Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Losing It

Ryan likes losing things.

He doesn't just happen to lose things and get upset about it; he actively goes out of his way to lose things just so he can have a fit that they're lost.

He'll be playing with small toys and make a big show of shoving them behind a bookcase, then cry out in horror, "Oh no! It's gone forever! What we got to do?

He will cram foam letter stickers into the radiator cover while saying, "The letters can not go in the radiator" (meaning, they are not allowed to go there). Then he will be devastated when the stickers don't instantly drop out on the floor.

So I was not exactly surprised that this morning he put yet another toy into the hole in our hollow metal door frame that the doorknob catch thingy sticks into. What did throw me was what he chose to lose down that hole:

A Hexbug Nano.

That was turned on.

This is a tiny robotic insect that scurries around by vibrating.

It vibrates really loudly when it's stuck at floor level in a metal door frame.

At 6:30 in the morning.

A couple of days before yet another open house to try to sell our apartment.

I immediately burst into the bathroom while Stu was in the shower and announced, "We have a major situation here." We started simultaneously plotting how to get the vibrating bug out of the wall - drill through metal! short out the batteries with water! get a four-foot-long grabbing tool! - and who to sell our son to.

Meanwhile, the kid was crying that his bug was lost forever, and how are we going to find it?

How indeed. I told him, of course, that if we ever did figure out how to get the bug out of the door frame, he would never see it again.

More tears.

Stu tried talking to Ryan like one would talk to a typical child, saying things like, "You caused this problem, so you don't get to cry about it." But this was predictably ineffective. Ryan's brain doesn't seem to process the connection between action and consequence like a typical six-year-old's might. In his mind, even though he has already lost four toys down that hole, we might magically be able to save the fifth one.

Fortunately, this toy had crappy batteries that died after less than two hours (Ryan got the bug for Christmas, and I think he had played with it a total of 30 minutes prior to today). My apartment's super assured me that our metal door frame is enclosed and there's no chance the sudden silence in my wall is due to the bug wandering off somewhere else in the building. And Home Depot sells this foam crap you can use to fill in holes.

Crisis averted until Ryan gets home from school and asks for his bug back.


  1. I don't think you meant this to be funny, but I chuckled a little bit. Sorry. Noise-making toys suck.

  2. Straightened out wire coat-hanger with a small hook bent on the end. If the hook doesn't snag it wrap duct tape, sticky side out around the hooked end in a small ball. Then push wire down and pull up countless times, changing the tape as the sticky wears off, until you catch the prize. Hours of family fun. (Unless of course you took lessons from Joan Crawford's Mommy Dearest.) This is a favorite family story, revisited over thirty some odd years, about a small severe ADHD boy, a tiny hole in the drywall and his dad's brand new watch. I'll tell you about the aquariums some other time.


Keep it civil, people.