Monster's Inc. VHS has been stuck in the VCR for well over a year. It's not that we haven't needed it, it's the fact that we still have a rich collection of VHS movies that I paid good money for 15 years ago. Mostly Disney but there is also the stray "Wayne's World" (definitely pre-kids). In order to extract the highly regarded Monster's Inc., it was necessary to take the VCR apart only to find out the problem was electrical and the VCR was not salvageable.
Christmas has never been this good.
Th kids pulled apart every little piece and examined it extensively, discussing in great detail what they would do with the pieces. The five year old made plans to make a robot, the ten year old wondered how to make things explode. The 13 year old attached buttons to her face and giggled every time she pushed it and it clicked. The 15 year old laid on a chair and read a book.
For three days Scott and I dreamed of our children growing up and becoming engineers, inventors, Nobel Peace Prize recipients, (ignoring the End of the World Bomb). We patted ourselves on the back for 1) having such brilliant children and 2) having a brilliant idea of giving the old VCR to the children (although it was really the dad and not the mom).
Our bubble popped when the children lost interest one day. In an effort to stir up their creative juices once again, I held up pieces and made intelligent comments like, "Hey! Here's a little doo-hicky you could turn into a thingamabob!" Alas, the magic was lost. In frustration, I asked them what they learned from the experience.
"Nothing. It was just cool to see the VCR guts."