Mitchell and I took a quick trip to Target and the Chef's Shop, ostensibly to exchange some skillets I got Chris for Christmas. The Target is in the same shopping center, and it was convenient to get a few things I needed. Also, it interested Mitchell in the outing, as he got to look at the toy section. Even though we just finished Christmas, he said he needed a toy. Well, there's need, and then there's NEED, of course, but I'm a softie.
Imaginext came to the rescue again, this time with their "Space" series. The little symbol in the corner of the box is a silhouette of Saturn... or a ringed planet, in any case. They have a launch platform and vehicles, some monsters, and several different robots. Mitchell picked out a robot, one that came with a man (of course, in the typical Imaginext dimensions) and a couple disks that the robot can shoot.
As we continued walking through Target, picking out laundry detergent and other normal things, Mitchell asked a lot of questions about robots. The question of the day was, "Momma, what's a robot?" He kept asking variations of the question all morning, and I had to consider whether I was answering it properly, because apparently I wasn't meeting some kind of expectation or providing sufficient clarity.
I started with, "It's a machine people make to do things for them." That didn't really seem to quite capture it, because a toaster meets that description, right? The next time, I described gears and electronics. Hmmm. He asked if they were metal. I said they could be made out of anything, but metal is good because it is strong, though one might use plastic...
The questioning went on through Target, the Chef's Shop, and on to Border's Books. As we walked through the lot into Borders, Mitchell asked, "Are there really robots in space?" That struck me as an odd leap in logic for a moment, and then I recalled that "Space" was the theme of the robot toy. My initial response was, "No." Well, not in the way he meant... Then, I had to tell myself to take the time to answer the question. After all, consider the potential...
So, I said, "There are a few. Did you know that Momma worked on a robot that went to Mars?" Honestly, sometimes being a mom is so cool.