It has been over a year since the great flood of 2011. As a family, we’ve been able to recover from that experience and the evidence of it has faded. However, you may not have realized that an entire community was also destroyed in that flood. Houses, ice cream stores, airport, planes, police cars, ambulances – all waterlogged from the flood waters.
OK, so it was a Lego community, but the way co-mayors Maddie and Zoe were destraught last year you’d think it had been a real town.
To save the town from mold and mildew, we had to compeletly dismantle every building, vehicle and person down into their individual blocks. Up until that time, I had no idea how many millions of blocks we had accumulated in our Lego collection. It took me over an hour to take it all apart! Needless to say, after the washing and drying of those pieces, I wasn’t too keen on the put it all back together process. (Plus, it took a week for the instruction books to air dry on my McGuyvered book drying racks.)
So in the bin they’ve sat. The girls had made some freelance buildings and vehicles, but the “official” sets were still a jumble of blocks. Until this week.
Something about an unexpected free evening made us think that we could put the sets back together in a few hours. Up came the big bin of blocks from the basement play area to my dining room table.
Mistake #1: don’t bring three billion lego blocks to a room that you see nearly every waking moment if you get overwhelmed with clutter.
Mistake #2: if it takes well over 60 minutes to break apart, it is going to take more than an evening to put together again.
Mistake #3: if you’re going to attempt to put together a bazillion Lego blocks back into their intended sets, make sure you have enough wine chilling.
The first thing Maddie and I realized was that we needed to have some sort of organization with the blocks if we had any hope of pulling off this construction project. Out came baskets, hat boxes, plastic food containers – anything we could find that could hold blocks and pieces parts. The sorting process seemed to take the better part of the first evening, but we both thought it’d be worth it in the long run.
By the end of the first night, Lego world had its jetliner back in use. The citizens of Lego world seemed thrilled – well, everyone but Lego Dauby who didn’t get one of the real plane seats so had to sit with the luggage in the back cargo hold area. (So much for those wizards giving a house elf a little help…)
Slowly, over the week, small projects were completed. The police car. The ambulance. The jewel case (complete with large jewel, which made it a good thing the police car was assembled first. Those thieves are persistent). Still, the weekend came and our dining room still looked overrun by construction materials.
And, worse yet, the girls were asking to get the fall decorations out.
Yesterday, I cracked. My reputation in Lego world was getting as tarnished as FEMA after Hurricane Katrina. We had to get those buildings built no matter how long it took. I gave the co-mayors until 8 pm to get it done.
The girls took the challenge well. Zoe assembled half of the airport terminal before getting sidetracked playing with the jewel. Maddie focused on the smaller buildings and finished several houses, the ice cream shop, the airport control tower, some vehicles, and the horse stable (I think I heard the mules whinny when she completed that one). I took over the terminal completion because the people in the airplane had been unable to disembark since Monday and I didn’t want another Lego scandal on my hands…
We finished all of the official buildings before dinner time, well ahead of the evening deadline. Closing up the bin after carefully placing all of the sets inside as we’ll as the bags holding the remaining sorted pieces parts, Madeline asked, “Can we get the fall decorations out now?”
She must have seen the weary look on my face because she quickly added, “How about after school tomorrow?”
That child is very perceptive. This Lego world leader needs a little time recover before I can turn into a master scarecrow maker.
Late last night, as I was about to turn off the lights and go to bed, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the jewel case on the kitchen table. I might need to make sure someone built the Lego jail because those thieves just won’t give up….