“I can’t wait till he’s asleep so I can play with his blocks.”

My son got a new and more awesomer set of blocks for Christmas. Don’t tell me that’s not a word. That’s exactly what they are. They’re more awesomer. They are multi-colored and many-shaped and way better than the twenty-or-so simple, cube blocks we had before (although I did like the colored numbers and letter on the sides of those). There’s only so much you can do with twenty cubes. But now! My god, the possibilities! I have arches, short planks and long planks and small blocks, long triangles and short triangles, half circles and long and short cylinders, and all of them in four vibrant colors! My mind is reeling at this very moment with the endless possibilities of tiny wooden construction. You’ve never seen a block tower the likes of which resides in my mind’s eye!

So here I am, beside the Christmas tree, playing with my two-year-old’s new blocks—any way I bought them, right?—and I’ve got a pretty admirable little tower in the works when, out of nowhere, Dusty Crophopper flies in and crashes right through it! Let’s not even touch on the fact that he’s supposed to be a role model; that’s a whole other can of worms. Beyond that, though, I can’t seem to get past about four or five blocks high without Dusty swooping in and sabotaging my creation. It’s a bit frustrating. It’s as if the Dusty Crophopper toy is Rob Ford, and my block towers are his credibility. (Nailed it!)

Finally, Ollie was off playing with another of the myriad of new toys he received, as is to be expected for the first grandchild in any family, and I was free to create with impunity. I began fashioning an elaborate, color-coordinated and astonishingly symmetrical runway for Dusty and his pal Skipper, the old-timey war plane. Not only was the runway itself a thing of beauty and function, but it was lined on either side with various signals and buffers that served both practical and aesthetic purposes. My goal was to use all of the blocks in the set, and I was well on my way. But then it happened. Dusty, the very intended benefactor of my efforts, flew threw at high speed, raking his landing gear across the tops of the buffers and signal lights on one side of the runway. I gasped as they were tossed about in various directions and thrown aside. I could already see the time and imaginary money it would take to repair the damage. But Dusty, perceiving the distress in my reaction, became immediately and violently drunk with power. Laughing, he swooped back in a long and menacing arc, picking up speed and, with no regard for his own well-being, flew directly through the entire runway, spewing debris in every direction and leaving it hardly even recognizable. Red, green, yellow and blue rubble was all that remained of my once-promising masterpiece. My heart sank. There would be no repairing this. For one thing, I hadn’t had the foresight to record my plans for posterity. Even if I had, I knew there was no budget to rebuild, and that we would only be inviting the return of such malicious destruction a second time. I looked at my wife, panic, pain and desperation in my eyes. She shrugged… and laughed. It was then that I knew there was truly no hope. I had no allies, no defenses. I could only think of one way that I could ever hope to accomplish my goals.

I would have to wait until Oliver was napping. Then, finally, I could play with my two-year-old son’s blocks in peace.

I’m not the only one who secretly wished my kid’s gifts were actually for me, am I? Leave me a comment! What toy would you still be thrilled to receive, even as an adult?


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  1. I love a new coloring book, and a box of sharpened crayons….just the small box will do. I don’t need all the crazy colors…just the primary. I have to admit, if I am on one page and someone else is coloring on the page next to me, it is pretty upsetting when they don’t stay within the lines.

  2. A new coloring book is the BEST, but a coloring partner who is less than meticulous about their workmanship is definitely a thorn in my side too!

  3. There are so many things in this life that I love and look forward to, like seeing my lady, and my first Braves game of the year! Yet, a tradition that my mom started in complete indulgence of her love of being a mom, I receive the best gift in the world at Christmas, every year. Sure, an iPad is cool, new sunglasses give me some awesomeness, but NOTHING is more “AWESOMER” (hell yeah it’s a word!) then the TOY I get to open. I’m a 29 year old man that tosses the expensive grown up gifts aside to open my toy. I prefer legos, and usually get some crazy cool lego set. That next hour or two (these things are freaking complex now), I am in complete bliss and literally the world melts away, and my childhood innocence, peace, and naivety blanket me so warmly. So, my friend, you are no weirdo, and hopefully “HER” reads this comment and starts getting you a toy for Christmas, so that until you leave this world you will always have that hour, once a year (even after the kids are all grown up), that you will be completely free again.

    Just in case you were curious, this last Christmas, it was a very complex airplane (like a P-51 mustang). The cockpit glass slides or flips up, the wings have movable flaps, the rear landing gear is on a pulley that moves the propeller. The thing is straight BAD! After complete, straight to the box and in the attic, haha.
    You two have a great blog, keep it up!

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