“The arrow and dino mix is just right.” said the 7-year-old boy to his older sister. “There are meat-eaters, like Tyrannosaurus Rex, and this guy, Deinonychus, on one side, and there are plant-eaters, like Ankylosaurus and Styracosaurus, on the other side. Then I drew some arrows on the front!”
“And you expect to go to the North Pole in that?” asked his sister. She laughed at her brother, who had told her earlier in the afternoon that he was going to build a sleigh by himself and go to ask Santa for a puppy. So far as she could see, he’d taped several plastic dinosaurs to a box. Some weren’t even facing forward.
“Plus it’s got lots of crust!” continued the boy. The girl looked inside the box. Sure enough there was a small pile of bread off the edge of her brother’s lunch sandwich. She couldn’t figure it out. “What’s the crust for?” she asked. “You know, to go faster!” he replied. She understood now. “Oh. You mean ‘thrust’,” she corrected.
“Let me show you this other thing!” he said, grabbing her sleeve. His sister was getting annoyed. “No. Let go of me! Stop pestering me! I have stuff to do.” she said. “But let me show you the landing gear!” he tugged a little harder, stretching her sweater.
She’d had enough. “Now you wrecked my shirt! You’re not going to go anywhere in that. It’s a box! You’re so stupid! And it’s not ‘arrow and dino mix’ it’s ‘aerodynamics.’ You don’t even know what that means! And you’re not going to get a puppy, either, I know what mom got you.” She stomped off while her brother sat back. He looked at his box.
He went back to work while his sister watched from the other room. He glued some cardboard wings onto the side and the put some pillows in to sit on. Every so often he would go to his room and come back with something else to add. It was getting very elaborate. After awhile she came back.
“Why is making this dumb sleigh so important to you?” she asked him. “Because I need to ask Santa for a puppy!” he said. “But I told you, I know what you’re getting. You’re not getting a puppy,” she told him. “I know,” he said, “I already found my present in the closet. But I don’t have enough allowance to buy you a puppy so I have to ask Santa.”
The girl was surprised. “You mean the puppy is for me?” “Yeah.” said the boy. “I wanted to get you something really nice, but I only have eight dollars.” She hugged him. “You don’t have to get me a puppy. Any anyway, I don’t know if mom would like that. But I can totally help you finish your sleigh!”
They spent the rest of the afternoon building one sweet sleigh. It had flashlights for engines, and the wings weren’t quite the same size, but once they put it on the skateboards it moved pretty good.