Obsession Alert

Nigel: I want our house Rube Goldberged!

Nigel came into my office late last night to tell me this. He had that wild look in his eye. When he was younger the look worried me because it was usually due to something that upset him and he could not communicate to me what it was. A scream would usually be forthcoming. These days, the wild look is more often because something has ignited him, and he goes into obsession mode. A part of me is glad to see it, because that means he is happy and engaged, but a part of me is wary because he has been known to tie strings across the entire backyard or the living room and post signs all over the house regarding his obsessions (he put up six “Fallout shelter in basement” signs during a nuclear war obsession of the week and we don’t have a basement).

And with this particular obsession, Rube Goldberg machines, there would certainly be lots of string involved. Sticks, I’m sure, would also play a major role in Nigel’s Rube Goldberg machine, as would Lego, balls, hammers, nails, many yards of tape and wire, and toilet paper tubes. And he wants to do this throughout the entire house, he told me in his excited voice.

Boy Scouts to the rescue! I dropped him off a few hours ago (Friday afternoon) with the Troop, and they are going on a camping trip. Nigel is excited about it and spent most of the day packing. They will return Sunday afternoon. With any luck, the fire of this particular obsession will dim at least slightly during his two days away from home. Otherwise I’ll have some interesting photos to post.