In both of his report cards this year, Finn's teacher took care to point out that one of the things he needs to work on is his soft hands. OK, I suppose those are two things to work on. While I was quick to note that soft hands are actually desirable for a major league shortstop, I was smartly ignored and we went about discussing things hobbies that he could pick up that could strengthen his hands. And so it was that we entered the Lego Era.
What began as a fun activity that both Finn and I could share, with me yelling at him to follow the instructions and him smartly ignoring me (trend) and building whatever he wanted, turned into an explosion of creativity and innovation for Finn. He very quickly learned his way around a Lego set and I became a creative liability in our partnership. I chose to fill my role by purchasing ridiculously overpriced Lego-branded organizers to keep the Lego kingdom that's growing in our corner in check and promising to negotiate with Santa for more also-ridiculously-overpriced Star Wars themed Lego kits for Christmas.
As an aside, it's pointless to argue Lego economics with a five-year-old. Cost means nothing to Santa, according to Finn. I point out that while Santa can likely build the Death Star kit in his workshop, he still needs to acquire Lego materials from somewhere and even with the government subsidies that he surely enjoys, that's expensive. I've been informed that I'm incorrect in this matter and that Santa has a line on all of the Lego materials that he needs at no cost. Santa has a guy. I need a guy.
After watching Finn immerse himself completely in all of these tiny little construction projects, it seemed like it was probably time for us to take the next step in our builder journey and build a fort. A real fort. Not the kind with couch pillows and blankets. Yeah, let's build a fort. We've got the space in the backyard. I've got tools. Let's do it.
In should be noted that this realization had absolutely nothing to do with the Father's Day article that I had just read about all of the awesome dads that apparently build their children their own working space shuttles every day of the week. No, that article didn't make me feel like a total loser that's disappointing his child with his every non-space-shuttle-building breath.
Either way, now that I've made the mistake of actually verbalizing this thought in front of Finn, it looks like we're building a fort. Because after all, the only way to be lamer than the dad that never builds anything for his kids is being the dad that promises to build something for his kids and then drinks beer in front of the TV until he falls asleep instead. And I already do that enough.
Unfortunately, I'm completely out of my league when it comes to major construction projects. So it's a good thing that we're headed back east in a couple of days so I can consult with the handier members of my family. I bought two idiot-proof books of fort & treehouse plans online and with Grandpa and Uncle Scott's help, we just might be able to pull this off. By 2015.
Of course, if this turns out to be completely out of reach, maybe I can use all of the materials that I'll have purchased to build a box to keep the new Roll-over Edie model in. And with that "parenting" distraction out of the way, I can get back to what's important. Drinking beer until I fall asleep in front of the TV.