TBT: Breakfast at Lego-land. Table for Two

Yes, I know this picture isn't exactly a throw back.

But it really should be.

And I'll tell you why;

Christmas 2011 my brother got my son this beautiful, massive Lego set. There isn't a kid alive who doesn't like Legos, just as there isn't a parent alive without scars on the bottoms of their feet.

Now a curious thing happens with Lego sets come birthdays and christmas. My son was born with three sets of grandparents, a plethera of aunts and uncles, and a host of children in the cul-de-sac. So when it's time to open presents, my wife and I have become masters of toy organization. There are the "I need to play with this now!" kind of toys, the "We're gonna have fun with this in a few minutes" kind of toys, and the "This is not the time or place to pop 3,672 little plastic pieces out of their bags, Oh look, Cake!, Lemme just put this box in the car." kind of toys.

Guess which pile the Legos head for?

And as I said, this was a beautiful massive Lego set.

So it didn't fall under the later category of "I'm bored" or "What should I do in the seven minutes before soccer practice.

This was a rainy-day Lego set.

But here's the thing: It never rained that year.

Sure there might have been some drizzle. The might have been like six or maybe even seven dark looking clouds, but 2011 took us right into the drought and beyond.

And because this massive beautiful Lego set was in a perfectly rectangular box, it stored very comfortably in the toy closet of no return.

Now don't get me wrong. The Closet of No Return isn't exactly on the other side of the river Styxx. About four times a year my wife, realizing that she can't handle another day without being able to slide the closet shut, will do a massive reorganization/donation/bon fire with all the old and forgotten toys.

And each time she has done this, she has pulled out this beautiful massive Lego set and stared at it for probably at least like eight minutes, tryng to figure out the most ideal time to break it out and let the boy get his play on.

But it never rains.

And although the box clearly says it's for ages 8-14, such a suggestion is a lie. This was going to require some adult supervision, at least until the build is finished. Once the build is done, the kid can do whatever he wants with the pieces. That is the way of the world.

But if this thing requires adult supervision, then it's probably going to require a time investment, and Daddy can be a bit of a prick when it comes to unscheduled time investment.

Me, I'm daddy.

So I was surprised to see this box open and spread out on the dining room table as I made my way from the bathroom to wherever it is we keep the coffee pot.

"What the hell?" said prick daddy.

"Calvin wanted to play Legos this morning." she said.

"Of course he did." said prick daddy as he began microwaving his blackbean and spinach fritata.

"I thought you two could have fun doing this today." she said.

"Of course you did." said prick daddy as he grabbed the sriracha sauce out of the fridge, his fritata out of the microwave, and sat down to blindly eat his breakfast, listening closely for the coffee pot to finish gurgling.

"That looks good." she said.

"It is. Would you like some?" said a slightly softened version of prick daddy.

"No I already had a bagel." she said as she wandered off to do the kinds of things girls do when they're getting ready for work and nothing fits them.

So slightly softened prick daddy ate his meal and watched his son diligently putting together what would turn out to be the body of a four headed dragon.

And then something happened;

Slightly softened prick daddy got a little jealous. And he got a little nostalgic. And he remembered every movie ever where prick daddies finally come to understand that the joy in life isn't in money or cars or high class hookers, it's in spending gobs of time doing eight year old things with eight year old kids, preferably ralated to you.

And, as I said, this was a beautiful massive Lego set.

And my wife straight up told me to take the day off from writing and play with your son, god-dammit!

Who am I to argue?

But then another thing happened.

Completely softened prick daddy suddenly became very worried that this might be one of those moments where eight year old boy wants to test his mad skills and has no intention of letting prick daddy muscle in on his territory.

Prick Daddy felt very sad about that possibility, but he wasn't going to let his guard down so quickly.

"So . . . kiddo . . . would you, uh, would you like to put this together all by yourself, or, um, would you like it if I helped?" I asked.

Apparently, asking my son to let me play with his Legos is exactly like being in highschool and trying to ask a girl out on a date.

I could honestly feel zits growing in places zits haven't grown for over twenty years.

"You don't have to help me." he said.

OMG he was trying to let me down easy.

"You should do what you want." he said not looking up. 

Is this some sort of code?

Long pause.

"I just think it would be funner if you helped." he finished.

Awe Heels Yeah!

I grabbed an instruction booklet (there were three), a fat bag full of random plastic fun-ness, and dug in.

Now, modern Legos are a bit mystifying.

There are a lot more specialized pieces than I'd ever seen before. Pieces that would have made me wet my pants with glee three decades ago. We didn't have snake teeth or marble firing dragon heads.

We had, like, blue, and yellow, and square, and you had to be extremely careful when putting together two thin rectangles of the same size, because you were never going to be able to get them apart again.

And there are a lot of little pieces. I mean little.

And there is a lot of manual dexterity involved and sometimes the pieces don't slide in the way they're supposed to slide in (Calvin's fingers acutally slipped at one point and he got a nice little gash on his thumb).

But complexity and potential blood-letting aside.

A morning with my son and a beautiful massive Lego set is a morning well spent.

Even if it should have happened years ago. 

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