Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lego my Legos...

We're not really what you'd call "Lego" people. We've never been to Legoland, we don't have Lego models on our mantel & Husband is still twitching over the 1500+ piece faux-Lego police station set I purchased for Ethan during an Ambien-fueled Black Friday 2am in-store ToysRUs purchase two years ago.

All those tiny pieces. Left all over the floor waiting to bite the arches of my feet in the middle of the night. Who needs it? And yes, I totally get that the hopping around on one foot and cursing has way more to do with the lax toy-clean-up policy in our household, but let's not get into a "legos don't hurt people; people hurt people," argument, mkay? Legos effing hurt when you step on them.

And whether its his age, or his lack of attention span, the vast majority of Lego projects started by Ethan are completed by Husband, me, or one of Ethan's older, more Lego enthusiastic friends.

So while we have quite a few sets of Legos, they tend to sit in little plastic storage boxes for the most part. Perhaps some day we'll bust them open with more frequency & build us some crazy Lego towns, but for now, unless they are a Star Wars Lego figurine (when did Lego co-opt Star Wars, by the way?), they aren't really our favorite.

Or at least they weren't until this past weekend. With some of our aforementioned Lego enthusiastic friends, we attended a Lego exhibit in town People take their Lego shit seriously.

Exhibit A: Look at the sheer volume of people. This is just one corner of the 2-3 ballrooms that were opened up for the exhibit. People were lined up 3 and 4 rows deep to get a peek at the Lego Death Star.

Exhibit B: Legos & History: Double Threat. A whole bevy of historical tableaus constructed of Legos. For the history buff who can't quite seem to move out of mom's basement. In between the The WWII tank scene & the Roman Colliseum, please note the scene entitled "Nam River Rescue." Because nothing captures the ravages of war like little plastic VC. Actually, really, the swath of destruction and human cruelty in these displays is really staggering, given they are constructed from Legos. Note that the Colliseum kit comes complete with caged lion ready to rip some unfortunate gladiator to shreds for the entertainment and bloodlust of the Lego crowd.

Exhibit C: Just to prove you can totally be into Legos & still keep your street punk cred.

Legos are badass.

Exhibit D: Cellar-dwelling artistes not to be outdone by cellar-dwelling history buffs--yes, that middle picture is a Lego version of Van Gogh's self-portrait. I just...I don't....what???!!!:

Exhibit E: The Fear. Note the expression on Husband's face in these pictures. This is not a man who is hoping said exhibit sparks a love of the Lego in his child's heart. This is a man seeing his weekend's swallowed whole by Lego construction. He's considering running, screaming from the room like his hair is on fire....

In this picture, he's glossed over completely & shut down, brain short-circuited & overloaded by the idea that his future could be overrun by tiny little pieces of plastic. He could be searching for airfare information on his phone in this picture, planning his escape to some country where Legos are outlawed. Does that country exist?

Exhibit F: Just some randoms that made me giggle....

the only thing sillier than the Weener-mobile is the Lego Weener-mobile...

It aint' easy being made of green Legos...

Hi, Lego Darwin....

This one was entitled "meditation." Please note that the meditator seems to have an automatic weapon draped across his lotus'd legs. Peaceful.

Now that I've offended all Lego enthusiasts everywhere (as if more than 2 people are reading this anyway), take comfort in the realization that we mock what we don't understand. I'm just jealous. That's right.... :-)

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Mr. I'll Meet My Milestones When I'm Damn Good & Ready struck again yesterday when he, out of the blue, right before dusk, decided to tell me that he knew how to ride a bike & wanted to show me.


Ethan got his big boy bike almost two years ago, a 4th birthday present from my parents.

and he was over the moon about it, as long as it had the training wheels securely in place... so. (and how cute is that face he's making? sigh)

Then came the "strider" bike, the one with no pedals. The bike we paid for that, had we thought for even a second, we would have realized we could have made out of the big boy bike we already had by simply taking. off. the. pedals.


But anyway, he loved that damn strider bike and learned how to balance like a pro on it. Well, until this happened:

And then the strider bike kind of lost its appeal for a while. What with the split-to-the-bone chin injury and all.

