Every once in a while I have a moment of Mommy Genius. Two days ago, we experienced one such moment. Still recovering from my cold, I summoned the energy to at least get outside – let the boys play in the yard while I did some much needed weeding. However, I was tired. And kinda lazy. So, I didn’t want to do the whole squat and pick, squat and pick thing. We had an overabundance of cardboard that needed to be broken down for recycling, so I flattened a cereal box and proceeded to scoot on my lazy butt around the flower beds whilst I weeded. This, my friends, is where the genius took place. It gave me an idea.
Next to our tiered flower beds there’s a portion of dirt hill (maybe 10-12 feet long) that slopes sorta-steeply down to the yard. It was here that the magic would happen. I squealed, jumped up and ran into the garage. The boys followed me cautiously wondering if I’d officially lost it.
“Voila!” I exclaimed showing them my idea.
They gave me blank-yet-quizzical stares. Thanks to Uncle Harry (who has Hoover connections) we now have a new Hoover Wind Tunnel vacuum. Said-vacuum came in an enormous Hoover vacuum-sized box. Thus: the Dirt Sled. My stroke of Mommy Genius. I explained to the boys how they could sit on the flattened box and ‘sled’ – if you will – down the dirt hill. They were intrigued and mildly enthused by my idea (not nearly as excited as I was). Matthew was the first to give it a whirl. He dragged the “sled” up to the fence, gritted his teeth and sat down on the squishened box. Holding on to the edges of his Dirt Sled, he placed both feet firmly on the ground and pushed off…and went about three inches. A little anticlimactic. OK, maybe just a rookie mistake. He pushed off the ground again and this time went maybe six inches. Not willing to admit defeat, he decided to push off the ground with his hands. This seemed to work better and Matthew slid down the hill (off the box, on his butt, in the dirt, over the roots, rocks and weeds). A little bit more ow than wow unfortunately. He flashed me a look that was more bemused than amused.
Zach ran up the hill eagerly for his turn. He situated his bum just-so on the box-turned-sled, pulled his feet up just-so, held on to the box edges just-so, and then sat there. Waiting.
“Zach,” I said, “You’re going to need to get it started.”
“Matthew!” Zach yelled, “Gimme a push!” Seeing images of Zach tumbling head-first down the hill, I put a quick stop to that idea.
So, Zach did a butt-scoot move – a jerky motion that would hopefully send his Dirt Sledded self souring down the slope. It worked. Sorta.
Anyway, all in all the boys spent maybe 10 minutes trying to zoom down the dirt hill. It was…mostly disappointing…but they still had a good time! And it kept them happily occupied for 10 minutes. I keep thinking of ways we could improve upon our sled training slope. Maybe just laying down a tarp and having a plastic sheet run to zip down. All I know is that under the cloak of darkness, I’ll have to get out there some night and give it a go. Genius, I tell you. Genius.