Stepping on Lego

Activity Being Avoided: taxes
Music In My Head: Heart Like a Wheel – Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Tea Being Drunk: a chocolate-berry thing from Teavana (I forget the name and am too lazy to get up and walk to the kitchen)
Book Being Read: The Navigator – Clive Cussler (I hate Independent Novel Study time)

My daughter is coming home for the summer.  While I have by no means begun channeling Martha Stewart, I have started sorting through the things in the guest room that could be put elsewhere–like in the garbage.  If you recall, I usurped The Swomp last fall (having unSwomped it) so I do feel as though I should offer her a little space to do her own thing.  Just a little, though.

I keep a small collection of toys for visiting children, and I’d stuffed these, along with my kids’ old Lego, in the guest room.  While I was moving the Lego bin, I realised that the contents were such that I probably wouldn’t let young children go near it.  I don’t think I’ve ever washed the Lego–so I washed it.

Now why, you ask, would I want you to read a blog about washing Lego?  A nostalgic maternal trip: those connections that life makes for us.  The washing part really wasn’t all that exciting, but the added bonuses were noteworthy–yes, bonuses to Lego washing:

  1. Pieces Stuck Together: it was obvious what the bricks that were still attached had once been: boats, cars, beds, spacecraft of varying shapes and purposes.  My kids rarely built just one thing: Lego was a rainy-day activity where the whole living room was transformed into a place where evil and good held their customary battle.  Sometimes the Lego world oozed out into the hallway as it was required for a runway/race track/catwalk/emergency hospital/suburbia.  My poor lambs were deprived of Lego sets; their Lego arrived in clear plastic bags (bought at a second-hand store at $5 for 2 kilos) and therefore demanded creativity rather than instruction booklets.  Sure, there were lots of Star Wars characters, but Darth Vader had pink cradle rockers for feet.  I was tempted to keep some of them together, but I don’t want to sway my little nephews’ and nieces’ imaginations.
  2. Non-Lego Additions: Playmobile, Tente, things from McDonald’s Happy meals, a small silver Roswellian space alien, toy cars, a scorpion encased in plastic, some small spoons that I honestly don’t remember disappearing from the kitchen, pieces from the Monopoly game, coins, wooden popsicle sticks, chunks of dried playdough that looked like they had once been attached, and a toy tiger.  In a Lego world, one uses the available resources.  Something from nothing.
  3. Cat Fur: and perhaps some guinea pig fur, or hamster or rat or… no, I think those are all the furry pets we had during the Lego years.  The cats were always part of the Lego world, though sometimes they only played Godzilla.  In particular, there was some very long, silky white fur; said fur must have belonged to Daniel, a disagreeable, nasty Turkish Van who came to live with us when his first family had a baby.  We think Daniel had been abused, and it took him a long, long time to learn to trust people (in fact, he never really learned to like anyone, but I could cook his liver for him so I was persona demi-grata); however, he always wanted to be in the middle of things.  Whenever the kids were doing their schoolwork or drawing things or playing, Daniel wanted to be in the room.  As for the other animals, well, sometimes the rats needed carrying-cases.
  4. The Art: have you ever filled a bathtub with Lego?  Great colours.  Give it a try.  And swishing it around is like going to the Science Centre.

The clean Lego air-dried on towels on the guest-room floor.  I walked on it, of course; my body still reacts automatically to the pain, subconsciously acknowledging it as non-life-threatening and shifting the weight to the other foot.  The current cats (not having been around during the years where Lego on the floor was a constant) skittered it around.  I’m gonna have to clean it all out from under the radiator, just like I did ten years ago.

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