The Gort walked into my room on the early side of Saturday morning. He bent his head towards mine and I expected his usual ‘good morning mom’. But instead I got: ‘what time does the Lego store open?’
What? My sleep-addled brain had difficulty processing this departure from the norm. And then I remembered. It was Saturday. I’d told him we would go to the Lego Store on Saturday to celebrate his recent shoe-tying success. In other words: buy a small Lego set.
‘Uh, 10.’ My brain and voice finally connected.
And, without meaning to, I’d suddenly committed myself to taking three boys to the Lego store at 10am on Saturday.
The Hen kept track of the time. ‘It’s 8:34!’ ‘It’s 9:10!’ ‘It’s 9:38!’ And, minutes before the appointed hour, I loaded the boys in the van and we headed to the Chinook Mall.
‘No running!’ I warned the older boys who were visibly bursting with excitement. So they speed-walked with stiff arms at their sides to the yellow and red mecca of colored plastic. And then the most trying part of the experience began.
Or, more accurately, The Not Choosing.
The Lego Store is an intuitive place, really. There are four or five different sizes of boxes and the pricetag corresponds to the size of the box. Meaning, the bigger the box, the more you pay. And yet, my offspring have difficulty with this concept. So when I say ‘this is the size you’re allowed to get’, they wander around the store aimlessly and, inevitably, pick up a large box. ‘What about this one?’
To which I reply, ‘that one costs $120. I’m not buying you a $120 Lego set just because you learned to tie your shoes.’ Or, in the Hen’s case, mastered the art of wiping his own butt.
So finally, after many minutes of shuffling around the store with sad faces [and having to explain to the three year old that he would be leaving emptyhanded: cue falling-on-the-floor whilst weeping and prompting a staff member to ask if he was okay], the Hen settled on a little mining set.
Which left one boy to find a set he could be happy with. ‘I want the same one as Henners,’ the Gort sulked. And I, operating under some archaic assumption that it’s dumb to buy two of the same Lego sets, suggested he find another – different – set.
This was, of course, the opposite of what the Gort wanted to hear from me. And I started feeling like that Solomon guy from the Bible who had two ladies clamoring for the same baby. I had visions of sawing the Lego set in two….and then I caved and said ‘fine, you can get the same set.’
And I patted myself on the back because I’d singlehandedly solved a dilemma and made both boys exceedingly happy. Well, not as happy as they would have been if I’d caved and purchased The Mine, but happy nonetheless.
And then I saw the Hen’s face. He was not happy. At all. ‘I don’t want the same set as Gaga’, he finally confessed. Apparently he also operated under archaic assumptions. So we spent many more minutes wandering around the store. Unsuccessfully. I was thisclose to grabbing ‘The Mine’ and whipping out my debit card. Anything to get out of there.
‘Do you want to go to the Discovery Hut?’ the saner part of my brain finally suggested. He nodded. So I paid for one Loader and Tipper. And then we walked to the toy store. Percy headed for the train table. ‘Can you watch Percy while I help Henners find a toy?’ I put the Gort in charge of his youngest brother.
And the five year old and I began the process of looking at every toy lining the shelves of the Discovery Hut. ‘What about this puzzle?’ Head-shake. ‘Playmobil?’ Head-shake. ‘Jenga?’ Head-shake. And, forty minutes later, I announced it seemed he was unsuccessful at choosing anything. And maybe he and I could go to a different toy store. Later. Read: not-at-all-ever.
‘I want the Lego I looked at,’ he suddenly decided and ran back to the Lego display. Where his eyes scanned the shelf for the set he’d apparently looked at earlier. I was momentarily confused as we hadn’t really looked at much Lego in the Discovery hut. And then a [dim] light went on in my head. ‘You want the same set as Gaga?’ I solved the puzzle.
As ‘luck’ would have it, the ‘Hut’ didn’t carry that particular set. So we retraced our steps. Back to the Lego store.
‘Welcome back!’ the staff greeted us.