It's the middle of the night. Ben's had a nightmare, and he's crying out to me. I rush to his aid in the dark, and BAM, I step on a lego. The grooves and edges cut into the bottom of my foot. "I fucking HATE legos," I mutter to myself, as I kick the brightly colored rectangle out of my path.
Often derided, never respected, the Lego has never been paid its dues. I'm here to say that I have gained a new understanding of Legos this week. And I want to share that understanding with you.
The other morning, my windshield was frozen over with ice. As I am from Southern California, I rarely face this dilemma, and, as you might imagine, I don't keep an ice scraper handy. But I had to do something--my students expected me to be standing in front of the class in forty minutes, Ben was already strapped into the carseat, and I was shivering with cold. I opened the glove compartment, and there it was--a yellow Lego. What was a Lego doing in my glove compartment? What was a gummy worm doing in my pocket two days ago? I don't know, but I was pleasantly surprised in both cases. Determined, I gripped the Lego, and I scraped that ice right off my windshield.
Lesson #1: Legos are great ice scrapers.
But that's not all. We keep the bathroom doors that connect Ben and our room closed because Benjamin is fond of putting his hand in the toilet bowl and then sucking his thumb. Also, we keep the toothbrushes in the bathroom, and Ben is obsessed with toothbrushes, and if he spots one he can't have, he turns red and waves his arms and cries. For these reasons and more, we generally try to keep him out of the bathroom. However, Benjamin can open the doors now, so we keep the bathroom doors locked as well. You can undo the lock from the outside with a coin, but I never have coins in my pocket. The other day, I really had to go, and I couldn't get the damn door open with my fingernail. I spotted a small red Lego in Ben's toy bin, and seconds later, I was washing my hands in the bathroom sink, satisfied.
Lesson #2: Legos are keys to happiness.
The following is the most dramatic use of a Lego, the use that prompted me to spend valuable time discussing this topic. Our toilet is messed up. It's run since the day we moved here. I think it's old, but I don't know. I tried to fix that whole bulb and whatever mechanism, but it didn't work. But this morning, I flushed, and that tank, it kept on filling. I pulled off the lid, and the water level was threatening to overflow. I needed to wedge something in between the metal arm thing and the water thing. Lo and behold, I caught a Lego in my periphery. I stuck that Lego in there, giving myself valuable minutes in which to fashion a more permanent solution out of aluminum foil. The toilet stopped running, which has never happened before, all thanks to my underestimated friend, the Lego.
Lesson #3, the lesson that will blow you away: Legos will save you from calling the plumber.
I loves me my Legos.