Back in the fall, Will signed up to be in an Invention Convention for elementary school kids city-wide. Like almost every textbook project you have ever known about, Will wanted to participate but couldn’t come up with an invention. By Christmas break, the real moaning and groaning began.
It didn’t last long; I have no patience for it and I didn’t think this task was beyond Will. “Think of a major problem, and then think of a solution.” He kept bringing up pollution and coming back to it. He’s worried about clean drinking water in Cambodia (that’s 100% true). I liked where he was going, but those problems seemed beyond the scope of Taunton’s finest elementary competition. Let’s not forget to mention that he procrastinated a bit. His January deadline was nearing.
After some careful thought, Will identified a huge problem; one he could reasonably tackle. To be more precise, after me trying to cut Tommy’s fingernails, Will identified a huge problem in our home. Cutting Tommy’s nails (and hair) is like trying to tack jello to a wall. It’s next to impossible. I dread it and I wish there were something I could do to keep his hair and nails from growing. That would be the miracle invention for kids with sensory issues!
Will wanted to make a device that made cutting Tommy’s nails easier. I immediately thought of the Jetsons. That’d be cool…snap your fingers and a robot does all the work (with Tommy, the robot would do all the fighting). The more Will theorized, I drifted over to the Flintstones. They probably had some sort of primeval animal file nails down while Betty and Wilma giggled. Genius.
As it turned out, Will had a pretty clever train of thought. Tommy uses a weighted blanket when he’s upset or going to bed. If he could make some sort of weighted glove that held Tommy’s hand, maybe he wouldn’t get so anxious while his nails are getting cut.
My mom, who Will absolutely adores, had the patience to work through the cutting, measuring, sewing, velcro-ing and incessant talking. A few painstaking prototypes later and …Boom! The “hamburger”, as he calls it, was created.
Will didn’t win anything for all his hard work and ingenuity at the Invention Convention. That’s okay, we haven’t had a single meltdown over trimming nails since January. That’s the real prize.