Monday, September 7, 2009

Burning rubber!

Okay, it's more like burning plastic, but who is really hung up on those technicalities?

As you know, we have a little fleet of motorized vehicles - all bought used and very old. Before this weekend, two worked, one did not. The two that worked were so slow. I mean Ethan's tricked out Batcycle is so cool, but it puttered along like a 95 year old man on a Sunday afternoon drive. Even the neighbor kids, who loved riding it just the same, commented on how slow it was. Luckily for the kids, Steve is gifted in areas like souping up vehicles. And this weekend he did just that.

A couple weeks ago Steve found a site that was basically a bunch of dads talking about Power Wheels. More specifically how to make them faster and better. After I got done giggling over the thought of a bunch of grown men creating a website (blog, forum, whatever it was) to discuss tricking up their Power Wheels... er ... I mean their kid's Power Wheels, I started listening to Steve's plan. He read and researched, made calls to a friend with connections and ordered two bigger (read: more powerful) batteries. We aren't talking no whimpy toy Power Wheel batteries here, were talking battery batteries here (which were cheaper too - so I was all aboard). Okay, is it just me or does anyone else think of Tim from the old tv comedy Tool Time doing the man grunt as I tell this story?

Steve took the project on this weekend. He rewired the battery... um... wires (I don't know what this stuff is) to accept the new batteries and cut out the battery cavity in the vehicle to be big enough to fit these new bigger batteries. Saturday was the test run for two. The first one we tried was the two seater Jeep I got from a garage sale this summer very cheap (it was from 1994 after all), thinking the twins would like it...eventually. This Jeep runs with two batteries (neither of which worked when I bought it), so Steve loaded up both of the new more powerful batteries and set it for the high warp speed. And warp it was... Ethan about had whip lash when he put his foot on the petal. After he sat back up from the sheer force of forward movement, with a huge smile on his face, Steve decided that maybe he would kick it down to using just one battery (the lower speed). That was fast too. And Ethan loved it.

Then we took one of the batteries out and tried it in his little adventure Jeep (one seater), which has just one speed. It ran much faster now. What made me laugh as I watched this was that it wasn't until this summer that Ethan even learned how to control these vehicles. I tried last August to teach him, yet again, and well it didn't go well (read: that is what that big dent in my passenger van door is from). But Saturday night, he was ripping down the sidewalk yelling "woo hoo" and making his steering wheel crazy on purpose just for fun of it, enjoying the speed. It was like the wind in his face from the increased speed made him high. And when he stopped, right in front of me, he quickly turned his wheels whipping around to a stop complete with the screeching halt tire sound... like a pro... pro drag racer that is. The smile on his face was HUGE. He loved it. This, from a kid who again could not manage to comprehend that his hands controlled the direction in which he was going, that he couldn't gawk without regard for the sidewalk (and cars, people, dogs, etc) and that his foot controlled the starting and stopping of the vehicle. Wow... what a difference.

Tonight, Steve re-wired the Batcycle and battery cavity so that it could run at a speed more befitting its stature. For the test run, Ethan wore a Batman shirt and mask... of course. Steve followed behind with the twins. It became a half hour venture... sorry, I mean... a half hour crime stopping mission. Tomorrow, he gets to show his neighbor friends his new revved up fleet of vehicles and so his excitement still mounts.
As I sit here and type, I just realized that I have been smiling the entire time. And laughing... to myself. There are so many things that I didn't know before I became a mom. Some of which you can guess or predict and some you can't. One thing I know: there is nothing like seeing the joy on your child's face... on his custom Batcycle, decked out in Batman garb, ripping around your neighborhood on his crime stopping mission. "My job here is done."


1 comment:

Tricia said...

He is so darn cute! Go Steve!

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