My living room resembles the aftermath of an explosion at a plastics factory. Little tiny yellow, black and red pieces lay scattered about the living room floor. In the midst of the destruction, two children squabble over the proper way to assemble a three-story house, while another child wails for me to help find a missing bus window.
Welcome to two weeks after Christmas. Where it appears that in a fit of holiday insanity, I purchased not one, but two (yes two) sets of Legos for the children. I say appears, because my memories from the time are a little fuzzy. I remember going into a toy store and after that, it's a big blank.
Clearly, I was not in my right mind because when I spied the Legos on the shelf I pictured the children happily assembling the Legos without assistance from me.
In fact, in my little fantasy not only did the children manage to build the entire Lego town without my help but also they refrained from thumping each other on the head and calling each other names.
Still, I figured Legos would be the perfect toy, even if the kids did need some help.
Now, as I hunt for a miniscule red square with three tiny circles on the top among hundreds of other red pieces, some with two circles on the top, some with four, but not the elusive three-circles I admit to having my doubts.
I suspect that 399 of the 600 Lego pieces are presently residing in my vacuum cleaner, under the couch or perhaps even in the cat, making completion of any project impossible. Yet, here I am searching for that elusive piece, trying not to get frustrated after all; it is my own damn fault.
It's just that my kids are creative and need an outlet for their, for lack of better word, enthusiasm.
They are extremely imaginative and like to have those realistic touches, like last time they played kitchen and used ½ a bottle of dish soap as batter. You'd be surprised how thick dish soap becomes after a kid whisks it for 20 minutes. The dishes required two washings to remove the coat of "batter".
With this in mind, you can imagine what happens when they decide to build things. The Legos, I reasoned would allow them to do their building without pilfering my stuff for building supplies.
At first, it went just as I imagined, the children worked tirelessly on Christmas day with their very patient and by now crossed-eyed dad to assemble the pizza shop and two story yellow Lego house-complete with satellite dish and BBQ.
Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the kids to decide that they could in fact; build something much, much better than the house in the diagram. Then they ripped all the kits apart and began building one of their own design.
Ah, but see this is where the trouble begins. There are three cooks stirring this Lego pot. Imagine an architect arguing with a high maintenance client about installing a sauna on the roof and you have a sense of the discussions happening in my living room.
It does keep them occupied, which allows me time to empty the canister of the vacuum looking for the red piece with the three circles on the top.
Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.
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