M. Giant's
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Sunday, April 15, 2007  

Feed the Need

M. Small has a few current obsessions, and all of them were encouraged when we went down to Iowa to visit his grandma this weekend.

Hot Air Balloons

The town where Trash's mom lives has a hot air balloon museum. We went there on our last visit and got M. Small a pair of socks, but one of them has since disappeared and M. Small's plaintive cries of "hot air balloon socks!" every other time we dress him have become tiresome. Se we stopped in again to look at the pictures and the balloon baskets while Trash bought him a case of replacement socks. He was very glad to be making a return visit to what he called the "balloon-seum."

The town also has an annual balloon festival at the end of July, and on our way out of town we asked M. Small if he'd like to go. "Yes!" he cried. "Let's go now! Turn around!"


We stopped in at the locally-owned music store just up the street from grandma's house, where he tapped his hands on a few of the drum kits and ended up leaving with a baseball cap that advertises Zildjian cymbals. I'm not sure we got all the way home with that, though, so maybe that's a bad example. Also, as we were walking along the huge wall of guitars, he asked, "Where are the violins?" So like me, and yet so different.


M. Small is still fascinated with fans, although not quite with his original religious fervor. But one of his most exciting finds at the music store was a window fan, so they still hold his interest.

One thing we've always wanted to do on one of these Iowa trips was stop by one of the giant wind farms on I-35. If M. Small is obsessed with the five-foot tall fan at church, our reasoning went, just imagine how he would react to a close-up view of a two-hundred-foot high wind turbine, let alone hundreds of them covering several square miles. Unfortunately, the timing has never quite worked out (largely because we prefer to drive at night, while he's sleeping).

But this time, we left Great Grandma's house in Des Moines when there was still over an hour of daylight left. M. Small spent much of this hour trying to convince us to stop at a McDonald's instead of falling asleep like we'd expected. But then shortly after the sun dipped below the horizon, I got off the freeway and pulled the car over on the side of a dirt road next to a field. We were about a hundred yards from the nearest wind turbine, its eighty-foot blades whirling lazily above us, with ranks and ranks of its brothers stretching off to the horizon in both directions.


We sat there in the car for a few minutes, admiring all the majesty, and then drove on. Exhausted by his rapture, M. Small fell asleep in the car seat and didn't really wake up again until eight this morning in his crib at home.

Fire Engines

After visiting a real, live firehouse a couple of weeks ago and actually getting to sit inside a real, live fire engine, M. Small has been informing us regularly that when he grows up, he will be a firefighter. His activities will, he will gladly tell you, include driving the fire engine, dinging the bell, climbing the ladder, and, of course, putting out fires.

Gifts from his grandmother this weekend included a toy ambulance, (yet another) toy fire engine, and a rescue helicopter. The helicopter has a little spring-loaded button on the side of the fuselage that you can press to make the rotors turn.

Basically, it's all of M. Small's obsessions in one handy, portable package. It goes in the air! It has spinning blades! Firefighters ride in it! M. Small even made up his own little cheer: "Holla, holla, holla, helicopter!"

If I can just figure out a way to attach a crash cymbal to it, it'll be perfect.

posted by M. Giant 7:06 AM 2 comments


My little brother was obsessed with fans when he was young. One year for Halloween, my dad took apart a small fan and attached the front part to a belt. Add one mask and black pajama pants, and Danny went around that year as the "Fan-tom of the Opera." My dad also wrote a book for/about him called "Dan's Fans," in which the narrator (my brother) expressed his desire to be a fan when he grew up.

I never really saw the appeal.

By Blogger Dashrashi, at April 15, 2007 at 10:55 AM  

Balloon-seum? He came up with that by himself? He has mad language skillz!

By Blogger Emily, at April 16, 2007 at 5:38 AM  

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