When dealing with a new fledged teenager, carry lots of plastic bags. Often times, you’ll find yourself hyperventilating from dealing with his interesting takes on life. If you find yourself without a plastic bag, don’t panic, inflate your lungs and push down on your diaphragm. It helps to release your tension without a full-scale blowup. Not a good example to the minor-turning-adult, who already has an inherent tendency to do that.
The most recent case of melt-down centered around an egg. The egg-drama came up unexpectedly on a tranquil Sunday when things should be winding down, not heating up.
“Aaron, are you sure you have no homework. You’ve been playing Maple story the last two hours?” I asked nonchalantly, trying not to sound too pushy.
He looked at me and kept quiet. Oh, oh, danger--that meant he had homework chucked somewhere in his bulging backpack.
“You’ve homework, right? I need it done now before any more playing on the computer. Do you hear?”
Reluctantly, he tore himself from his beloved computer to ransack his bag. From piles of loose papers jammed into his folder, he rummaged and rummaged and finally took out a leaf--”The Eggcellent Egg Drop.”
“Mom. INBG. I can get it done in ten minutes.”
He ran into the kitchen and scoured the pantry for materials. He took an egg, found a small paper container (believed to be a Chinese take-out box) and begged me for some cotton wool and scotch-tape. All hands and in a hurry, he laid his egg into a nest of cotton wool and taped it up and proceeded to make a parachute for a smoother landing. After all, the egg was supposed to survive a 6-meters drop. And the crucial point--the egg craft must not exceed 20 gram. Tall order on a short notice.
“See? Done in ten minutes. I’m going to drop it from the second floor,” he pronounced confidently as he sprinted up the spiral staircase.
His sister and I stood expectantly, eyes on the egg craft and going, “Ready--1,2,3, drop!” We watched as the contraption fell with a dull thud and all three of us rushed to inspect the outcome.
The floor was moist and the outcome was evident.
For the next two hours, he constructed different designs, experimenting with propellers and different shaped holders to cushion the egg. We lost seven good eggs. He encased his mop of hair in his hands and wailed, “It’s not fair. Kelvin did his in ten minutes and it worked.”
I wanted to give him the never-wait-till-the last-minute lecture but chose to hyperventilate instead. “Why don’t you ask him how he did his and apply some aerodynamics?”
So, he went to his AIM.
Emmanuelarsi (Aaron adopted this name after he learned that Emmanuel means God with us ): Yo, how do you do yours?
Kelvinyosi : You’ve got paper? Make a cone and stuff it with cotton wool and put your egg in.
Emmanuelarsi : That’s it and it didn’t break?
Kelvinyosi : Dude, I‘ve got skills.
Chilli37 : I did mine in less than 10 mins too. Didn’t break.
Emmauelarsi : IDK--I’ve been trying for two hours now.
Chilli37 : Let the pro show u.
After five minutes:
Emmanuelarsi : How do u make a cone?
Kelvinyosin : Start with a point and roll. Then scotch-tape it.
Chilli37 : Do you know how to use tape? LOL
Emmanuelarsi : Right, wait till I make a killer one.
Bearing his cone stuffed with cotton wool and a Costco egg, Aaron leaped upstairs to try. For sure, this time, he told me.
With caution, he launched his cone and pat, the cotton wool was stained white and yellow. His wide eyes spoke desperation.
It’s thirty minutes to bed-time and now, both he and I were hyperventilating.
“OK, Aaron, let’s sit down and think. What can we do to minimize the force on the egg on descent ,” said the teacher in me.
He drummed his table with agitation, “One last try and then I don’t care if I get a C.”
This time, he formed a cone, tapped wings on them and encased his egg in the little egg carton that it came in.
As he dropped his porcupine of an egg craft, all three of us stopped breathing.
It fluttered down and again, we rushed to the site, half expecting a sorry mess.
The egg remained encased and dry. Normal breathing resumed.
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