childhood, parenting

Lego my Men

I’m blogging to you from the kitchen counter. I decided that it was better late than never, when it came to this post, so while I am keeping a half an eye on dinner, I’m writing this post on my tablet. We’re having pierogis and sloppy joes. Not, to my relief, sloppy joe sauce on pierogis, but they will share dinner plates. This is not a food post, however. This is about life, demands on time, and the weird way it affects your mind.

I could have written this morning, I had time. What I didn’t have was something to write about. Instead, I had an urgent household chores, and errands, and… Well, I looked up and it’s now. Late. My day had slipped through my fingers like water, something that has been happening more frequently in recent months. It’s the little things, like the Lego men in the living room.

My son, like most boys and girls his age, likes Legos. I gave him my Legos years ago, so he comes by it honestly. I try to supplement the Lego habit from time to time by adding more bits, and a while back came up with about twenty ‘dudes’ for him. They arrived in pieces, each character separately bagged, and man, there are some little pieces in there. It’s fun, though, he can put them together however he likes. He’s even decided he has enough to give some to a buddy who only had two Minifigures.

However, as fond as I am of Legos and his building creativity, I have limits. And one of them is leaving Legos all over the living room floor. Last night he put it off until late, and was finally told to just go to bed…. Parenting involves a lot of last-minute changes to plans laid out. Like do we make him clean as he was supposed to? Or do we lay down bedtime as a hard and fast limit, but more consequences lie in wait? Which is what happened. The Lego men waited until he got off the bus. And then, the reckoning.

It didn’t take him long. But because he had procrastinated, he lost out on plans made for today, and he had to do his job. While I checked on him and reminded him that he’d left it half undone. Maybe he’ll learn. But I’d bet on more Lego men lying in wait for him, forgotten with empty accusing eyes until the parents make him stop putting it off.

We have all done that. Procrastinated on things we knew had to be done, up until that moment where we knew that it was now, or never. Sort of like today’s blog post. But I have learned, with the thirty years of experience I have on my son, that it is better to do something quickly, before it becomes a mess. You have time to relax, then, and play a game or two. Well, that’s what he does. I evidently write blog posts in my spare minutes.

Time waits for no man. I can watch it slipping through my hands, while I stand there supervising the child-thing. It’s not lost, though. The lessons I can teach now will come back to the surface later. Even if there are more Lego men in my future (and I know there are) eventually there will be a young man who has learned the value of doing it now, and doing it right the first time so he doesn’t have to do it over and over… The reward for him might be more game time. For me, this time will have more lasting rewards.

But for this moment in time, I need to set the table. We have an odd meal in front of us. Tuesdays at this house are ‘kids choice’ dinners. Which gets… Interesting.