Sights and Insights - The Missourian: Feature Stories

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Sights and Insights

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 5:32 pm

Pink Legos? Are you kidding me? I’ve recently been introduced to these feminine building blocks that our grandsons Miles and Reed won’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

For years, the boys have hauled out the gargantuan plastic tub of red, white, blue, black and bright yellow Legos we’ve accumulated, sets we have added to when they come to spend the night at our house.

It’s been interesting to see how the boys build with the Legos. Rather than keeping the sets in sets — segregating Indiana Jones and his buds from Star Wars characters and the masked man and Tonto, the boys combine all the blocks, making an immense hodgepodge of Lego soup they use to create models of ingenuity and imagination, cars, trucks, boats and buildings with the most unique characteristics.

Whenever they come to visit, Miles and Reed make a beeline for the basement, and dump the Lego container out on the old pine table that predates their births by decades. That table is strong enough to support both of them sitting on top as they build, lost in rapt concentration.

It’s quite a sight to see. At 11 and 9, I wonder how long the leggy boys will continue to be entertained by Legos. It will be a sad day when that time passes and when they no longer allow me to read picture books to them at night.

For our granddaughters, Avery, Phoebe and Parker, the building block passion may just be starting thanks in part to the Lego “Friends,” complete with hip teenagers like Stephanie, her teacher Ms. Stevens, and Matthew, the cute boy next door. The new, hip set gave our family some heartache last week when Parker came out for the day.

Parker is a 4-year-old pixie with a winsome personality and the looks of a comic-strip character. She’s an “I can do it myself” whiz in the kitchen, can measure and pour with the best of them, but hasn’t quite mastered cracking eggs. One yolk she released moved across the counter like a skater on ice, and slid down the cabinet in slow motion, before spreading onto the floor. Parker tried again and all was sunny-side up.

After we popped the trays of chocolate chip cookies in the oven and had lunch with Nana, my mom, it was time for the next activity, a rousing game of Old Maid. Parker won again, but still needs to be reminded to put on a poker face when she draws the ominous card nobody wants to end up holding.

The next activity was “Friends” Legos. That was my bright idea, and Mom and I suffered until I called in the expert, blockhead Sparky. It must be something in a male’s genes. They just have a marvelous gift for building things.

Not Mom, Parker or me. Though I had directions in hand with numbered steps, and the plastic bags designated for each section of “Heartlake High” also were numbered, I had to get Spark to help. Parker would have been in high school before we would have gotten the potty for the school bathroom put together.

Spark figured it out in a whiz, had it finished about the time Mom and I threw in the towel. Parker gave up even sooner, and resorted to tossing the little plastic basketball that came with the “Friends” through the hoop where it would instantly roll off the table and get lost on the floor.

Parker knows how to have fun. Too soon it was time to take her back to the city to meet her mom and dad. It was hard to pull Spark away from the Legos. He didn’t seem to mind that they were hot pink, pale yellow and bright purple — girly shades.

There’s a real man for you, secure in his masculinity. Miles and Reed have a few things they can still learn from PaPa.

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