Getting the boys away from their video games and You Tube movies is like yanking a fly off of flypaper after it’s been embedded in amber. So it was, very much to my surprise, that something odd happened on the weekend.
I had to take apart a BBQ. A nasty, greasy, smelly job. Not as bad as cleaning out a medieval poop shoot, but pretty close. Most of the bolts were rusted. The trap was filled with years of melted fat. And a lot of the metal was more flakes than solid steel.
I have to confess, I wasn’t looking forward to it. But since we’d bought a new BBQ, I needed the room and needed to get rid of the old one.
So I began. I brought out my tools, found a full can of WD-40, and put on my painting clothes.
The boys looked away from their games for a moment.
I started off by spraying all the bolts. WD-40 is a miracle compound. It can loosen any bolt, cut through most grease and, I think, cure the common cold if I snorted it up my nose (I may have to try it).
By the time I’d finished lubing the BBQ up, the Youngest had left FIFA 2014 to come see what was happening. That’s a pretty big step. First of all, it meant he actually has to peel his butt off the chair. Then he managed to avoid being drawn back into the game by bright lights and cheering crowds.
He wanted to know what I was doing. Then, after I told him, he asked if he could help.
I gave him the drill with a Philips bit. He took to taking out those bolts like a man on a religious mission or a hobbit on a quest.
Soon his brother came out to see what was happening. I put him in charge of the greatest tool ever invented. The vice grips. While his brother worked the drill, he held the bolt in place.
When something was stuck, the Youngest would run to get the WD-40 and apply it like he was painting a masterpiece. While he’d do that, the Oldest worked out exactly what bolts had to be taken down to get rid of specific parts.
All in all, a great collaboration.
It took about 2 hours, but after the greasy dust had settled, that horrible old BBQ lay in pieces. Covered in grime, the boys looked like triumphant miners returning from a cave-in.
I was proud of them. Heck, they were proud of what they’d done. They were proud they could help. And, I think, they even enjoyed their time away from their games.
What was even better was that I didn’t have to yell at them. I didn’t bribe them or threaten loss of electronic time. I just started destroying things and they came.
How cool is that?