What a Difference Two and a Half Years Make

In the early summer of 2011, Jack helped me work on is first school desk. I had gotten it in Dixon, IL where I had worked for several years and was on the school board.

Jack and Al working on his desk

Rumor has it that Ronald Reagan and/or Stan Weber used the desk while going to school in Dixon. While Reagan was not someone in later life that had much to offer intellectually, Stan was the superintendent of the Dixon schools and a great person. Reagan when he was in Dixon and his early adult life was also a liberal. Therefore, I got the desk because either or both men had used it. It took some time to repaint the desk. Then when Jack was not even a year old, he helped me put his desk back together.

In the time between working on the desk in June of 2011 and today, Jack is now over 3-years old and has a brother, Owen, who is a 15-month old toddler. Jack likes knowing about everything before exploring, but Owen is the opposite. Owen will climb anything in front of him. Last week, he was climbing on Jack's desk and apparently wanted to see what was inside of his brother's desk. Since no one saw the desktop come down on Owen's fingers, we don't know what exactly happened. However, Owen's fingers were on the rim of the desk when the top came down...on them. Owen's little fingers got hurt but fortunately nothing broken and his fingers are fine.

However, Jack was concerned about the accident when we came down to babysit for them last week. Therefore, Jack and I decided to help prevent some future fingers of either of them being caught between the desk and the top.

Jack watched as I drilled a couple little holes for the bumpers that gave about a quarter inch space between the top and the desk. He asked every imaginable question about what and why I was doing something. This was an example of Jack...soaking it all in.

Al and Jack fixing Jack's desk with a screwdriver

After I had predrilled the holes for the screws that held these bumpers in place, Jack wanted to know what was next. I explained and started to screw the first bumper into the top. That was enough for Jack to figure out what was needed to be done. In took about a couple of nanoseconds before Jack said, "Papa, I can do that."

Jack uses the screwdriver to fix his desk

One down and the other was next. Jack came around to the other side and was eager to assist. I started to get the screw started, but again came his plea, "Papa, I can do that."

Al instructs Jack about how to use the tools

While we were working on the desk, I noticed that the bolt that held the desk to the stand needed to be tighten so that the top didn't twist to the left and right. I got down on the floor and started to tighten it. Then came the questions. "What are you doing, Papa." I told him that I was tightening the bolt. "Why?" As soon as I explained that I didn't want any kind of accident with the swiveling top, you know what his reply was to my explanation.

Jack replaced me under the desk with a pair of pliers, which he calls Squeeze. He watches the cartoon, Handy Manny, and that is the cartoon's name for pliers.

Disney's cartoon, Handy Manny and his tools Squeeze is Handy Manny's pliers
Disney's cartoon, Handy
Manny and his tools
Squeeze is Handy Manny's pliers

Jack on his own fixing his desk

Finally, the job was finished. Then Jack paused a moment to review his assistance in the project.

Jack peeking into his desk

Jack's desk finished

The next project will be finding another old school desk used by some famous person for Owen's desk. A desk from a famous person can give both Jack and Owen a role model by which they can use as a standard as they grow up into adulthood.