These are the last words I heard from Justin as he walked down the hallway holding my “Doctor Who” Sonic Screwdriver in one hand and his plastic “Handy Manny” hammer in the other. Curiosity got the better of me and I followed him into the den to see what he was up to. I stopped just before rounding the corner and observed Justin from the darkness of the hallway.
There, on the coffee table, Justin had laid out his electronic piano and a few tools. He also had a cup of water, a battery (which he had not gotten from me), and Garrett’s box of Wet Wipes. I watched him flip over the keyboard and locate the holes where the screws went in. Justin then attached the correct Phillips-head tip to the screwdriver and began to unscrew the bolts that connected the top of the piano to the bottom. I thought about intervening at this point, but he was actually making progress and I wanted to see where he was going with this.
He struggled a little with the screws and eventually gave up. But, that did not deter him from going through with his plans. Justin then used the Wet Wipe to “clean” the area. And finally, he grabbed a tool from the floor which I had not previously noticed. It was the kitchen can-opener! He dunked it in the cup of water (possibly to sterilize it??) and then attempted to open his piano like a can of beans.
“Whoa…whoa…whoa,” I said. “What are you doing??”
“I’m fixing my piano,” he replied.
“What’s wrong with your piano?” I asked.
“The battery died and I’m putting in a new one,” he said proudly.
“Would you like some help?” I asked.
“NO!” he responded.
I shrugged my shoulders and walked into the kitchen for a drink. I was immediately summoned back to the sofa. Justin sat me down next to him and said, “I am going to fix the piano. Close your eyes and hold out your hands.” I had no idea what he was planning, but I followed his instructions. He then put his hands on top of my hands and said, “Ok, now I am opening the back of the piano…” As he said this, he moved my hands around the back of the piano like it was a Ouija board. “Now, I am changing the batteries….” he said, as he continued to push my hands around. It slowly dawned on me that he wanted ME to change the batteries for him.
With my eyes shut and Justin’s hands on my hands, I lifted the lid, pulled out the AA batteries (actually just moved them around a little because I knew they were fine), and then closed the lid. Finally, Justin told me to open my eyes. He yelled, “TA DA!!!!! I fixed it all by MYSELF, daddy! Are you proud of me????”
I laughed and responded, “Yes, buddy. I’m very proud of you.” I then simply asked, “You really did that all by yourself?” He looked right into my eyes, held his hands up to my face like they were his master tools, and stated, “ALL….BY…..MY….SELF.”