Fleshing out vocabulary…the hard way…a tale of words in two parts

Part I – Tales from the shipyard…or how the J-powered Queequeg got assembled…

Our new yard cart arrived a day earlier than the “guaranteed for Friday the 19th” delivery date.  After sliding the box into the garage earlier this morning, J and I enthusiastically set to the task of assembling it by following the simple step-by-step instructions enclosed in the package.

Two and a half hours later, we were done and J’s enunciation and proper usage of several curse words (as modeled by his mother) is much improved.  The assembly would have been simple and quick enough if they’d left sufficient space to maneuver the tools required, but…at least it was a lesson in “and that’s a BAD word you can’t say to other people.  Excellent enunciating, though!”

In honor of TGG’s infamous interpretation of the names of characters in Moby Dick, we’ve named it the Queequeg (pronounced Chick-a-POW!)

The heatwave that has been slapping us around won’t let up today so we are working indoors for the most part.  J insisted on watering the plants out front when we were done with the car and we will roll the trash out to the dumpster after we’re done with lunch and other chores.  Otherwise, we’re sticking to the great indoors and working on packing away non-essential linens.  The house is still very much home, but I think even J is ready to get ready to get ready to move…

There is something very educational about the packing process.  I’ve had to explain to J that packing boxes takes some doing; spatial skills are being put to the test with things like packing board games into larger boxes so that they can all go together to the new house.  It’s a little puzzle that he’s enjoyed figuring out.  Because our library consists of cubes, we count how many books are in each before I create little labels to number them.  So we’re doing counting of how many stickers we need, and then we’re doing the hand-eye coordination with tiny stickers applied to book spines.  We are also constantly working on reinforcing vocabulary in any way we can, curse words not intentionally included.

The search for something J can sit on in his entertainment room continues.  We have pretty much agreed on a rather large, lovely bean bag sofa, but we’re going to stop at the furniture store this evening to give a look at their “deep discount anniversary sale going on NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!”  The fear over an actual piece of furniture being purchased is whether it will be easy to maneuver into the house, down the stairs, through a hallway and into a room.  We’ve measured doorways (the current ones) and hallways, and have determined that the only hindrance to an absolute GO on buying J a loveseat is the fact that the stairwells in the other house have railings on both sides, and -because we are, at heart, pessimists when it comes to security deposits- we suspect if anyone is going to punch a hole in a wall, rip a handrail off through some unexpected clumsiness it will be us.

We’ve found that the local furniture store carries a loveseat-sized version of the sofa that J has commandeered as his own in our current living room so we will trek there to inquire about the price.  We’re taking a measuring tape, making detailed notes and then coming home to confirm that this is manageable before committing to purchase the thing.  The only reason the bean bag sofa has an edge right now is that it will be easily molded to fit through doors and stairs, but (again, the pessimism rears its ugly head) it COULD snag on a handrail and tear it off the wall thus eliciting a torrent of words we have no wish to reinforce.

Part II  The maiden voyage of the JPV (J-Powered Vessel) Queequeg…

It was a hot summer day (the legend will tell) when the JPV Queequeg first got underway.  Its load was simple: an umbrella in case it sprinkled (or in case the sun got too bright on the way to or from the dumpster,) a spray bottle for cooling off and a large trash bag full of…trash.   (I cannot get any more creative than that…it was, indeed, nothing more than a bag of trash.)

J opened the garage door and pulled Queequeg out into the driveway.  I closed the garage door behind him and went out the front door.  He didn’t cut as dashing a figure as Admiral Horatio Nelson, but he was pretty darned happy to be commanding the little cart.  Before heading out I explained that going downhill he’d have a little more trouble slowing down, and going uphill he’d have a little more trouble dragging his wagon.  I demonstrated how to S the way down the slope (which is quite pronounced) next to the house, and away we went.

If J knew any sea shanties, he’d have been singing heartily.  He put those all-terrain 10-inch wheels to the test, maneuvering over rocks, crags, pebbles, slopes, ruts…all with a broad smile on his face.  (Memo to me: teach J some sea shanty we can adapt to taking the trash out.)

On the way back, we checked the mail (he was disappointed that I didn’t let him maneuver the Queequeg into the narrow mail room, but realized that it would have been difficult to get it out if someone else happened to walk in while we were there,) and worked on steering.  Because it’s a pull-wagon, the Queequeg travels better in a straight line, but J’s getting the hang of turning without making the cart tip to either side.

That J enjoyed this little excursion and is happy with the Queequeg means I will have help with moving smaller items from this townhouse to the new one across the way.  I’m sure eventually the enthusiasm will wane, but as long as I can get J to stick to his chore schedule of taking the trash out twice a week I’m happy.

That’s all there is, friends, for today…the Queequeg needs a sign with its name on it so we’re going to work on that.  Paints, brushes, his little wagon…what more can J ask for on a Friday afternoon???

And we sail into the weekend…



2 thoughts on “Fleshing out vocabulary…the hard way…a tale of words in two parts

    • On the 15th of August. So we have about three and a half weeks.

      I expect to have this decision made no later than Monday, but -of course- the more we discuss it, the less we seem to be in agreement about this.

      I’m ready to go with measuring tape and notepad, and then tomorrow we’ll go measure in the new unit…then the least skilled person in the world at anything numerical (namely ME!) will make the calculations and have them checked by the guy who studied Finance but who claims to be horrible at math (“and that’s why he quit Engineering school.”)

      Do you see where this is going??? Ha ha ha

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