Posted by: charityliz | August 7, 2011

sucker for legos

I remember playing legos as a kid, mostly with my brothers. Usually we approached the activity with the intent to create something from shear imagination, using any and all legos that had been collected in our lego box. No instructions needed; just imagination and dexterity.

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Yesterday, my two little neighbor kids came over to play. As usual, we had a few moments of small talk – How are you? Fine. Did you have fun on vacation? Yes.

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And then the kids get straight to the point: “We want to play.”

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“Great! I want to play too! What should we play?”

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My limited collection of games were just not that interesting to any of us on this particular occasion. So… the kids both decided they wanted to bring up some of their legos to my apartment and “play legos” together.

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 “OK! Sounds good to me,” as I thought about how therapeutic it would be to doodle around with some legos for a bit.

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 Then… enter a new box of legos with a very elaborate looking picture of a fire truck on the cover of the box. The kids opened the box and excitedly dumped all the contents onto my coffee table. SO many pieces! Then they confidently placed the instructions booklet in front of me, expecting for me to get us started.

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 “Oh wow. Instructions, huh? ….OK….let’s look at these.” I’m seriously overwhelmed at what seems to be a college-level blue print of a lego-engineered fire truck. I can’t even make sense of step one! All the while, my little 5 and 7 year old buddies are looking at me like I’m the smartest person they’ve ever known.

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After a bit of studying and trying to make sense of it all, I started to get the hang of it, being careful to include the kids in as many steps as possible, showing them how to group the pieces and which steps had to be completed when. They were so excited, paying close attention to each move, and eagerly snapping pieces in place ….at first. Then…slowly, but surely… their attention fizzled.

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An hour later, I’m hunkered down at my coffee table, determined to finish this stupid fire truck if it’s the last thing I do –meanwhile one kid is down the hall exploring my linen closet and the other kid is draped over one of my couches, groaning about how bored she is.

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“Now kids,” I tried to reason, “You were the ones who decided you wanted to play legos with me. Now you have to help me. Don’t you want to finish building this truck?” (No real response).

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And yet, I found myself absolutely sucked in and determined to finish. I realized it was no longer a group project and I could definitely quit without the kids caring at all…but I just can’t stand leaving a project half done. So for the next hour or so, I diligently continued building, while both kids popped in and out of the project at will. And of course, conveniently, they popped in for the last finale of steps (putting the stickers on the truck, snapping the wheels in place, and putting the lego man inside the fire truck.)

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 They beamed at the final product and proudly posed for a picture to commemorate all “their” hard work.

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Sigh. I’m such a sucker!

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Responses

  1. That’s so funny and true! Josh does all the Lego building in our house now… he has far surpassed my engineering abilities.

  2. Wow, Charity! I’m impressed!


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