Parenting is hard. Step-parenting is HARDER. As hard as a nasty little piece of Lego that you’ve just trodden on. That was certainly my feeling this morning, when I dropped a precariously-balanced pile of the stuff and got some lodged in my dainty instep when clearing up. How is it that they always find the hurtiest bits?
My first thought was to get out the Hoover and suck the problem out of my life once and for all. My second thought was to tell myself off soundly. Little Child 4 spend ages choosing every pointy little shard of devillish plastic. He would be devastated. He plays with Lego all day, then reads Lego instruction books in bed. To say that Lego is his life is to underestimate its importance massively.
I remember going through similar moments of destructive temptation when Child One was going through her Playdoh phase. Though I remembered the heavenly smell of Playdoh fondly from my own childhood (of course we never had any of the cool sets of colours or equipment), it came as a shock to discover that Playdoh, when dropped on the floor in tiny worms, goes almost as hard as Lego and is nearly as painful under adult feet. I got so fed up in the end that I told Child One that any Playdoh left on the floor would go in the bin. This had the happy (for me) effect of gradually doing away with the Playdoh collection, as Child One had zero interest in clearing it up. Luckily she grew out of it soon anyway.
Unfortunately, a passion for Lego can be altogether more lasting. Child 4 likes nothing better than watching grown men in their twenties on YouTube, explaining how to make various Lego creations. It’s worrying, but I know he won’t end up alone filming himself and his model of the Battleship Galactica when he’s older. He’s already a devastatingly handsome little chap, with ash blond hair and blue eyes, and it won’t be all that long before girls will show him more interesting things to do with his spare time.
Until then, I shall just have to get myself a pair of Doc Martin boots. Sigh.