Sunday, December 23, 2007

The playhouse's the thing

Early December. JP decides he's going to give Fly a gift from the heart -- a gift only he can give Fly, something he's made.

He is going to make Fly a playhouse!

Because JP's motto is there's nothing he can buy for $100 that he can't build for $500.

JP starts to draw up plans. He gets out a calculator. I find scraps around the house here and there.

Then JP asks me for ideas.

"Well, you want to make it interactive, I suppose," I say. "Fly likes that. If it's just a box, he's going to walk in and walk right out."

I happen to find some playhouses (the plastic kind) in a catalog and show them to JP.

"See this one? It has a table and chair. This one has different levels. Fly likes stairs, so he'd like something like that." I show JP playhouse after playhouse and point out their features like I'm some kind of Realtor for the preschool set.

JP isn't satisfied.

So I start dreaming.

"I know! Make a playhouse with a hidden room. Like in those old Scooby Doo cartoons. The playhouse could have a wall that spins around and put you in a hidden room!"

JP stares at me.

But I'm just getting started.

"Or you could make a tiny crawlspace in the wall so only little people could get into the hidden room. Of course, you'd have to have a back door on the playhouse so Fly wouldn't get stuck back in there. Yeah, this playhouse definitely needs a hidden room.

"And a lookout tower! Have some steps so he can climb safely to the top of the playhouse, open a little door in the roof, and look out. You'd have to design it so it would be impossible for him to get on the roof, of course.

"Or how about a skylight? Maybe like the one in the old Swiss Family Robinson movie, where you just pull down on a door in the roof to see the sky.

"Fly likes to push buttons and turn knobs. Maybe you could make part of one wall inside like the play wall at the library. But make it look like our stereo. With lights! Things that light up. Fly loves that.

"A mailbox. Now that would be cool. Fly doesn't get any mail, but I always take him to the mailbox with me and show him how to put the flag up. He would love his own mailbox.

"So how about those ideas?"

JP is awestruck.

"I'm just making a little cabin. It's not going to be big enough for all that."

"Well," I say, "You asked for ideas...."

A few more days go by. JP has been to the hardware store. He discussed with a hardware store guy some options on how to finish the outside walls. The hardware store guy rejects one of JP's ideas as being "too ghetto." That phrase is all JP and I need to brainstorm even more ideas while we have dinner one night.

"Too ghetto?" I ask. "What does he think you're building, a crack house?"

"Maybe I should install a little lab inside the playhouse?" JP ventures.

"Ooh, and then you can build a dealer house on the other side of the yard. With a tunnel between the two of them!"

"Or a live steam train that goes back and forth!"

"You could build a whole little crack town out back!" I say. "One of the playhouses could have graffiti on it!"

Fly, sitting between the two of us, is luckily too young to realize what kooks he has for parents.

We are kooky, yes, and that may be why we are insane enough to think we can create and accomplish some of the things that we take on.

Like JP's playhouse for Fly.

One week before Christmas:

After I helped JP use PVC pipe to roll it into the backyard because it was too heavy to carry. This thing meets hurricane building code!

Fly already likes playing in it.


Half of a roof!

Fly, the building inspector, giving his approval to continue with the work.

Any bets on whether the playhouse will be finished in time for Christmas?!

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Blogger Maddy said...

What an awesome collection of talent and determination, to say nothing of imagination.
Best wishes

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"which takes you straight to my new blog.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

How fun! Can't wait to see the finished product!

11:05 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I hope that Fly enjoys it. Merry Christmas.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Nadine said...

You crack me up. It's looking very good. I think Fly will enjoy it when it's done.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

Awesome. I agree.. a playhouse built by Daddy is THE BEST!!
I can't get over your weather (you know.. small minds...)
Have a Merry Christmas.

4:03 AM  
Blogger chelle said...

aww that is a wonderful playhouse! I dragged my husband over and said "I hope once we have a backyard you realize this is in your future!" It is beautiful!

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
May your family's wishes all come true this coming year :)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Wow...that's so cool!
My father-in-law, along with the men in the family, built one for the grandchildren two years ago. They have enjoyed it so much!
I hope yours is done by Christmas!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

haha...I LOVE your ideas!! But the playhouse idea is just a fun one to begin with...if only our backyard was big enough for a playhouse! wouldn't be fun to build it in the piles and mountains of COLD snow we've got! haha...oh well - hopefully it gets finished in time. :)

9:38 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Looks like fun already.

Can you build a secret room on my house? Some days I could really use one!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow! That is impressive!

11:16 AM  
Blogger LBA said...

Fantastic - I bet you got it done in time !

Merry Christmas !

5:04 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

Wow- it's awesome! And Merry Christmas!!


9:19 AM  
Blogger Cathy, Amy and Kristina said...


I can't wait to see the finished product!

2:31 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Ohhh... cool house! I wish Isabella's dad was handy like JP! Looking forward to seeing it when it's done.

11:14 PM  
Blogger ohAmanda said...

I am lol at your conversation! That is so a conversation my dh and I would have! But wow! How cool is that playhouse?!

11:26 PM  

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