Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Toystore

Pieces of childhood

Little Man has been having a few issues at school as of late. An incompetent teacher with the organizational skills of a headless chicken. Work that's frankly waaay too advanced for 75% of the class. And classmates who've taken to taunting him so as to provoke a reaction that usually gets him into trouble.

Sigh. It's tough being seven.

At a meeting between Dearest Wife, myself, Mrs Headless Chicken and The School Principal (who is an awesome steel fist in a velvet glove), it came out that Little Man really enjoys playing with the class supply of Lego. So that got me thinking...

Back at home, I stood on my tippy-tip-toes and pulled down a large, dusty plastic bag from our bedroom closet. I called out to Little Man that he should shut his eyes tight, then I went to the playroom where he was desperately trying not to peek. I gave him the bag, and let him look. His eyes grew wide...

Inside was my entire childhood collection of Lego, a multicoloured jumble of plastic bricks 'n' bits with which I used to construct entire universes. I had brought the whole lot over to Vancouver from New York after years of nagging from Mother to "deal with my stuff in the basement." I had been long intending to pass it on to Little Man, but the right moment had never presented itself. Until now.

We immediately embarked on building a police station, complete with windows, swingy doors, and Lego homunculi. As I rummaged through the bag, looking for THAT precise piece, I began to find bits of unexpected flotsam from my childhood.

A quiver from a Playmobil Indian.

A wooden Tinkertoy connector.

A skipole from a GI Joe arctic warfare set.

A rocket from a James Bond "The Spy Who Loved Me" Lotus Esprit Sportscar Submarine.

Tokens from a London Underground boardgame.

Each unexpected artefact brought with it a concentrated shot of memories, nostalgia, and vivid feelings. It was all actually a bit disconcerting. Thank goodness I had Little Man and a half-built police station to keep me anchored.

Pianosaurus - A Funny Thing Happened On The way To The Toystore (buy here or e-here)
The Maccabees - Lego (buy here)