Take a 6-pack of root beer, a plastic bag, some aluminum foil, a ping pong ball, an old CD, a poker chip, thread, tape, wooden skewers, a clothes pin, 2 corks, some paperclips, a pin, a blue crayon, 2 birthday candles, a few rubber bands, a styrofoam plate, super glue, a paper cup and a handful of other assigned odds and ends and create a seaworthy vessel that is only the size of a bucket and can race across a mini sea. That was the challenge presented to Zach and his buddies K & R at the 6th Annual Root Beer Regatta.
Our night before the race building session was collaborated chaos rather than team engineering, and the little boat wasn't finished until the wee hours of the night when the children should have been snug in their beds.
The boat was dubbed "Double Trouble" and our team was called "Team Tie Dye".
I'd like to be able to report with pride about how graciously the kids cooperated and how well they handled competition. Um, but that would be a big fat lie. They squabbled. They pouted. They cried. They broke down completely when another boat crashed in to their boat and dragged it into the side of the pool. But in their defense, they're 4 and 5 year olds. They've never been in a competition before. And a big, mean, overly competitive papa set a bad tone when we won the first two heats and he started trash talking -- to our KIDS! That sent two of them scurrying and Zach into tears, again.
Daddy tried having a little chat with Z about sportsmanship and having fun.
And in the end he truly shone. He launched the boat each and every time all by himself (no moms and dads allowed at the starting line, just the judges plus his buddies got too overwhelmed to help launch the boat). He listened to directions, he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He looked so little up there by himself. But he did it!
And team Tie Dye took 3rd place overall!!!