Monday, February 18, 2008

Fare Thee Well Frogwarts - Hello Hogwarts...

Sometime a few months ago, Julia and I found some origami paper my sister had slipped her last year and a Jewish Holiday Origami book that I don't really know how I got but I have a dim memory of buying at a gift shop in Little Tokyo pre- Julia and pre-Michael as a gift for more uber-Jewish friends that I never gave them. Anyway, there's instructions for origami frogs (the plagues, the frogs...stretching I think but that was the Passover origami, which was better than the origami matzah cover, which was just lame.). So Julia wanted me to make her a frog (better made with index cards because then they actually can jump) and she drew Harry Potter glasses on it and for the next week I was making Dumbledore frogs and Dobby frogs and you get my drift.

And then...the icing on the cake....Julia built Frogwarts from cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls. Frogwarts proudly occupied a corner of the living room - added to every time we finished another roll (seriously, you never saw a kid's eyes light up the way her's did when I waved a little cardboard tube at her). But this weekend Julia finally scored her Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Legos - long awaited because she had to scrape together her own money for it and she spent a lot of time calculating how many more teeth she needed to lose to make the $16 she had left to get. We had a yard sale on Saturday and my rule is is that if she sells her old toys she gets to keep the money (great de-cluttering incentive) so now she has about 2 dollars and 73 cents but she's also got Hogwarts.

And stunner for mom, here. Legos aren't the legos of my childhood where you spent hours puttering around with them, creating and pulling apart and creating. Legos now have instructions, legos have a right way to do them, legos have a wrong way to them. On Sunday Julia actually said (having spent the afternoon constructing with her pal W and his mom and me) "I'm not very good at legos." How can you be not good at legos??? - is my thought - but these days you actually can be. And no, I didn't tell her that. This was actually her first major lego set and they're for 7-12 year olds and she's 5 1/2 and hell, her dad (retro guy that he is) just blithely opened plastic bags at first, neglecting the numbers, neglecting the instructions! And as the weekend and the many hours passed with help from me and him, and W and W's older brother N who is a freaking lego genius, she got a little better.

Crap, now legos can give your kid an inferiority complex? What is the world coming to?
And for that - dusty and messy as it was, ruining the (ha ha) aesthetic of my living room - I'm going to really miss Frogwarts.

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