Have you ever sat in a room while two young children scrambled through Lego boxes? It is loud! Not the bickering, but the scratching through looking for that perfect piece. And of course when one finds that perfect piece then the other one automatically needs it. Was in fact, thinking of just that piece. Unfortunately, my sewing area – I don’t have a dedicated room just yet – is adjacent to the youngest boy’s room where the Legos are stored so I have listened to the scratching and scrambling for years.
From the machine I will call out, “What is going on in there?” And the answer is usually something along the lines of, “I am looking for that headlight that went to the X-Plane I got three years ago for Christmas.” As they commence to rattle about again I am thinking, “How in the world can they remember the headlight from three years ago but can’t remember to pick up the wet towels after swimming?”
Our Lego collection was started about thirty years ago. For the first kid, I purchased the big Duplo sets in bright Pink. We had to put on the lime green stickers ourselves. The next kid got a HUGE bucket one year for Christmas and within a short period of time they were combining all sets to make bigger and bigger things. As children were added, Legos were added. Eventually we had the collections with the gold brick and silver bricks, multiple planes, trains, robots, buildings, aliens, space stations and all kinds of weird creations over the years. None have left our home.
Correction. There have been a few thrown out with an Unchristian word or two in the middle of a dark night. Those seemingly innocent pieces can be so dangerous to the unwary, adult foot.
About once a year I trot over to Lowe’s and purchase another large bucket with a snap-on lid. I hand it to the youngest and say, “All Legos MUST be in a bucket or else.” The youngest in the family always inherits the Lego collection, and currently they are scattered all over his floor. He fusses around and begins to pick them up. The teen saunters in to see what is going on and picks up a piece. Within minutes they are on the floor building some kind of city in some kind of galaxy that is recognizable only to them.
One fine day, earlier this summer, the youngest, the teen and the grand, came up to me and asked in sweet, innocent voices if they could float their Lego boats in the swimming pool. Unwittingly, I said yes because I was thinking they had made boats out of a few pieces and just wanted to see them float. They marched into the kitchen with HUGE creations that did not even remotely resemble boats to me and announced that they were going to take them to the pool.
“Uhhhh, NO. No, you are not taking all of those Legos to the pool.”
A general whine arose. “You said we could!”
“Those are not boats. Those are platforms with about a million Legos each.”
The teen tried his winningest smile, “They are big boats.”
I rolled my eyes. “Twenty pieces or less and you have to count them when you get out of the pool.”
They all began to talk at once and show me how these creations were really boats and I was so, so, so wrong. I held up my hand for silence and said, “Take it or leave it. Twenty pieces or less.”
Disgust spewed from their eyes, mouth, and actions. They marched back upstairs and scrambled around in the boxes some more. I could hear a low grumbling amidst the racket of the Legos. New designs were created and miraculously each boat had twenty pieces. They played in the pool for most of the afternoon with their floating boats.
When they finally came in they stopped in the kitchen and counted out the pieces for me and I thanked them for being willing to change designs. I reminded that that we often get so caught up in having the biggest that we often forget how much fun we can have with something smaller and more manageable. They smiled and trotted upstairs. I patted myself on the back for using the Lego situation as a good life lesson.
The next morning, before breakfast, they hit me up for twenty-five pieces per boat.