Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deconstruction Zone

My boys love to build things.  Whether it be with blocks or clay or wood, they love not only the challenge, but the competition of seeing who will win in an epic battle of tower construction.

Problem is, what goes up must come down.

The thrill of construction can never be beat by the thrill of destruction, and my boys won't pass up an opportunity to disassemble and destroy whatever around them seems to be the weakest link.

For the last several months, that item was Graham's dresser.  The chest originally came in a set with Cael's crib and changing table, and later became Graham's when he took possession of the nursery.  As he grew more capable and demonstrated a mastery at pairing plaid shorts with striped polo shirts and just one of Mommy's pink socks, the dresser was moved to the boys' shared room so that Graham's apparel choices would be at his fingertips.

Here's how I envision the deconstruction began.  One day, Graham wanted to wear a very specific Thomas the Train shirt that he felt would bring out the rich tones of the ketchup stain in his khaki shorts, so he gave the middle drawer a tug, only to have the knob come off in his hand.  Now equipped with an imaginary hand grenade, and a makeshift shiv pointing out aggressively from the pre-drilled hole of his drawer, there was nothing to do but to pull and claw at the remaining knobs until they, too, were loose and a Bombardment-level knob war could commence.  A picture frame and a bottle of air freshener would be victims of this same event, but wouldn't be discovered for many weeks.

Two weeks later, while he was stealthily stashing away a bag of M&Ms that didn't belong to him, Cael leaned too hard on Graham's pajama drawer until he heard a crack, and the drawer became disengaged from the track.  And because Cael is, well, Cael, he pushed even more until the metal track itself twisted and fell to the floor and he could use it as a crowbar to pry open the closet with the outdoor equipment and throw basketballs at the cat.

And the pattern continued, mostly unknown to me, until the traditional irritation of doing laundry was dwarfed by the even bigger hatred of pinching my fingers between four splintered, crooked, trackless wooden boxes that had taken more hits, kicks and target practice than a punching bag.

So finally, on Sunday I wheeled and dealed with a woman selling a dresser on Craigslist, convincing her to sell it to me rather than the person coming to see the item on Tuesday, because out situation was dire, and Graham's dresser (and my patience) lacked the stamina to hold on much longer.

After an adventurous expedition to retrieve the furniture, during which the seller neglected to consider the importance of telling me where to find her or the dresser in question, it was finally in place in the boys' room, sturdily holding Graham's clothing and the promise of a better tomorrow.  Well, for one night, at least.

"Mom, we were playing and something came off of Graham's dresser."

I flew off the proverbial drawer handle.

"What!?!  I just spent a bunch of money buying a good, strong dresser for you guys and we talked a LOT about how to treat it so that it would last.  And what happened?  Did you stand on it?  Did you try to climb it?  Did you think it would be funny to attempt to mount it like a wild horse and swing your underpants around in the air?  Or were you simply not being careful like you'd promised to be?  ...Well?"

"Chill, Mom.  There was a paper sticker on the back that I pulled off.  But I can stick it back on if it's that big of a deal.  I'm good at putting things back together."

That is true.  But nothing compares to Cael and Graham's skills of deconstruction. 

And there's a child-sized easy chair that should be sleeping with one eye open...

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