Monday, March 16, 2009


Finnian and I can often lock horns. A friend once suggested it was because we were too much alike. I scoffed at that. And yet.

One thing that is guaranteed to get my blood pumping is seeing Finnian sitting in front of the computer, looking at Lego sets and watching Lego videos for hours (did you know there are such things? Go look for yourself, I refuse to make a link!). The vastness of the internets is lost on Finnian: he only wants to look at the Lego website and watch and re-watch these videos and play the games, and all the other garbage designed to make children desire their products. It infuriates me.

I have tried lecturing about how it is all a set up by Lego to get him to buy things. I have tried telling him that sitting in front of a computer for hours is how come Americans are so unhealthy (this never goes over well because he can turn the table so easily on this point). I try to convince him that, if he must spend hours on the computer, then please make it productive time - write a story! edit videos! practice your typing! remember those Italian lessons?! But nothing works. It is only Legos that he wants.

And he does want them. The website's purpose is fully realized because it causes him to lust after Lego sets. The child who can hardly be bothered to memorize the times tables can describe in intimate detail the various benefits and unique attributes of Lego sets that, I suspect, employees of Lego would struggle with. I should mention at this point that Finnian has accumulated many, many Legos over the years. Gifts, donations and trades have resulted in thousands of tiny pieces of plastic all over our house. As someone who is regularly stepping on Legos in my bare feet and vacuuming them up (by mistake, I swear!), it can be a little hard to take to hear Finnian say, "but I don't have good pieces" as a reason why he should buy more.

Lately, the lust for Legos has been building. Finnian has been bemoaning his lack of funds to purchase these desired sets. He has realized that I absolutely refuse to buy any more. Finn was quite jealous to see that Lucy profited from my need for knit building covers by her knitting two of them and receiving a nice little sum in return. He tried to knit, but his skills are a little behind Lucy's and he quickly realized it wasn't worth it.

Then one day last week he asked me, in passing, if I ever needed any wool carded for my yarn. I answered in the affirmative - enthusiastically in the affirmative. Would I pay him for it? Yes! Well, here is a child who would stay in his pajamas all day and night until they fell from him in tatters rather than bother to change his clothes, a child who will complain about having to leave the house to attend a program he actually wants to attend, a child who, on surface, is not what some might call full of self-motivation and initiative. But don't be fooled, people. By that magic word, yes, Finnian was set ablaze with motivation. When we returned home after our Friday activities, he pulled out the carder and got straight to work. Lucy, not one to see others getting something she is not, quickly joined him. By evening's end, I owed them $13 ($.50/batt). Over the weekend, another $30 worth of batts were made. Granted not all the batts are created equal and not all are ones I might have made, but that makes it more fun, in my opinion - a bit of a challenge to work with.

So, Finnian got his beloved Lego sets.

I got my batts and made some yarn.

And we both satisfied, if ever so briefly, our desires.


OfTroy said...

my son, (now a rude 30 something (and me, still 47!) still likes Lego

you know there are lego machines for making i cord--think of it--miles of machine made icord, and you can use the icord as yarn--and knit a scarf of icord..

there are worse things than legos.
after all there professional lego construction workers at leog land!

Ann of Green Cables said...

So, your son has learned that work=fun. That is a valuable lesson. He surely has great potential.