Yesterday afternoon while Scott was playing the XBox, Robby brought me the Lego tank kit that Santa had left for him. He cocked his sweet little head and asked me if I would help him build it. Reminding me that we can do anything with teamwork, I agreed to the project.
hate Legos! I am not able to look at a shape and break it down into a
series of small squares and rectangles. For me, Legos are little
colorful plastic squares of frustration. To add insult to injury, they
really hurt when I step on one in the middle of the night!
I don't enjoy working with the blocks, I do it because Robby loves it.
He is able to sit and create for hours, coming up with structures that I
could never imagine. He is pretty good at freestyle building but has a
lot of difficulty following the directions that accompany sets. He is
only six, so his Lego instruction confusion is understandable. I am
thirty something, and my inability to comprehend the schematic is
Determined to demonstrate that following the directions
in order and carefully completing each step without becoming frustrated
will yield positive results, I sat down in the middle of the our living
room and prepared for my Lego purgatory. Robby and I sorted all of the
pieces by size and shape before starting and we talked about the
importance of patience. I unfolded the directions, took a deep breath,
and we began.
Three and a half hours later our tank was complete.
Yes, it took me that long to build a project that (according to the
box) should be completed by a five year old. The stupid tank kept
falling apart in my hands each time I tried to attach the gun (the final
step). I had to start back on step 3 (out of 15 steps) on four separate
occasions; each time Robby was there to encourage me and to "help" me
decipher the ridiculous Lego schematic.
I was about ready to
throw it out the sliding glass door and admit defeat when Robby pointed
out the weak spot of our model. I forgot to place one stupid Lego on the
base. One little green brick had stymied our entire project and cost me
We rebuilt the tank one final time, being sure
to include the previously missing block. This time everything stuck and
we were able to finish the tank. I'm fairly sure I was more excited when
we were finally done. I thought that he would admire our handiwork or
at least play with it for a few minutes. In a rather anticlimactic move,
he said, "Well, that took a long time" before putting it into his Lego
box and switching gears to play with his remote controlled helicopter.
enthusiasm was underwhelming. I, however, am considering sealing the
tank in acrylic and keeping it forever because you can be certain I will
not be building it again!