Posts Tagged Legos

If It Makes You Feel Any Better, You’re My Favorite Child.

Telling them that only works until the second one rolls around.  At that point you develop problems.
(No, I don’t have kids.  Or kid.)

I’ve been fortunate enough to land a few Lego sets over the last couple years, having received them from a friend, my brother, and my sister-in-law.  Each one has been unwrapped with the mental equivalent of “Legos?  I love Legos!  I used to have so many of…” as the realization sets in.

And then I understand why I am never allowing a 14-year-old to make major decisions for me again.
I’m sure there are lots of reasonable 14-year-olds out there.  I was not one of them.  (14 year-old me sold them all.)

So a couple of months ago I house/horse sat for a family from church, one whose house just happened to have a whole pile of fresh plastic pieces ripe for construction.  “Have at them!” she (the mom of the household) said.  “The grandkids will love it if you put the sets together!” she said.  It’s possible.

So out of the goodness of our hearts, a very good friend (who was over to help) and I threw together a collection of starships, bases, armored vehicles and a strange assortment of boats.  Naturally we both instantly bonded to our creations.  Sadly, unlike 14-year-old me, the people I was sitting for are not the type to do such irrational things as sell their Legos.  Curses, foiled again.  Such are life’s torments.  Oh well.

Anyway, all of this started the gears whirring in my head again.  What will happen if I have children and inevitably buy them the same items I was stupid enough to sell?

If these kids are anything like me, they’ll build a lot.  And they’ll want to use the cool-looking pieces to make their creations the best they can possibly be.  Colorful lasery bits, maybe some missiles, sleek black angular wings.  Sure, you can build a spaceship using random handfuls of yellow and black and white and red and grey and blue and the like, but color soup is hardly aesthetically pleasing.  And you certainly won’t win space battles without weapons.
So if they’re anything like me, the good pieces will disappear.  And if these kids are anything like your average four-year-old, the results of their efforts will be less than spectacular.

And there we find the problem.  What kind of fiend would cannibalize the pieces off of his kids’ stuff?

Answer: Probably not me.  But I would have a very hard time not muttering out “not really” when they jump onto the chair in front of me and say “Daddy, wookat the ship I made!  Isn’t it pretty!” because I have lost my ability to lie convincingly.   Moreso when I wanted those missiles.

“Whatever that is looks like a walrus with landing struts.”  “If you tried to fly it, the crew would die a quick death because you haven’t given it walls,” are things that I most likely would not say.  “I still love you, but you should probably stick to terrorizing  your mother and I with inane children’s songs.”

I don’t understand how parents can keep a straight face while commending their kids for a drawing of a sausage with lazy eye.  That right there is the definition of grading on a curve.  (The others being graded on said curve are too young to understand anyway)  It’s relativism at its most insidious, folks.

But at the same time, if I were to follow my less-than-socially-acceptable instincts, and inform the little people that ugly blob ships and sausages with ocular defects are not in high demand, the kids would go through life (wrongly) convinced that they have no skill.  (Unless they started out as some kind of toy or art savants.  That would be cool, and I would shower them with compliments.)

My stock answer will always be: “Keep at it, one day you’ll be really good.”

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