Mister Man loves LEGOS. He has more LEGOS than any one child – or three children, for that matter – might need, but there’s always something else that catches his eye. I don’t discourage his hobby, as he one day wants to be a LEGO Master Builder, and he’s pretty awesome at his building. He can put together sets faster than I would ever imagine, but he also has amazing creativity in building his own items.
And therein lies the problem. Once something is built, I can’t touch it, nor can anyone else. He will build a set, but it has to remain pristine. If something happens to it, he will repurpose the pieces to a new project he creates. And being a 10 year old boy, that of course happens more often than one might like.
This, of course, creates two major frustrations in my world. First, the incredibly expensive LEGO set that we purchased is no longer a LEGO set. Bits and pieces of it are being used in all sorts of other creations, leading to a ton of wasted money, as he now “can’t rebuild it, Mom!” And those new pieces that he’s created? No one can touch them other than him because he has them set up in all sorts of different scenes.
These scenes pop up everywhere. I’ve banned them from the family room after tripping over them while walking to the couch one too many times. And I’ve banned them from any tabletop in the house because they are not meant to be LEGO museums. There are times when I cannot walk into his bedroom to kiss him goodnight because I knock into (and break, setting off all sorts of drama) various LEGO scenes that he’s created. They fill the top of his dresser and his nightstand. I find them in the hallway. They are everywhere.
They are sacrosanct in his mind. Each one is set up just the way he wants, and they tend to be somewhat delicate. That means that all the boxes and bins I’ve invested in to house LEGOS are worthless because he doesn’t want to ruin any of his creations. Each one is special, and he’s convinced that he cannot recreate the building that he absolutely 100% must have were something to happen to it.
And so I do my best to walk around them carefully, not destroying or moving a single one – tough when the urge to dust strikes me. I’m not always successful, however, and there are days when I’m a bad mom and not supportive of his hobby. There are days when I simply grow tired of having to walk on eggshells through my own house. That’s when I pick them up and place them into bins or boxes to clear off floorspace and other surfaces he’s overtaken.
Sometimes he notices. Sometimes he’ll pitch a fit that some precious piece has broken or was destroyed or is missing. But as he gets older, he handles it better. He recognizes just a little bit that he can recreate his LEGOS, perhaps even into something more interesting. He sees that he can’t be selfish and take over every empty space with his creations.
I still lose the battle when it comes to the boxes, however. Every time I try to hide them in recycling, he discovers them and pulls them out in disgust. Fortunately, my husband is usually at work when this happens so I can lay the blame on him when Mister Man (or even Little Miss) expresses annoyance that their treasures have been so defiled. I just heave a sigh of relief that our recycling is clean.
So if you’ll excuse me, I have some death scenes to clean up. And four boxes to try to hide in recycling yet again.
This post is inspired by the book “The Opposite of Maybe” by Maddie Dawson in which Rosie Dawson finds herself alone and unexpectedly pregnant after her partner of 15 years moves across country with his teacup collection without her. This post is part of the From Left to Write book club where we write posts inspired by the book rather than traditional book reviews. You can see my review of “The Opposite of Maybe” on 5 Minutes for Books.