Thursday, July 14, 2011

Structurally Unsound

I frequently wonder what Graham will be when he grows up.  He's such a happy and easing going fellow, and with his tender-heartedness, he could have a really successful future working with people.  I don't wonder so much about Cael's future, because I feel like it's already locked up; he will be a train 'ductor.  Or a gym teacher.  Either way, he's likely to end his day very tired and excessively smelly, which won't be much of a departure from his current daily grind.  I guess the past does dictate the future.

But there is one thing I don't see in their futures-- at least not yet, and that is a career in architecture.  Don't take the above statement as a criticism of my sons' intelligence, as they are clearly exceptional in more ways than one (and in more ways than I would sometimes prefer).  It's just that their building skills really leave something to be desired.

When it comes to blocks, their downfall is not for a lack of effort, but rather a clumsy execution.  What was supposed to be a house winds up looking more like a disorganized mass burial after a LEGO genocide.  Heartbreaking, really.  Other mediums are just as problematic.  The boys love Play-Doh, and we pull it out at least once a week.  But, like clockwork, after less than 10 minutes of play time, they turn on me.

"Mommy, make a train!"

"Doo-doo!"  (Choo-choo in Grahamese)

"Mommy, make a car!"

What was intended to be craft/creative play time for my kids becomes "Sculpting 101" by Dr. Mommy.  (I don't mind, really.  I'm already teaching Anatomy 101, Intro to Nursing, Conflict Management, Basics of Social Interaction and Advanced Locomotive Mechanics.  I've got some serious skills.)  So I roll out the dough and get crafting.  Last night it was a canoe (complete with oars and a fish) as well as a more detailed train engine.

Once those are done, the boys know that they have to build something for me, otherwise I am simply a woman in her late-twenties that makes her children watch her play with their toys.  Kinda tacky.  Graham quickly got to work crafting a "ball" which you would think, considering that the wad of Play-Doh he had was round to begin with, would be a simple task.  Not so.  Little tiny bits of blue and yellow dog-enticing dough were everywhere, and when his masterpiece was completed, he'd created the most malformed ball in creation.  Picasso would have been proud.

Cael, after some time -CHOO- pushing his train engine around the table and angrily reattaching the wheels that kept detaching, started in on a "phone".  His phone looked more like a ball than Graham's ball, which looked less like a ball and more like a phone.  At least Graham is young enough that he is not offended when I venture a guess as to what he has made and get it wrong.  Cael is old enough to be embarrassed by his unidentifiable artwork.

"Hmm... is it a horse?"

"No!!  It doesn't look like a horse, Mommy.  Nope."

"Okay, is it a motorcycle?"

"No way!  Look at it!  It's a phone, Mommy.  Can you see it?  It's a phone."

"Oh, a phone!  I'm sorry, I missed that.  But I like it a lot.  What kind of phone is that?  A cell phone?"

"No, Mommy.  It's an iPhone."

I stand corrected.

So, while they may not be budding Frank Lloyd Wrights, they will have a lot of choices over the years.  Whether they choose to be teachers or doctors or 'ductors, I know that they will both be successful in all they do.  That is, if they can pass my "Construction Skills for Life" course.  I'm pretty tough.

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.