21 May 2009

up with dad, down with mom

as i've mentioned, cosmo knows what it looks like when someone's gutters need to be cleared of debris. when it rains, he inspects downspouts, to see that there is adequate flow, and then scans the length of the gutters to see if water is over flowing. one day, ours was, and cosmo kept reminding us to clean them out.

we borrow our neighbor's ladder for the task, and this time, cosmo was invited to go up on the roof with dad. he's climbed the ladder before, (with carl completely encircling him with his arms, all the way), but he's never actually stepped onto the roof. when he got to the top, he said he didn't want to get on the roof. so, carl climbed down with him, and cosmo inspected the down spouts, while carl cleared out all those helicopter maple seeds that had collected, and clogged the gutters. when he was done, cosmo said he wanted to go back up. this time, he went onto the roof. carl held his hand the entire time, and cosmo was nervous and extra cautious, so there seemed to be very little danger. our roof has almost no pitch. he seemed to enjoy the new perspective. it was a little tricky getting down, but i steadied the ladder (while shooting photos, of course), and he did fine.

the next day, he started asking questions about the boarded-up opening near the ground, next to the back porch. it's the entrance to the crawlspace. i've never opened it, because it isn't really secured, and i didn't want him to see how it's done, for fear he'd be trying to go under there all the time. but i realized he's old enough to understand, and respect limits, and that he'd probably benefit from getting a chance to explore under there. we opened the door and took a peek inside. it looked like the biggest danger was scraping his head on a nail or something from the floor joists, or, hurting his knees, since he'd need to crawl. so we got out his hard hat (a child-sized one that we keep in our seldom-used dress-up bin.) and some knee pads that came with his skates. his toy flashlight was practically worthless, with such a low beam, but he seemed to like having it.

once we got under there, he was pretty freaked out by the sound of carl walking around, just over head, and wondered what kinds of animals he might encounter under here. i assured him that a chipmunks were all i'd ever seen slipping through the small hloes in the foundation. we looked around a bit, found an old section of pvc pipe, that we cleaned up and added to the marble maze supplies, plus, an old bike pedal. there wasn't a whole lot to see. he wanted to know what all the duct work was, and where it went, but was never satisfied with my explanations. we both stayed pretty close to the entrance. his greatest fascination turned out to be a hole drilled in the cinder block, probably for a cable, right next to the door. he couldn't understand why, when he stuck a piece of grass in the hole on the outside, that he couldn't find it in the crawl space. i tried to show him how cinder block is hollow, but it was troubling, and confusing. we found sticks and other things that would go all the way through, and that delighted him. i guess his curiosity about that space has been satisfied for a while, i haven't seen him poking around there since.

he's been asking, for probably a year or more, "what's under the floor?" and "what is up above the ceiling?" now, he has at least a little first hand experience to begin to answer those questions. next stop: the attic. none of us have been up there.


mep said...

I'm like a broken record, but Cosmo is a seriously lucky kid. You are so great about giving him opportunities to learn and explore.

julie said...

The attic! That's our emergency hideout in case of zombie attack. I totally need to put some supplies up there...

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that Cosmo is so cautious about things...you can trust a kid (a little more anyway) who is not prone to rushing head-first into stuff. :)

Oh, and I'll be picking up my ceramics stuff one day this week, so email me your mailing addy and I can send you your Pay-It-Forward gift! (skepticgal (at) gmail (dot) com)