Lucy, Ethel, Conveyors of Chocolate and Family Mechanics

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We started with Dessert First, because Bean won a Gift Certificate to Dairy Queen from our local Credit Union. He had answered the kid’s quiz about which Presidents were on which bills. He was very proud to be able to take his brother and I out for ice cream on his very own little credit card.

Over dinner, tonight, Bean said something hilarious, and Ben mimicked him in standard older brother appreciation. Bean thought he was being teased, and we had to explain the idea of imitation being the highest form of compliment. To prove our point, we started going through all the imitations of Bumpa (my dad) and Grandpa (Scott’s dad) that we do, because we love and respect them, and they say things worth repeating.

My dad loves to see how things work, and he will be fascinated by the mechanics of a project. When he and my mom were up here last, we took them on a tour of the Harry & David Fruit and Chocolate Factory in Medford. We were all delighted with those mechanics. My favorite part was the river of chocolate continually flowing over rows and rows of truffles, and then the endless drizzle zigzagging back and forth across them.

Because it’s Science Night at our house, we started talking about conveyor belts and assembly lines and how everything has to work together or things can get really out of whack. Scott started explaining to the boys how a family is much like a conveyor belt. Everyone has their part to play, everyone’s job works with everyone else’s. If one person is off, the whole thing can come screeching to a halt. We have to work in rhythm to get things done well.

After dinner, we watched some YouTube videos of assembly lines and conveyor belts. Of course, we started with the classic Lucy & Ethel and the Conveyor Belt of Chocolate. We tried a few that looked at the making of cars – both modern systems and some from the earlier days of manufacturing. They were a little too factual and dry for kids.

What really grabbed us was this amazing contraption made of Legos and Robotics. My boys were glued to this.

The idea of everyone working in sync to make the flow of work go smoothly seems like a concept that will be around here for a while. Already, Scott has used it in motivating the boys to work together and show better teamwork. We use car or motorcycle building references a lot around here, and now we’ve gone and gotten even more technical with engineering, robotics, conveyor belts and synchronicity showing up for family dinners.

 

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One thought on “Lucy, Ethel, Conveyors of Chocolate and Family Mechanics

  1. that episode of ‘i love lucy’ was just given new relevance at our house, too–but not with anything as edifying as building children’s understanding of well-oiled family dynamics and our part in creating them, oh no.
    my nine-year-old was “helping” my seven-year-old make valentines. it was a race for him, as he tried to make as many paper hearts as he could, going from one to a giant pile. for my daughter, the one actually generating the valentines, it was nothing but stress–he was making hearts faster than she could keep up. there was weeping. also a reference to this classic lucille ball episode 🙂

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