Friday, January 23, 2015

Legos & Legos & Legos

 In my most recent post, you saw the lego shaped candies that we have been using to encourage (not bribe!) Ben to use the toilet.  They are very desirable to him because he really looooves legos.  He had some of the big, babyish building blocks before with the huge connectors on top but he has discovered the real thing.  I think it started when he watched "The Lego Movie" one weekend this fall when we were at my parents' house and it was on HBO.  Then, my mom unearthed our old childhood lego and duplo stash from the attic.  This stash is a plastic Rubbermaid box filled to the brim with blocks.  A few intact sets remained put together but mostly they were all mixed into a crazy two foot deep pit of fun.  Of course, instead of the age appropriate duplos he gravitated toward the real choking hazard legos and all kinds of weird things started happening such as this:

He was allowed to bring a few small ones home in a sandwich bag and I have pocketed a few blocks several times to use as emergency car distractions.  He also obtained a small stack from his cousins when he visited them when we were in Texas.  And for Christmas, he received a few Duplo sets.
Legos have long been the bane of parents' existence, causing endless messiness and clutter, pain when stepped on, and general annoyance.  Nothing is more chilling than the clatter of hundreds of blocks cascading to the floor.  I recall an incident that happened way back in my childhood, when I was probably around five years old, where a large bucket of legos that my mom had just put out of sight were discovered dumped all over the floor and she demanded that someone take responsibility.  She was not happy about those blocks being dumped all over the floor.  I did not do it, and my sister denied it, and we suggested my brother did it but he was too small to reach the shelf.  I ended up getting blamed and my sister, who actually did it, was off the hook.  My mom was really ticked off about those blocks being dumped and now I know why.
But, regardless of how incompatible with a pleasant home environment legos are, there is no denying that they are a great toy that contributes to creativity, they are not loud, and they provide lots of entertainment for kids and a break for parents.  So we parents accept the legos along with stupid under the sea themed Sesame Street toddler adapters on our toilet seats, years of car seat shuffling in our vehicles, and the necessity of sweeping the kitchen floor four times every day (this doesn't mean I do it that often...)

Look at that focus!  Notice that there are small legos on the duplo base.  Filling those flat pieces with legos is a very popular activity for him.

Every night I load them back in their container even though I generally have the philosophy that putting away things that are used constantly (such as winter hats and gloves, favorite sippy cups, and bath toys) is a complete waste of time.  The only reason I do it is because I fear that if they are left out day after day they will spread all over the house.  And, I know Ben should help pick up but with legos he just ends up trying to play with them.  Most mornings I hear him running down the hall followed by the wonderful sound of this happening:

One night I pulled out he instructions and actually build what was intended with one of his sets so I could be sure that most of the blocks were accounted for.  It's a farm yard. 

Some animals are not shown, but commit this to memory because it will never be seen again.  Any time I start building one of these buildings Ben takes over and this happens:

But that is what they are for, right?  It's fun to see what he comes up with. 

To my dismay, Tessa also really enjoys the choking hazard sized legos.  I don't worry too much about it anymore since she has proven herself in this hazard filled house over the last few months and seems to know the difference between what is food and what is not.  But it's still unsettling.  The scene below is from this morning.  I'm sure I was helping Ben in the bathroom or something and she took the opportunity to climb on the chair and spill his bowl and destroy his lego creation. 

Yes, those are Fruit Loops.  My kids eat those awful, sugar filled, artificially dyed, little rings.  I actually read a click bait article this week that I saw on Facebook about the worst kids cereals.  I'm sure you know where I'm heading with this and I don't have to tell you which was the worst.  But don't worry, only about 20% of the loops actually end up in anyone's stomach.  Usually most of them end up spilled all over the place like this. 

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