Building Character

My son turned eight recently. As usual, though, he got gifts that require building.

This means I build them and he criticises.

I remember when he was four, he was given a toy garage to construct (it was clearly marked as for Age 6+). There were tears, sore fingers, ripped wallpaper. And in the end, he didn’t even play with it.


Look, I am not one to complain (as you well know, just ask anyone), BUT, one of the things that seems to be my remit, is to BUILD ALL THE FURNITURE we own. It seems that every stick of furniture these days, arrives in a flat box, and can be assembled using an Allen key. Incidentally, instructions that have a question mark in a think bubble has the international translation: “F**k this”.selfassemble

For Christmases, I have to assemble bicycles, build dolls houses, and set up parental controls on tablet computers and phones. In secret. Like a ninja elf. It’s a “challenge”.

For birthdays, I get to build elaborate machines and robots in Meccano and Lego and more out in the open, in front of everyone. Excellent!

Even if my boy was the right age for the gift, it would be difficult for him – I mean, it’s difficult for me, so it stands to reason that it would be tricky for him.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this assembly of toys would prepare him for adulthood IKEA sessions… and you are right; I can see the future where he gets me to come to his home to build all of his furniture, and then criticise it.


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