Tag: Lego

Common sense is my enemy

The other night my middle son said to me: ‘mummy, can I take my Lego pirate ship on the journey to Somewhere Abroad and can I carry it all the way there?’

My reply was: ‘Yes of course.’

I was dreaming. In my dream we were going abroad together. I’m not sure why. And in the dream I’d willingly allowed my son to take his Lego pirate ship (he doesn’t have one in the real world) on the way. Predictably he’d dropped it on the floor and Lego scattered. It had taken me ages to pick all the pieces up. Although a story of my subconscious, this dream reflects my reality quite well. My weird thought half an hour later on the toilet was: I’m not able to fulfill one of the most important of all parenting roles: Being A Kill Joy Parent. Why is that? In other words, why am I incapable of being the parent who sees the illogical in all the things the child really, really wants to do?

The imaginary Lego pirate ship

The imaginary Lego pirate ship

A good example happened a few weeks’ ago when we went to visit my dad and stepmum and I allowed my youngest son to take some Lego with him on our pub lunch. We hadn’t even left the garden before he dropped it and we were scurrying around for bits of Lego in the grass (very much like in my dream).

The place where we had our lunch that day

The place where we had our lunch that day

No normal parent, one with common sense that is, would have allowed their child to take a big pile of Lego for a walk (or on a plane journey).

I’m not very good at being the parent who says ‘No, you can’t wear wellies in July’, or ‘No, you definitely can’t go play on the M54 today’. It’s not because I fear the resulting tantrum or that I want to be their best friend, it’s because to me it seems a perfectly reasonable request.

Not a good place to play kirby

Not a good place to play kerby

So this got me realising that all my life common sense, or lack thereof, has been my enemy and this has got me into a lot of pickles. It was a lack of common sense that had me hurtling towards London with a boot full of food (see blog entry about roundabouts). This same lack of common sense means that I freeze on the beach in November or I have to take off four layers of socks, boots, and leggings just for a paddle. It also means that every time I have a bath I have to balance on one foot, with one hand on the sink, precariously leaning over to reach the towel thoughtlessly thrown on the floor earlier, using my book as an extendable arm. And it also caused me to lose an entire car park in Warwick. This lack of common sense packs my iPhone at the bottom of a bag full of other stuff. In fact it cannot work out how to pack a car boot when going on holiday. It also allows my children to take 14 books on a sleepover.

I wish I had more common sense. I wish I could buy some, on eBay or somewhere.

You'd think this were obvious

You’d think this were obvious

I’ve decided that the title of my autobiography, when I’m famous and old, will be Common Sense Was My Enemy.

I can’t just ‘watch’ a film, even a really good one

…that is, unless I’m strapped down in a chair and / or in complete darkness and / or in a place where it is socially unacceptable to move around and make noise.

I'm quiet in this place

I’m quiet in this place

Is that normal?

Last night I was watching a really good film at home (The Great Gatsby) yet I struggled to sit and watch it. I spent the first 90 minutes of the film talking about the film, fiddling with a random piece of Lego, browsing through various books on the shelf behind me, posting on Facebook, checking Facebook, commenting on Facebook, stroking a random cat or fiddling with my hair.

The Lego I was fiddling with

The Lego I was fiddling with

Why is that? What is wrong with me?

The irresistible bookshelf

The irresistible bookshelf

So when I was on the toilet later in the middle of the night, I wondered whether there were other people similarly affected by this condition and whether if more than one of them lives together whether they actually get to watch anything.

The cat I was stroking rather than focusing on the film

The cat I was stroking rather than focusing on the film

Ironically, however, during the last 15 minutes of the film I fell asleep (even though it was very good) so I must have put the Lego down at some point before then.

Love in the 1920s

Love in the 1920s

I don’t think I will be watching Lord of the Rings anytime soon.

People who fidget a lot burn more calories and need more sleep

This was a thought I had last night in the usual place and it was mainly concerning my own experience. So I wonder whether it applies to other people as well.

I fidget a lot. I fidget all my waking life (even when sat on the toilet given half the chance). I fidget whenever I am forced to stand or sit still for whatever reason.

If I find a few bits of Lego around the house, that Lego is mine for the next couple of hours to play with, hold, twist, turn, take apart, put back together again and drop on the floor and pick up again. If I’m in an audience, I need a pen to twist around, click, unclick, click, unclick, twist. If I’m watching TV, I need my phone or laptop to tap on, or a magazine to flick through. Just this week I found myself fiddling for two hours with a broken hook. Eventually I threw it away but by then I’d become quite attached to it and felt as if I knew its smooth edges, its rough edges where it was broken and its very pleasing shape very well.

Hours of fidgeting fun here

Hours of fidgeting fun here

I think I probably drive those people around me mad with my fidgeting. But I can’t sit still. And I wonder if this contributes to the fact that I don’t put on much weight generally over time. I’m about the same weight I was when I left school. Please don’t hate me though. But I think this lack of ability to put on lots of weight might be because I am constantly on the go during waking hours. I wonder if scientists have ever studied it? Google is my friend and look what I found!

I envy people who can just sit. I admire people who can dose in a chair while watching a film on a Sunday afternoon. I can’t do that (or at least I can’t without a laptop, a book, a pen or a piece of Lego in my hand or on my lap). Traffic jams are a particular issue with me because I can’t just whip my book out or start building something out of paperclips.

The fidgeter's dream

The fidgeter’s dream

My most favourite fidgeting items include: blue tack (hours of fun there), bubble wrap (I am well acquainted with bubble-wrap poppers finger ache), pens (even better with paper to doodle on), the edges of clothing (hems feel particularly pleasing) and lastly, hair. If the worst comes to the worst and I have no pens or Lego I have my hair.

One of my favourite fiddle items

One of my favourite fiddle items

It’s no wonder that by the end of the day I’m utterly exhausted.