The boys spent most of Sunday in the basement playroom, which is always a victory in an of itself. Even though it's where all of the toys and the furniture you are ALLOWED TO JUMP ON are and where Mom IS NOT, so KNOCK YOURSELF OUT with the FLAILING and the HOOTING and the HOLLERING, the basement playroom is always a second- or third-choice option for them. It's almost a punishment to go down there — with all those wonderful toys and wide open play spaces and non-pointy corners — especially since it's where I inevitably banish them after the seventh lap around the dining room table, while they make machine-gun sound effects and beat on each other with giant plastic crayon banks.
The basement playroom miracle is multiplied by infinity if they spend their time there doing anything other than bothering each other, tattling on each other, or haphazardly dumping basket after bin after bucket of toys out on the floor.
("But I couldn't find my red car! No, not that red car. Or that one. Or any of those dozen or so other red cars. MY car. The RED one. Mom, stop helping.")
At first glance, that's exactly what they were going...
...until Noah and Ezra excitedly explained to me that no, this wasn't just a mess, this was a very carefully planned replica of Middle Earth. The parachute tent in the corner is Bilbo Baggins' hobbit house, while the Sesame Street playhouse fills in for the rest of the Shire. The brown blanket is some kind of swamp, the playsets in the foreground are Gondor, the Lego sets on the table are Mordor and the unholy combination of Thomas train tracks/Angry Birds Go track on the far left are the mines of Moria. The keyboard is there to make "exciting music."
(Not pictured: The One Ring, aka a rubber Lego tire that I later had to confiscate for choking hazard concerns and also because I got tired of everybody insisting that I couldn't see that they weren't changing into their pajamas, they were invisible.)
Now, I'm no Tolkien expert so I'm gonna guess there's some major geographical errors in this layout, but I have to say it's pretty impressive for kids who have only seen a few short, cherry-picked scenes from the actual movies and have gleaned most of their knowledge from the Lego game version. Also, Ezra stocked Bilbo's house with cupcakes. "Hobbit cupcakes. For second breakfast."
In summary, this is why I couldn't run on the treadmill this morning. Bum. Mer.