Observations from the Quarry: Playing blocks with my kid.

Not sure when this happened.

I mean I’ve not played blocks in a while, but when did we graduate from making tall towers? When did it become this elaborate? When did playing blocks come with so many rules?

You have to build a house daddy! You need a place for your race car. It has to be high like this daddy.

Damn, the unions in Atlantic City didn’t have that many restrictions or building codes putting up a casino. But if you’re in Frank’s building union you do as Frank says or you are out. Plain and simple. He does not suffer people who don’t go along with the plan.

I’ll say this for the kid, his buildings have become more elaborate. In the “old” days it was all about height. He just wanted to make a singular tower as high as possible. Legos, the building material of choice then, allowed him to make towers higher than him.

At first he was able to build in relative safety in the living room. He had the joint all to himself. What he constructed after dinner would still be standing after breakfast the next day. In 2012 that ceased to be the case. That was the start of the dark times, the coming of the destroyer.

"I got your building right here bro!"

“I got your building right here bro!”

After she arrived and then went bipedal, nothing was safe. No building could withstand her. She knew no mercy, she gave no quarter, she practiced no subtlety. In fact at times she would wait until Frank was looking before she would Godzilla one of his high rise towers. Then she would belly laugh. It was really the only time she would laugh. Any other time something struck her funny she would just say, “That’s funny!” A tower hitting the deck always brought on the belly laugh though.

It was too easy for her. It’s not like he put deep foundations on these things. Plus he would admonish her as he was leaving the construction site for dinner, potty break or one of seven union authorized smoke breaks. All that did was encourage her to schedule a demolition event. It was like waving the red blanket in front of a bull.

He tried posting a guard a few times but they, me and his mother, were very unreliable. We would either fall asleep or worse, summon the beast just to see what would happen. Hey, a parent has to find some joy, yeah?

Anyway, Frank decided his school house was the only safe place for high-rise construction. There he not only found encouragement and a relatively secure construction site, he was able to hire some assistant builders.

We're gonna need a taller room.

We’re gonna need a taller room.

He continued to build at home and he continued to demand I build with him. But things changed. He went more low rise. Preferring to build more house like structures, materials became an issue too. He switched to blocks instead of legos. Bad move. The shortage was worse there. To combat that issue he stop demanding I play with him, instead inviting me to build after he had finished his.

Needless to say I was on the short end of the supply chain. Where his structures became these intricate three story houses with pools and three car garages I was left with the scraps and barely managed a single tenement that would be an embarrassment in the worst of  the early 1900 NY slums.

Where I was left to cobble together a singular hovel, he built small villages he quickly dubbed Franktown.

An early century Franktown begins to take shape.

An early century Franktown begins to take shape.

Don’t get me wrong, the kid has a heart for people and family. The cornerstone of every Franktown is a large house with all kinds of rooms. He always includes separate rooms for me, his mother and his sister.

The separate room for me and Mrs Frank’s Place is due to my snoring. I’m just not sure if it’s so I can snore in peace or so Mrs Frank’s Place can sleep in “silence.” I mean let’s just be honest, it’s not like she sleeps with the quiet of the dead. She can shake the shingles on occasion too, if you know what I mean.

I get a lot of fun playing with Frank. Mainly because I get to play with toys again. But the things you pick up on when watching your kid play, build, design is remarkable. Watching their wheels turn, seeing what their minds come up with is a unexpected benefit.

Watching the destroyer do her work is a separate unexpected joy all its own.







This entry was posted in Diaries.

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