Sunday, January 27, 2008

Total, Complete Domination

We've had some pretty pathetic Pinewood Derbies. My wonderful, talented husband's skills didn't appear to extend far enough into derby car construction. Our oldest's was plenty creative, but really, r e a l l y, s l o w. Our little 8 year old was crushed when he only won one race. And that was because the other kid's wheel fell off. Not kidding. The next boy had a little more success. I think he was fifth out of eight. Slightly better. All the older dads took pity on us, and whispered their tricks of the trade. They involved complicated and slightly shady practices that incorporated copper tubing, drill presses and the like.
This year we realized that little D's pinewood derby was in two days. And we didn't even have the car yet. They had one evening to cut out and paint the car. Having learned from painful experience, they decided on a simple design, instead of cutting the block into little pieces and gluing it back together into a fancy shape. Aerodynamic, that's the key. (I get a kick out of that picture, it makes me giggle. I'm so immature! ) Then I called my parents, the conversation went something like this: "Um, Mom? Can I ask a really, REALLY big favor?" silence. Remember, they watched my kids for 10 days when we were in Poland. That was a really big favor. "What do you have in mind?" she asks, trying to conceal the dread in her voice. I explained the predicament we were in. She perks up right away. "Sure!" They're the kings of Pinewood Derby car construction. They looked all over for the box holding their technical instruments reserved for this purpose, but couldn't find it. So they sanded all the nails to remove burrs, and got it all ready. On the big night, my husband greatly lamented the absence of graphite. He called the neighbor to see if they have any. No joy. Then he got an idea. He climbed on a chair, rummaged in a cupboard above the fridge, and voila! My parents special kit. So, they were off! The axle's were straight, the nails were smooth, the wheels spun true.
And what was the result? We must have built up some really good karma with all our defeats, because my boy's car was TOTALLY UNDEFEATED! He rocked! This is a boy that tries to hide it when he's excited. He kept saying "I don't want to win, I don't even want to go!" I asked him if he was a little scared of being embarrassed, and he nodded. He's a quiet middle child, the one we try hard not to overlook. If anyone deserved to rock the derby, it was him.

The final race.

He gets his medal.

So, so proud.
*Editor's note* My husband informed me that the success of the derby car was due to three factors: Sanding down the burrs on the nails, an innovative invention of his for getting the nails in straight involving a metal thingy and some clamps, and something else I can't remember. There, Dear, how was that? Better?


Jenn said...

Oh, that is SO great! I couldn't even get mine to go this year. I think it has a little to do with losing every race last year except one. But it looked just like a fishing lure!
Tell your little Bubba good job!

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

I love the victory pics. It is so evident how excited he was. Go team!

My Three Sons said...

The twins and I almost went to the derby Friday with Vern and Chase, and when I found out who won, I wished I had!! Great JOB! Yes, our parents, through many many years of Derbys figured out the tricks - albeit a few of them were "shady"....whatever! Happy for you and your final victory!!

Allison said...

Yea for him! I love it when the deserving ones win!!

The Bloxham Bunch said...
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