Friday, February 11, 2011

My love/hate relationship...with Legos

Here are some facts which you may already know about me, and which will help you to better understand the rest of this post:

1. I am a slightly obsessive neatnik.

2. I love order, despise chaos, and fight clutter everywhere I go.

3. I might be slightly weird.

3. I have a young son.

4. The young son has amassed an impressive collection of Legos.

Legos are awesome. I had them when I was a kid. They inspire creativity and flexibility in thought. They teach design and also give ample opportunities for re-design; they encourage children to explore their engineering tendencies, and they nurture the need to build stuff. They might even help kids develop a better understanding of spatial relationships.

Let's not forget, too, that Legos make a splendid gift for a little boy. They're the fail-safe idea, the sure-to-go-over-well item. Even duplicate sets don't really pose any problems, because everyone knows that after the initial construction of the prescribed toy, all those carefully assembled blocks will be torn apart and re-used over and over again, never in the same way twice.

But it's the dead of winter, the temperatures have been downright bitter, and we've spent way more time indoors than I would like. Which means that the Legos have barely had time to rest in their big plastic bin before some hand has been riffling through them roughly, searching for just the right piece.

Maybe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and maybe I've been experiencing some PMS moments worsened by little daylight and even less fresh air. Maybe. All I know is that lately, the sound of Legos, and the sight of them filling the living room floor, is enough to make me want to run away and hide somewhere. Honestly, it's mostly the noise they make. When the Legos are still, they're silent—but they're rarely still. They're usually being moved quickly and often, which means they're exceptionally loud and unsettling to a freaky person such as me. I can handle the mess, because we pick up the worst of it and store it at night, but that rattling sound of brittle plastic being raked repeatedly against more brittle plastic... sometimes, I can barely endure it.

Please don't think I am too strange. Some days, I am the one responsible for that very sound as I'm poring through the piles of blocks, searching for tiny tools or miniature propellers or such. Then, I hardly notice the noise because I am so involved in the search. Other days, I'm completely immersed in some other activity and immune to that annoying racket.

And then, there are the times of which I am speaking right now.

Can I get an Amen, Sister?

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