He'd been back on & off the strider bike for a bit, while the big boy bike gathered dust (and likely black widow spider eggs--remind me to hose that sucker off) in the garage. Husband & I were not sure when the transition would happen, but it hardly seemed worth the fight--we both agreed that he was not likely to be toodling around on a pedal-less bike in college, so whatever. Pick and choose the battles. Deep breaths & all that.

So I was surprised yesterday when Ethan abruptly looked up from his coloring book (all Star Wars, all the time) and announced that he had something to show me outside. "I can ride a bike. With the pedals. Want to see?"

Okay. We dug the big boy bike out of the garage, strapped the helmet on and, lo & behold, without much wobbling at all & very little holding on the back of the bike to help him steady, off he went.


Where was the entire weekend of falling down & getting back up? Of breaking our back hunched over holding onto the seat of the bike while he wobbled down the driveway? What happened to the confusing trust issues of "when do I let go of the bike & let him do it himself? Do I tell him I'm letting go or will that make him anxious? I should just let go & hope he doesn't fall, because if he falls after I let him go, he's going to totally blame me for that & never be able to have a functional relationship with a woman in his life. I should just let his father teach him how to ride a bike," type stuff?

True, I did help him up once after he slow-motion keeled over into a neighbor's shrub, and held the back of the bike to help him regain some confidence. But he clearly knew exactly what he was doing from the word "go" and needed no real assistance. Yet another example of Ethan's watch & learn & then do-when-I-know-I-can-do-it approach to life. Crawling? Potty-training? Swimming? Sleeping? And now bike riding. In his own time & his own way. We've learned to just trust him when he says he's not ready for something & we sit back and wait. Eventually he always finds his way to whatever it is, and then its really his.

After showing me what he could do, he pleaded to go down the street to the school yard so he could practice with more space. Hard to say no to that on a gorgeous day & given his level of enthusiasm, so we biked (well, he did--my bike *might* be covered in black widow spider eggs, too.) to the school yard and off he went...

On our way back from the school yard, Ethan informed me that pretty soon, he'd be able to trade in his bike for a motorcycle. Um. Nice try.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Ethan Glitter....

So Ethan went to a birthday party yesterday for one of his oldest girl friends. It *might* have been at a girlie make over place. And he *might* have been the only boy there. But he had a blast and the make over girls did an awesome job at transforming him into a glittery rock star--

Being a bit old school myself, I wasn't so pleased with the headset mic--with that on he looks more like a phone operator than a rock star, but I guess we live in a world where Justin Bieber is for better or worse, relevant, so "rock star" headset mic it is.

That was a whole lot of glitter. And whoever said that glitter is the herpes of the craft world because once you get it, you can never get rid of it? is right. Once the face paint under the glitter started to crackle and Ethan complained of the itchiness, we put Operation Futile Attempt to Wash Off Glitter into place. Twenty cotton balls and almost a whole bottle of baby oil later, the face paint was gone, and while some of the glitter had become one with the cotton balls, much of it was simply smeared out of its neat star formation and sparkling all over Ethan's face. Shiny!

And then there was finding all the bobbie pins in his hair and washing out the glittery red, silver and blue hairspray. Apparently there had been an attempt to faux-hawk his hair up which failed and led to this faux-cornrow look instead. We decided the only way to keep the colored hairspray and glitter from washing all over his whole body was to kick it old school and lay him down on the kitchen counter, using the kitchen sink to wash his hair.

There was a lot of glitter in my sink. My apologies to anyone who eats at my home any time in the next few years. No matter how much I scrub, you will surely end up with some glitter on your plates and/or utensil, and therefore in your food and likely your digestive tract. I'm sorry to be be-dazzling your intestines.

When the majority of the glitter & paint was out of his hair (and he had stopped screaming about how much he hated having his hair washed in the sink), I chased him around with a towel, not letting him sit on furniture without his hair wrapped up because there were still red and blue patches in it.

An evening bath and hair washing later, it seems as though *most* of the glitter and hairspray was gone. Most.

Last night, when I went in to check on him while he slept, I couldn't help but smile at the few little flecks sparkling on his nose in the glow of the nightlight.