You might remember my post about Michael's redecoration of his room and my regret at overreacting to what was actually a pretty creative effort on his part. Well, I did slightly better this time when I discovered his efforts at disassembly.
I walked into the basement playroom and was astounded to discover our beautiful wooden dollhouse in pieces. I couldn't even figure out what I was looking at at first. The garage had been completely taken apart. The roof had been removed and disassembled. The screws holding the floors in place had been removed on one side so that they had fallen making it look like the dollhouse had been the victim of an earthquake.
The words that escaped my mouth in a tone of shocked horror were, "Who did that to our dollhouse?!?" Michael's instant response was, "I don't know!" At this point I was saved from another overreaction by the fact that I was still trying to figure out what on earth had happened exactly. I thought perhaps someone had fallen into the dollhouse and broken it? I was silent for several moments while I just tried to mentally process the scene.
Michael apparently interpreted my silence as evidence that I wasn't too upset about it and volunteered something to the effect of, "I used Daddy's screwdriver." At that point my brain went, "Ohhh....I get it now." (Inside my head a voice was still babbling, "Oh no, look. Look! Look what he did to the dollhouse. When? When did this happen? Wow!")
I took a deep breath and said, "First of all, wow Michael. That was a lot of really impressive screwdriver work. You have to be really, really good with a screwdriver to take all of that apart. But.... Well, some toys are take-apart toys. Toys like your crane truck, or your airplane, or your toolbench - those are take-apart toys. And some toys are stay-together toys. Some toys mommy and daddy work really hard to assemble and they are supposed to stay together and not ever be taken apart. Our dollhouse is a stay-together toy. From now on, we should only use screwdrivers to work on take-apart toys. You and Daddy are going to need to make a special project of reassembling this dollhouse later."
I felt pretty good about how I handled the situation. Michael is obviously really good with a screwdriver. I wonder if you can buy some sort of woodworking sets that involve assembling things (a simple dollhouse or birdhouse or car....) with wood and screws that we could get him that it would be all right for him to assemble and disassemble himself. I should look into it.