Cardboard R&D

Turtle has a stuffed elephant named "Heffalump" (after the character in the Pooh movie).  I was informed Sunday night that Heffalump needed a motorcycle.  ASAP.  

Huh.  Okay...well, let's see...(how will I pull this off?)...let's go look in the project closet...

20 minutes later, we had ourselves a motorcycle: 

Turtle suggested breaking fat crayons to make the axles.

I made cardboard nuts to hold the axles to the bike.  

It worked well enough that Turtle deemed it wheelie worthy.  

Then we tested it with Heffalump, who isn't the most natural of riders.  But he held on okay for a few laps before spectacular failure of the front wheel...

Luckily, this design is easy to reassemble, so it kept up with another half an hour of play. Then, as suddenly as the idea had been sprung on me to build a motorcycle in the first place, I watched Turtle take it apart and start folding up the body.  "What are you doing?" I asked with more than a little frustration, since I had made most of the major engineering and assembly contributions.  "I need to crumple this.  It's not working very well.  Heffalump is too fat for this motorcycle."

I have to say I love the "I need to crumple this."  I'm thinking of using it at work to reduce my paperload.  

Backtire walked in during the crumpling and witnessed this exchange.  Being the real engineer of the family, he jumped right in with "No problem.  That was just a prototype.  We tested it and it wasn't good enough.  We'll have to build another one someday that fits Heffalump better."  And with that, we did some recycling and the motorcycle was no more.  

But now I find myself wandering the house thinking about how to improve our prototype.  

And I think this small experience held some great life lessons:  When you have an idea, pursue it.  When you want something, try building it yourself.  When things aren't working, don't be afraid to take them apart and try it differently. And, don't get married to your work. Sometimes you need to just crumple it.  


Chelsea said...
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Mj said...

loved your insights and sentiments in the latest article. keep it up. hope this gets to you.

M.O.M. said...

loved the insights and sentiments in your last article. keep it up.