Even though we agreed on a no-gifts sort of Valentine's Day this year, I can't say I was all that surprised at the sight of a large box wrapped in bright pink paper on our bed. Jason stood nearby, shrugging sheepishly. He never sticks with gift-related plans.
Chocolates? Lingerie? Jewelry? Clothing? NOPE.
And not just any LEGO, but ages 12 and up LEGO. Boom chicka wow, baby.
I had a serious geek-out moment over this set a couple weeks ago, when I saw it fully assembled at a LEGO Store, where we were killing some time while waiting for the next showing of The LEGO Movie, which we've since seen twice already, because LEGO LEGO LEGO. Also LEGO. ALL IS LEGO. NONSTOP LEGO-Y LEGOSITY UP IN THIS LEGOERY.
I don't want to spoil The LEGO Movie for the three of you who haven't been dragged there repeatedly by your offspring — kicking and screaming the whole way I AM SURE, just like you HAD to buy the "Everything is AWESOME!!!" song on iTunes before the end credits were over, a regrettable decision that has led to many a living-room dance party and the most persistent earworm problem you've had since Call Me Maybe — but let's just say that attempting to assemble an "adult" set of LEGO around here has kiiiiind of transformed me into a certain character from that movie, a character who eventually learns an Important Life Lesson about creativity and childhood and all that jazz.
I am currently the "before" version of that character, because oh my holy hell, knock it the fuck off and stop MESSING WITH MY STUFF, KIDS.
None of my children have ever watched a single episode of The Simpsons. They have no idea who these characters are or why the details on this set are so funny to me. Ezra calls them The Zin Zins, while Noah keeps asking why Homer's face has chocolate on it and why Marge's hair is made out of blueberries. And yet they are obsessed with this set and my building progress.
(I started Sunday evening and should finish it up tonight, and Noah has assured me that my pace and skills are at acceptable levels, though he doesn't understand why I don't just stay up all night to finish it off, as "No Bedtime" is my right as a grown-up.)
I let them play with the finished portions while I build, so it has the thin veneer of being an activity we do "together," but then I eye them with wild-eyed paranoia and suspicion and take constant stock of all the tiny pieces. WHERE'S HOMER'S SUITCASE? WHERE'S THE SECOND HOT DOG FOR THE GRILL? IS THE INANIMATE CARBON ROD STILL IN THE CAR TRUNK?
I told Noah he could watch The Simpsons when he was 10 years old, maybe. This has clued him in that the show is for adults, but judging from his play with the LEGO characters he obviously has no idea why and has simply gone with "non-stop gratuitous violence." Basically everybody fights and battles each other all the time, with poor Ned Flanders standing in as a criminal mastermind and lots of PEW PEW PEW KUNG FU KICKS YOU'RE DEAD NOW. Then aliens hatch out of the blueberries in Marge's hair.
I've told them that this set will move to a high shelf in my office once it's completed, to be taken down and played with while supervised, and only if you ask nicely. I feel like a huge jerk, but I've already spent three evenings on this thing, meticulously placing alternating plastic floor tiles across several rooms and damaging all my fingernails while trying to pull two beige bricks apart because I was supposed to use two slightly different beige bricks in that particular spot.
I don't think I'm quite the absolute worst, however. I did let them pitch in and help me build along the way, and I have never complained about the frequent, repeated repairs to the roof I've had to make thanks to them.
Also, Noah wants me to point out that he built the toilet.
And he did a really good job. It's a great-looking toilet.
(Assembling the teeny tiny shower stall and related plumbing fixtures, on the other hand, baffled me for a solid 10 minutes, so. Yeah.)