Wood collection

“Crash!” (pause) “Uh-oh.”

The Small Boy had caused some kind of collapse of furniture just along the hall.  It occurred to me mid-leap that the pause had at least been followed by speech rather than plaintive wailing, so with a bit of luck he had either dodged the falling masonry or the sound was worse than the reality.

The child brandished a triangular shard of MDF at me and grinned.  It was one of the larger bits of Him Indoors’ wood collection.  He’s a pretty handy DIY-er, but offcuts are never discarded, they are stored away with the other wood on the basis that they are useful.

Despite the extensive and allegedly ‘useful’ collection, a new project requires new wood, which is measured and ceremoniously purchased from B&Q.  “What about the wood collection?” I ask hopefully.  “We don’t have the right wood.”  When the job is finished, several hundred offcuts are carefully stacked away with the rest.  Due to the (still) impending loft conversion, this treasure trove was taking up temporary residence in our hallway and was a great new play-thing for The Small Boy.

I have consulted with a number of friends and colleagues on this and it seems the wood collection is a universal chattel of the modern male.  Often it doesn’t reside in the loft, but behind the dining room door (where it renders said door unopenable.)  Sometimes it takes up residence under a bed, the baby’s cot or a disused cupboard.

Then one day, out of the blue, the unimaginable happened.  The wood collection was loaded into the back of the car and taken to the tip!  Hallelujah!  I could be seen doing a small victory lap around the flat as the car disappeared over the horizon.

Sadly my joy was short-lived.  Not three days later I discovered a small selection of important off-cuts in the shed.  I returned to the house to remonstrate with Him Indoors, only to find him briskly stacking a pile of collapsed boxes and bits of cardboard down the side of a bookcase.  “What are those?” I asked, trying not to assume the worst.  “These,” he explained proudly, “are useful bits of cardboard.”

DIY Baby

There are a legion of things to spend money on for babies,  just thought I’d post a couple of things I’ve made for The Boy over the last few months which are free, easy and don’t even require a trip to the shops.

Firstly, a baby bouncer with interchangeable pictures.  Babies love black and white images, so I used to draw pictures of things for him to look at.

Lately I read that he’s learning to see primary colours, so the current pictures are in blue, green and red.  Well, the green one has been kicked off, but the other two have just about made it (apologies for the dodgy artwork, never could draw.)

The baby bouncer itself was a Freecycle grab.  Not having to give £30 to a warehouse baby store always makes me happy.  The clips were borrowed from a clothes airer.

Next up are some rattles made from baby bottles, rice and pasta.  I haven’t tried anything else in them yet, but I guess you could put all kinds of things in there, to make different noises.

The Boy is still a little bit small for them.  He is just starting to grab things, but is at a fairly early stage. Give it another few weeks and he’ll be able to shake them himself.  At the moment he likes listening to them and watching the stuff inside fly around.

The sustainability freak in me likes these things.  They haven’t had to be manufactured so that I can buy them, and they can be dismantled again and used for other things when he’s too old for them.  The baby bouncer will probably go back to Freecycle eventually.