Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's A Front-end Loader--Not a Bulldozer

front-end loaderThrough high school I worked summers as a secretary for two different construction firms and I've spent a fair amount of time around construction projects. I know more than the average female does about about heavy equipment--say, the difference between a belly dump and an end dump or an end dump and an end dump with a pup--and have taught the kids the proper terms for each piece of equipment.

So when I gave Lillian the cast-iron Caterpillar front-end loader I won at a Christmas party she knew right away what to call it.

One of her brothers tried to tweak her by calling it a bull-dozer but she wasn't in the mood.

"It's a front-end loader. Not a bulldozer!"

When we drive around town she will point out the graders (not graters) we see scraping the snow off to the sides of the roads and the end dumps (not dump trucks) carting snow to the dumping grounds. The other day while I was in the shower the snow crew came through and plowed the streets. Later, commenting absentmindedly on the finished product I said, "Looks like the graders came through."

Whereupon she firmly said, "No, it was a front-end loader."

I smiled and said, "No, Lillian, the graders push the snow around, not the front-end loaders."

She gave me this look. The one that says, "I'm not going to even dignify that with a response. I can see that it's not worth my time to discuss the subject with you further."

And sure enough an hour later when we left the house, there were the front-end loader tracks where it had pushed the snow up into the yard--the tracks were unmistakable. Dang she's smart.

But my tip for this week's Works for Me Wednesday is this: I have found another use for my gigantic roasting pan that I normally only drag out for the holiday turkey. I've dumped a bunch of rice in the bottom of it and let Lillian go to town pushing the rice around with her little front-end loader.

She piles the rice up and pushes it down then buries tiny toys in it to excavate. She's spent hours pushing the rice around that pan. This would also work in a bathtub--put some rice and some cars in the tub with your child (fully dressed--no water of course) and let them play in their homemade indoor sandbox. Just be sure to cover the drain with duct tape before you put in the rice.

Check in with Rocks in My Dryer every Wednesday for other good tips.

Technorati tags:

18 comments:

Jane said...

Sounds like you have gotten very good at coming up with indoor fun for the cold months! I think it is awesome that you gave your daughter a front end loader!

Stacitee said...

Cool idea. I bet my girls would love it.

Nikki said...

I love the story with your tip! Kids are amazing. I've been corrected more than once that I should call it "vermillion and not red-orange." And that's a good tip to use a roasting pan for rice play. I've heard of people using plastic sheets before-- but I like the idea of containing it!

Jessica said...

oooh, good idea! I'd heard rice was a good toddler-occupier, but I wasn't sure what to put it in. Now I know!

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica

Karen Shanley said...

Smart daughter. I think she gets it from her mom. :)

MC Milker said...

Great idea. When my DS was small I used to put dried beans or lentils in a wash tub for him to use with his fingers. I like the heavy equipment idea better..hey, wait, he's still small!

Chickadee said...

LOL!!! I learned something new with this post. I didn't think about there being a difference with all of that equipment. And it's impressive that your daughter knows all of that too. :)

Christie said...

great idea!!! happy valentine's day!! i miss the winter!!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

My daughter loves the "diggers" and the "scoopers" and the "dumpers"...we joke around all the time that she'll be hanging around construction sites as soon as she can shake us.

Her preschool teacher soaks the rice in different colors of food coloring to get a gorgeous rainbow effect...just a suggestion to add to your tip...

Amy said...

So funny! We have our trusty popcorn table in our basement and it has kept our son busy for hours on end. What could be better than that with all of this snow?

Stie said...

Only a girl would have a front end loader with Barbie as the driver and a mermaid on the sidelines...I love it. Also love your blog, by the way!

Amy said...

Great idea. Unfortunately both my roasting pans have ridges on the bottom, but the bathtub sounds like an excellent alternative.

kim said...

doesn't the rice scratch that beautiful pan?

I know that I'm wrong calling everything bull dozers, but I don't know which is which. My BIL does, he drives things like that.

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

You are a brave woman to open a bag of rice in the house and give the kids access to it. I'm envisioning the horrors that my children would come up with. I think it's just the nature of my children though. It really is a good idea.

Cyndi said...

oooh where did you get the mermaid? Reminds me of some I used to have when I was little!

amyrebba said...

LOL Way too cute. Aren't kids just loads of fun, even when they are right and we are wrong. You have so many good stories.

Marie N. said...

These in-door sand boxes are great!

No matter the name, my mommy-heart will always treasure the way my daughter used to say "bull-go-dozer" for bull-dozer.

Scooter said...

My Dad would buy us all graders and trucks when he'd haul sand in to raise our yard. He seldom had to level the piles, but we would keep Mom busy sweeping the house.