Inventions, Creations, Experiments

Porter Invents Something “Useful”

Porter is never short of ideas for contraptions, but they always lack that crucial element that would make them useful and thus marketable.  A wine cork holder for your bath tub is fun, but not essential.  Transforming the skateboard into a laundry basket mover is original, but all the ropes that had to be attached were time consuming and it’s not that far from the hall to the laundry room.  Creating a box that can hold hickory nuts and withstand heat is convenient if you feel compelled to heat your hickory nuts after picking them up from the driveway and prior to disposing of them, but the number of people who discard only heated nuts is quite small.

So I didn’t expect much when I heard banging and clattering coming from Porter’s room, followed by numerous trips around the house to gather rope.

“Mom, you’ve got to see my invention.  Key word: Got To,” he said.

“What did you make?”

“It’s a swinging bed.  In the summer I want to move it outside and it will be like a hammock.  Come see.”


Porter had dismantled the entire underneath part of his bunk beds and trussed the mattress to the upper bunk with rope.  I pushed the lower bed carefully, and it swayed back and forth.  The rest of the bed creaked.

After I tucked him in that night, Porter jumped out of the bed several times to expound upon the unique attributes he was discovering about his bed during its first test drive.

“This is a great bed in winter, too.  When I get in, it folds up around me like a hot dog bun, so it keeps me extra warm.  I don’t need as many pajamas or covers, and that saves natural resources.”

“That’s awesome, dude.  Get back in bed so Daddy and I can have some time to talk.”

“Hey, you know how it was creaking a lot before and that might keep some people up?  I put a sock under the rope that was creaking and now it’s quiet.  So it’s a peaceful way to sleep.”

“I could use some peace and quiet myself.  Go to bed and stay there.”

“I know you told me stay in bed, but I just had to come back and tell you that Pluto and Bamboo like the new bed.  See, panda bears are used to sleeping in trees, so they like to swing in bed at night.”

“I’m going to need a cage for panda bears and boys to make them stay in bed if you come in here one more time.”

“Hey, that would be cool to make, like, a jail with a swinging bed inside.”

The next afternoon he did.



Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Sweet Dreams


Don’t forget– the theme for this week’s Flashback Friday is “This Makes Me Giggle.”  If you want to participate, check out the guidelines here.  Then you can see last Friday’s version to see how it worked out.  We had a great time!


  • Kate

    He does indeed — taking apart something that works perfectly well is the true sign of an engineer.

    (Says the girl whose operations-engineer-boyfriend is downstairs currently taking apart an ikea desk trying to make it “better.”)

  • Annie

    Oh that’s classic…I remember my little brother used to do very similar things back in the day. Does Porter build with Legos or anything like that? My brother sure did, and we still have literally tens of thousands of pieces scattered around my parents’ house.

  • Jenny

    Must admit I cant figure out why the whole thing isnt collapsing!

    We had students to stay one summer and had bunk beds, before they left they thought it would be funny to undo the bolts on the top one. The next two students we had to stay were strapping 6 foot 14 year old boys, luckily the one who was sleeping on top got on first and the other wasnt in the bed underneath when it crashed down. What could have happened doesnt bear thinking about, now I know what the previous two were sniggering and sneering about when they left.

  • Loth

    That is impressive, in a slightly scary way. Oh and by the way – thanks for the recommendation of the Percy Jackson books. My older son is spending all his free time face-first in them, surfacing only to tell me how good they are and no, I am not allowed to read them when he’s finished!

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