Today I had an hour and a half ‘bonding time’ with my son. He’s 7. He loves the idea of Legos. He loves what the Lego store does with legos. He loves what Tt Games does with the Lego Video Game franchises. In reality, the legos don’t build themselves into monumentally impressive beings.
I had a stroke of Pinterest-inspired genius one weekend a few months back. I made my kids a Lego table out of a cheap plastic chest of drawers we no longer used and a free piece of scrap pressboard from Home Depot. It was effective the first weekend I had it displayed in the middle of the living room. Once put into the corner of my son’s cozy room where little sister hands couldn’t mess it up, it became nearly obsolete.
I did not have Legos as a kid, neither did my brothers. We had food. We played with dirt, and our pets, and money went to food like spaghetti and canned sauce or chili. S.O.S. – if you do not know what this is, you are equal parts lucky and deprived at the same time. We almost always had bread, but you were never guaranteed more than butter to put on it.
Anyway, you get the jist. Basic necessities did not include packs of small blocks that would enrage and inspire equally. Because of this, the first big set we bought my son was sort of a joint adventure for he and I. He chose a space shuttle. My husband proceeded to nap on the couch while i emptied the various bags of plastic blocks all over our table. We got the instruction Bible out and dug in. Nearly 2 hours later and a few re-dos, we had one very impressive shuttle that i threatened to take away if my son so much as thought about taking one single lego off of. In my mind he was being allowed to play with my accomplishment. It wasn’t much of a fight because he knew damn well that thing was just a heap of nothing when not in the very distinctly precise order “we” put it into in the current form.
Cut to a month after and the thing was used for scrap parts in making towers and odd bits of transportation-ish vehicle-ish things. No biggie. The awe wears off after 24 hours.
So now we are about a year and change later and my son asks for “help” putting together the dump truck my brother got him for Christmas.
Yes, it’s August. Yes, it was a Christmas present given nearly 9 months ago. And??
We had seen a movie so the soda was freshly coursing through my veins. “Sure, honey, what the heck.” … before the caffeine crash hits.
We pulled out the lego case the remnants had been put into and dug out the ‘constructions’ as my son calls them. 🙂
I don’t know if one successful build made me smarter in how to read the instructions, or they just happened to dumb down the directions for this particular model, but we had to do zero re-dos. One shot wonder! I was impressed with myself! The only downside is the burning fingertips i now have from pulling apart the pieces my son had played with and snapped together. Those things form a super-glue type bond and the smaller the damned Lego, the stronger the invisible glue!
MY/our finished product:
The fact that I had trouble taking apart the two-pronged squares gave me zero hope for my fine motor challenged 7 year old to do this on his own. In fact, there have been a few days when he ventures near that Lego table and comes out a frustrated rubber-boned whining mess because he can’t pull apart the infinite bond the blocks create between themselves. I wish i could say i ‘tsk’d him and easily pried them apart, but no such luck.
How is it the legos manufactured get better. The instructions get easier and clearer. The sets get more and more inventive and imaginative, but the damn seal between them is no easier to break than when the Cavemen chipped and tinked away cement stones?
I can almost feel the keys beneath my fingertips as i type this ridiculousness. .. almost.
I suppose when all is said and done, they make up for all this pain when used correctly. As a booby trap: