Slight Lego Addiction

I may have a slight Lego addiction.  Slight.  It works out quite well that that you’ve come along, Cookie.  I now have an excuse to buy more toys when I go shopping.  When you go shopping with Mommy, you can honestly tell Mommy that I said it was ok to buy that new set.  We may have taken over the living room with little prickly pieces and entire development projects without proper zoning approvals (see header).

My Lego addiction may also have been slightly contagious.  Slightly.  Over the past couple months our little project mushroomed.  A little.  A lot.  It’s taller than you are, and you had to stand on a chair to help with the tower.  It may have changed your outlook on the world, too.  The toy that you wanted most from Disney World wasn’t an Elsa doll, or ears, or a princess costume.  Nope, you wanted a sword and shield (in pink of course).


You’re Being Raised Geek

You don’t know it yet, but you’re being raised geek, a taxonomy that for your world is thus far meaningless. You’re growing up in a house populated by Star Wars and Tolkien, not just the movies, but the Expanded Universe and Eä and the Lego versions of each.*  I’m amazed how you naturally gravitated to those two without prompting, and while you’re terrified by a few things like any three-year-old, Balrogs and orcs and Sith Lords are not amongst them.  You live in a house with dinosaurs and dragons and butterflies and fairies, all ruled by your imagination.

You’re intelligent.  Mom and dad’s personal biases about you aside, at three, you can speak and read three languages.  You’re more fluent in a fourth than most toddlers with their first.  At three, you’ve already corrected a teacher’s mistake.  Even though it was your preschool teacher’s assistant and it was a simple spelling mistake, it counts –you may be going to the lonely side of the social circle when you’re older (It’ll be ok.  It’ll be better than ok.  Come talk to me when it happens.).

I’ll teach you how to game, if you wish it –not freemium or even controller gaming, but stopwatch-driven APM gaming and adrenaline pumping low dpi gaming.  Your mother enjoys large screen TVs with high resolutions and higher refresh rates.  You’ll learn to enjoy them with surround sound, a precision controller, headsets, and competent teammates.

You will learn to code (not optional).  You’ll learn to hack, if you wish it.  You love your robots, and I’ve already promised you your first drone as soon as we figure out how to protect the TV and the fish tank.

You will learn math and science, well in advance of your class, not because Mommy and I will push you (Mommy, of course, will), but because you are interested and curious (I hope).  You love your fossil collection and can already name a quarter of the skeletons on display at the natural history museum.  You haven’t put away your circuit boards since Christmas. You know the binomial nomenclature of our pets (and with a reef tank, that’s not a small task). My job will be to nurture your interests and keep you curious so that learning won’t become a chore.

You’re already learning an instrument.  If you wish to stick with piano, great.  If not, you will learn something else, but you will master music theory (FCGDAEB -7, mod 12, there, you’re half way done) and be able to sightread.

I’ll teach you how to throw a Frisbee –forehand, backhand, snapflip, and hammer, and how to bend each through traffic.  I’ll teach you tennis, golf, and baseball as well, but these are less geeky pursuits.

Don’t worry about the social consequences of being a geek.  The current fad and acceptance may or may not last, but being true to yourself** and being geek has its own rewards and benefits, especially after you grow up and start work. For now, being raised geek will be mentally challenging.  It will be mentally rewarding.  Most importantly, however, it will be fun.

Actually, for now, being raised geek just means that you have much cooler toys than your friends.


Good job on the tree, by the way.


*Once upon a time, being geek meant ostracism, as if good grades and interests  in esoteric items (and utilizing an expanded vocabulary) were an anathema to social acceptance.  Now, geek culture is hip (or at least hipster), and in an ironic and bizarre twist of social hierarchy, geeks must prove their geekiness as a form of social acceptance, as if the powers that be coopted the essence of what alienated geeks in the first place and used it to keep geeks out again.

As a girl, this will be harder for you, Cookie, especially as you are pretty like your mother. People will demand that you establish your credibility in a way that I do not (people can look at me and declare me geek).  My advice for you here is the same advice geeks have given each other through time.  Be yourself.  The opinions of random classmates and strangers don’t matter.  If it ever comes down to game time or a competition, however, just win.  Don’t gloat afterwards.

**  Of course it’s entirely possible that this geeky phase that toddler you are currently experiencing is only a passing phase.  You may take after your mother.  That’s ok too.

Lego Friends Complaint

Dear Lego,

I have a complaint about the Lego Friends line of toys.  It’s not the usual one about gender stereotyping (though as a parent I have to do extra work to unchain the limiting play aspects of this line, but fortunately as a long time Lego customer, I have enough bricks to allow my girl to create a world of imagination and adventure on her own).  It’s not about the body image of the minifigs, though, for some reason, boys get the classic, blocky people while girls get the thinner, Barbie-distortion ones.  It’s not even a complaint that the armor, backpacks and other body wear don’t work across the two Lego products.  Nope.

Do you know how hard it is for a procrastinating dad with OCD to wrap the damn Lego Friends boxes at 2 AM on Christmas morning?  Do you really need the oblong edges?