Parenting Blog

How To Play: The LEGO Remote Control of Imagination

When I let it slip to my mom that I’ve been binge eating bananas (this is the kind of stuff we chat about), she’ll occasionally warn of “too much potassium, Jeffrey!”

There’s always a tipping point when something brilliant becomes something bad…or at least less brilliant. Imagination too. Ya wanna foster it, allow it to flourish, but you maybe don’t want your kid dressing like a fucking wizard when they are 22. Too much. Too much.

My girls are good at creative play. Real good. They can go for hours on end with nothing but a potato and a paper clip. They are the MacGyvers of imagination. But they’re grounded too. I think we’ve got a good mix, but I’ll be checking for amulets and shit as they progress through their teens. Can’t be too safe.

The Bear and Mouse spent their Sunday building LEGOs. All day long. It was a ramshackle mess of Friends, City, and regular bricks. Inspired by the lexiconical (made up word, see what I did there?) nonsense of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, the Bear built a Thingamajig and a DoozyWhatsit. Both were transportation based — she must still have travel on the brain — with the former being some kind of hovercraft with trees growing out of the center. The latter was constructed as a subway car/crayon deliver service, taking reds, blues, purples, and greens up to the Mouse at the kitchen table as she plowed through the 8,456 pages of make-up homework she still had to finish from the 3 1/2 days of 1st grade missed while we were away last week. Apparently, these were the most important days of lessons she’ll have until her thesis is due in grad school.

Just as the clock was about to strike midnight on their weekend, the Bear built a remote control which began as a “The one on your left, no your other left” (another Lishy Lou and Lucky Too! reference — you really should buy that album when it’s released on 10/1. It’s like a Lucille Ball old timey radio show, with snappy tunes and a lotta yucking it up. Good, good fun for all) before transforming into a LEGO face plate. Literally. Once it finally became a remote control and was placed in my hands, I repeatedly changed the channel and she and her sis would act out what was on the “TV.” I quickly switched between baseball, to a savage documentary about lions, to a Barcelona football match played apparently by a team of circus clowns, to an episode of Tickey Toc, to golf (quiet on the tee), to the Westminster dog show, to the very end of a Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries program. Thanks to the LEGO remote control of imagination and the lateness of the hour, they were hysterical performing their own whacked-out version of “Who’s Line Is It Anyway” for an audience of one. A very lucky one.

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