batteries and I would hope that the kids forgot they used batteries, or would simply pretend that we were out of batteries and tell them I'd have to get some more "the next time I went to the store," which of course never happened, or at least didn't happen for weeks if it was a really beloved toy.

No more. Genius mama that I am, I gave Ben a science lesson a few weeks ago that involved putting things together and taking them apart. We had a flashlight with batteries, the bike lock with the cable and the padlock and key, a screwdriver and screws, and some latch fasteners. That was all I could dig up on short notice, though the possibilities are endless.

The whole point of it was for him to figure out how it worked, and to practice using the screwdriver, and to notice that the flashlight wouldn't work if the batteries weren't in correctly. This lesson was successful because he LOVED it--not because he didn't know how to do any of it. I was surprised that the flashlight worked the first time he replaced the batteries, and he had no trouble with the screwdriver or anything else--but what he loved was practicing. I also found this interesting because the girls would not have cared one bit for this kind of thing when they were five.

Unfortunately, I have created a monster! Ben has spent the last 3 weeks finding toys that have dead batteries in them--some of these toys I didn't even remember were battery powered!--and going into the refrigerator to find fresh batteries, unscrewing the doors and replacing them. All of which means three things:

1. Our store of batteries is nearly empty...
2. There are batteries strewn on the counter constantly, and I am unsure most of the time if they are dead ones or new ones...
3. Our house is much noisier than it used to be! (Just what I need, right?)

Learning sometimes has its drawbacks.


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