Down and Derby

Jeffrey and Brian sanded this wedge-shaped car for about two weeks, whenever they have a spare moment or just feel like fidgeting.  Nothin’ like a pinewood derby car to bring out your inner fussbudget.


Jeff didn’t want to paint it, mainly because he has found the car that I “made” as part of a YW activity as a teenager.  I was a junior in high school, super busy, and didn’t remember to work on it until just a few hours before, so I drew with markers all over the plain wooden block and then nailed wheels to it.  Dubbed “The Brick,” it did okay in the races.

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Anyway, as a result, Jeff wanted an unpainted car that he could draw on with markers as well.  I readily admit that his car is 100x cooler than mine, though.  The “J+B” on the side stands for Jeff + Brooke, although I think it should stand for Jeff + Brian as well.

I’m a little sad that I had to miss the race itself, since it conflicted with a Girl Scout activity.  Just a few more years until Wimmy’s making them, though (unless I can manage to finagle a heat for the Activity Day girls).

Boy Heaven

Jeff spent the past two days at Cub Scout Day Camp.  It was his first time there, and it sounds like it was loads of fun.

Well, that’s what I assume.  Whenever I try to get him to tell me about it, he just describes the store.

Apparently, Cub Scout camps have stores.  Wonderful, wonderful stores full of all the little things boys love.

Which is why Jeff came home from his first day with a bullwhip.

That’s right, a bullwhip.  A bargain at only $2!  Jeffrey was sad that he couldn’t afford the rubber band guns or pocketknives. He then said that he’d like to wear his thick snow coat to camp the next day “so it won’t hurt as much when the BBs hit me.”

BB guns?!?  What are they DOING at this camp?

Everybody wanted to try out the whip, so the rules were: go outside, and make sure nobody else is around, so as not to accidentally flick anybody.


Within minutes, Eleanor accidentally flicked William in the face.  She honestly didn’t mean to — she had finished whipping around (or whatever you call it) and was walking back inside with Wimmy, dancing a bit and swinging the whip from side to side . . . well, you can guess what happened.

Eleanor was MORTIFIED that she hurt her brother.  While William came crying to me, she ran into her room, buried herself under the covers of her bed, and stayed there, silently crying until I came to coax her out.

Yesterday Eleanor made a sign for the backyard door:

“No Whipping People.”  Good advice, that.  In addition to the whip is an image of William saying “aaaaaaaa!”

You can just imagine how THRILLED I was when Jeff came home yesterday with a plastic sword.

It’s a darn cool sword, I will admit.  It’s shaped like a rapier, and has a big fake ruby on the hilt.  But we’ve had so many fights over it that the sword is now in Permanent Time-Out.

Oh, it could be worse.  The boys down the street came home from Cub Scout Camp with hand buzzers and fake gum.


What This Tradition Needs is Big Flamboyant Hats

Jeffrey went to his first Pinewood Derby this past Friday night, and this is what he looked like:

That’s right, a blur.  When Jeffrey gets excited, he gives it his ALL.  The kind of All that you usually only see in the drunken infield of a NASCAR race.  At the end of the evening, his voice was hoarse from all the cheering.  Yes, cheering — he rooted for everybody, and hardly cared if his own car placed first or last.  In this picture, he zipped out of the frame just as I clicked the shutter button:

(Jeffrey’s car is the one on the far left.)

It was exhausting to watch him — we had gone downtown to the Living Traditions international festival just before the derby, and I was groaning from the Tongan Hula Platter I’d consumed — but at least he got out enough energy to sleep like a log that night!

Brian held him still long enough for this portrait, and as you can probably tell, he nearly exploded after all ten seconds of it.  His car is painted gold with what Jeff calls “pirate decorations” all over it.  At the last minute, he taped a Lego knight in the driver’s seat.  Ain’t he cute?