Friday, January 28, 2011

The End of The Lego Wars

Once again, I find myself apologizing to my numerous followers -all 3 of you; hi guys!- for the delay between posts. I did warn you...

Truth be told, we've been busy. My last update from my Mad 'n Hairy world was in August (not counting my "Observations" of a couple weeks ago), just as school came back into session. As I've mentioned before, homeschooling my 2 boys takes up a large part of my day. Add to that working 30+ hours a week, and all the other concerns in the average American's day, blogging takes a back seat more often than not.

Of course, there have been "adventures": My Beloved (nearly) breaking a toe and spending all night in a busy ER. In our defense, the doctor thought it was broken until the x-rays came back. Our crappy van finally died. Wonderful Ford engineering... Then riding the bus for a week, including 2 to work and 3 back home, until finally overpaying for a newer vehicle in desperation.

Then, 5 weeks later, My Beloved wrecked the new car. We're still waiting on the insurance company's verdict on whether it's totalled or not. In between all that, our shower, dishwasher and washing machine all broke down.

Through all this, Felix and Oscar have held strong. Better than their mom and dad, at any rate. They continue to excel in their classes; Algebra for Felix, Vocab and Grammar for Oscar. They both hate History, though. While teaching them I continue to learn things I should have been taught when I was in school.

We've had a minor breakthrough with Oscar. Being the youngest, he's had to watch his brother complete things, achieve new freedoms, and garner praise for achievements currently out of his reach. But last month saw him "graduating" from Occupational Therapy.

Anyone with a special needs child will recognize OT. For some it's torture, for others, fun. I assume most find it to be another tedious chore in a long string of tedious chores that come with raising a slightly bent kid. For both boys, it was both fun and a chore. Felix left OT 2 years ago. While Oscar loved it, he was still jealous of his older brother's freedom.

Just 2 weeks ago, Oscar was freed from his weekly sessions. For those unfamiliar with Occupational Therapy, it is similar to Physical Therapy (his, in fact, took place in a PT office). Through a regimen of exercises and practices, the child improves impaired fine and gross motor skills, including walking, running, catching and throwing, handwriting and finger manipulation.

Both boys have seen huge improvements over the years. Mrs. Rearick and Ms. Savage worked wonders with them, and I am ever grateful for all their hard work. Now, Oscar has his Thursdays free. Granted, they're filled with more schoolwork, but small victories are still victories

Another breakthrough may not seem like much to outsiders who missed all the battles: The Lego Wars. Felix loves to create: drawing, painting, Roblox, Boom Blox on the Wii, Tinkertoys, and, of course, Legos. He seems quite talented at all of these, but that might just be a proud dad's skewed perspective.

Nah, he's a genius.

Oscar, on the other hand, never took to those things. In Kindergarten I was called to a Parent/Teacher conference, the purpose of which was to warn me of Oscar's unwillingness to color. What a tragedy! Our son was doomed!

What does he love doing? Computers. Not just playing games. The little bugger can make our desktop do things I didn't know it was capable of.

But all of that is off the subject. I was speaking of the muy terible Lego Wars. For years, since he was old enough to crawl, Oscar has been a practicing Deconstructionist. Translation: He tears shit apart.

Countless creations of Mega Block, Lego, Tinkertoy, Lincoln Log, etc. have fallen to his terrible ministrations. Tears have been shed, punishments doled out, tiny people dismembered. And still, like an addiction, the boy would turn around and do it again.

So, what changed? Just before Xmas, his brother built a little castle for Oscar. Nothing much, just 4 walls, a roof & a drawbridge. I waited for the pile of tiny, multicolored, foot-piercing blocks to appear. The holiday came & went, but the castle remained. I paid it little mind, until a week or so after New Years.

"Oscar, can I use the Legos from the castle I built you?" Felix asked.

"Nononono! That's MY castle! Don't take it apart," Oscar answered.

Three people stood amazed. Further investigation showed that the modest creation hadn't lay dormant. Little by little, Oscar had been adding parts, changing others, making it his own. The most disorganized -nay, messy- kid I'd ever met (since I was his age, anyway), had been reverentially putting the mini-castle back in the same spot every night. The kid who lost 2 cell phones (we never did find the first one). The boy who leaves a trail of food wrappers, game discs & Wii accessories in his wake.

Yes, Dr. Destructo was being careful with something he owned.

Since then, nothing has been torn apart by his hands. Although interest in the castle has waned a bit, it still sits in the same spot. And Felix is forbidden to touch it for fear he will cannibalize Legos from it, like a block-themed zombie.

We still don't know what caused this sudden change of tune. Overall, Oscar is more respectful of others' property. Perhaps all of our teaching an disciplining finally got through. (No, I don't buy that, either.). Perhaps a new maturity set in with the onset of puberty. More likely, it was the fact that his brother made something special *just for him*.

Whatever it is, we're all a little happier and secure knowing Dr. Destructo has retired his claws of doom.

Now, if he would just stop chewing on things...

No comments:

Post a Comment