Monday, April 09, 2007

child's play



So instead of writing workshop tonight I played Legos with my son. Remember Legos? If you were a boy, you probably designed and conjured battle scenes in which good triumphed over evil and the sound of war cries and buzzing artillery could be heard ricocheting off of the walls. If you were a girl, well, I don’t know…probably you weren’t the weirdo sort of girl I was.

My sister and I used to build mirror-image Lego families and then act out dysfunctional sagas. Legos in those days came only in red or black; I can’t recall who was who, but, as in checkers, we each had our own color. The two-button Legos were fashioned into babies, the three-pegged bricks of plastic into “kids,” and the largest Legos were the parents. We made them into bunnies. Think: Beatrix Potter meets the Sopranos.

The dad bunny Legos would have temper tantrums and slap the babies and the kids around if they didn’t behave. The mom Legos were sort of an after-thought. Often they weren’t even in the stories. My sister and I interacted the most with the kid Legos. We really had to stretch to convincingly anthropomorphize these critters—which is completely different than my son’s experience. My son, who was born seven months shy of the new millennium, where imagination takes a back seat to innovation. Today’s Legos have faces and modular plastic hair and grooved hands into which Lego spears may be clamped.

Carson’s room is littered with Lego war ships, planes and combat landing strips. Myriad shapes and menacing structures clot the floor necessitating tip-toe machinations to get to the dresser, closet or bed. Carson’s invitation to “play Legos” was really all about me watching him play with Legos while I built the structures he ordered me to build. (I’m old fashioned, I guess, I like dictator tendencies in my male offspring.) But, I found myself creating psychologically complex story lines as the evening wore on. The task-after-task-after got boring, so I fused together an evil ruler “W” and some henchmen. There was also Hippie Boy and Frudelsnapper—wrongfully imprisoned lads who were thought to be terrorists but were really slacker surfers. Not that I ventured too far into plot—heaven’s no! But maybe, in my passive-aggressive Mom for President way, I was stacking the deck in favor of circuitous drama over linear lock and load.

Anyway, I plan on attending writing workshop next week.

1 comment:

  1. Kayla3:52 AM

    Hey Suzy! I am laughing my head off at this lego description. I used to love star wars stuff which my mom and stepdad bought me- but my dad bought me all this barbie crap so I proceeded to play "star wars attacks barbie" complete with night lights lighting up the scene as action figures climbed over the plastic dreamhouse balcony. Needless to say, this disturbed my parents just a bit.

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