On Labor Day weekend the ceiling in our bedroom began dripping water in the wee hours of the morning, our three-year-old hot water heater spewed its contents on the hardwood flooring and into the bedroom closet and my right knee declared it wasn’t up to the task of pulling weeds and threw me to the ground in a fit of pique. On Tuesday morning, Jet’s smiling face brightened our outlook until the vacuum decided to join the fray and gave up the ghost as well.
With screwdriver in hand, I attempted to open the housing to check the vacuum cleaner belt. It wouldn’t budge. Papa tried next with no better success. “Can I try?” Jet asked.
“Sure, go ahead.” She couldn’t do any worse. The look on her face as I placed a genuine, grown-up screwdriver in her hand was priceless. That tool was clearly better than anything I could have given her. Jet “worked” on the housing while her Papa and I discussed our options.
We had just about decided to give up on the idea of home repair when Jet called out, “Papa! I almost have it! I think if we work together we can do it.”
We turned to her in astonishment. Papa said he was willing to give it a try. Jet had observed that overly tight plastic latches were holding the housing together and that neither her Papa or I had the strength to open one of them far enough to remove the case. She had wedged her screwdriver between the latch and the housing. “You put your screwdriver in too Papa and we can do it together!”
Papa followed her directions and the housing opened. “Jet! How did you know what to do?”
“I looked at it and I thought about it and I thought what might work and it did!”
“It certainly did! I’m so proud of you! You did a wonderful job thinking about that!”
“What are you going to do now, Grandma?”
“Well, I’m looking to see if the belt is broken… but it’s not. So, I really don’t know what could be wrong with it. It’s very dirty though, and has hair wrapped around the roller, so maybe we should clean off some of the dirt and hair to see if that helps.”
“Wait! These screws shouldn’t be on the floor Grandma! I’m going to pick them up and put them on the table so they don’t get lost or hurt anyone.”
“Good idea! I think maybe we need some wipes. Can you get some?” Jet ran to get wipes and we both cleaned the dog hair and debris from the agitator area. “Now we need to put it back together. I let Jet insert the screws and turn them and I tightened them the rest of the way. I pressed the reset button. “Well, time to see if it worked.” We plugged in the vacuum and moved the switch. The machine roared to life and pulled at the carpet. Loudly.
Success! My granddaughter has not only mechanical abilities but awesome problem-solving skills! Happy dance!