posted by Martin Garner on September 19th, 2014

In the weeks leading up to his first day of kindergarten, my son got a wild end-of-summer notion lodged in his burgeoning idea factory — that he and I should reconstruct several complex Lego models we’d built over the past year. The problem was that these models had been deconstructed a week or so after assembly, their parts combined with bits from other similarly-obliterated Lego models distributed among several plastic bins.

Normally this is a good thing. He’s proving he can follow instructions, then prying the thing apart and building new stuff using his imagination. This is the beauty of Lego. But when the notion to complete this Lego circle of life by rebuilding the original model was birthed, I knew I was being sent on a fool’s errand; I agreed anyway. There’s a sucker born every minute, right?

So how does this process work?

Me, the sifter-comber-shaker-and-rattler of Lego bins sits across from my trusty companion who manages all the building but simply plays with the half-constructed vehicles and buildings while I search feverishly through bins of microscopic plastic parts like some crackhead combing through the carpet for that one last hit that I KNOW WE HAD – I JUST SAW IT MINUTES AGO.

“Daaaaaaad, you owe me one more white 1X2 with a claw on the edge.”


I find it, then drop it. It bounces across a rug IT COULDN’T POSSIBLY BLEND IN WITH, and yet it’s nowhere to be found.

Then the bugs start crawling under the skin of my arms and it ITCHES, Lordy, it itches. Just let me scratch it s’more and we’ll find that part. I swear we will. I’m a grownup, I can do this. I can find a little claw that grabs onto the cockpit of this flying police cruiser so the hatch can be opened to insert a minifig.

A “minifig”. I’m using their terminology now. These Lego people are in my mind. They’re watching me. They don’t think dear old dad can pull this off, do they? I WILL FIND THIS PART!

“What’s that? You got tired of waiting and went into the other room to play with something else?!? Well I’m NOT quitting. I’m no quitter. This is a life lesson. This is about finishing what you started. I WILL secure this cockpit!”

Needless to say, we managed to rebuild three or four models and I’m now clinically insane. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t let this happen to you.

File Under Mr. Cool