I like to think I am the perfect uncle. The kind of uncle that should be cherished, lauded, applauded, and rewarded with Meals-On-Wheels in his older years. But I am not that old yet. Right now I am the uncle who runs around with the dog whilst the nieces scream like banshees.
I’m also the uncle who sits down to make Lego spaceships and taxi’s for the nieces to smash into a gazillion pieces. Ah, the joy of childhood is never ending, ever smiling, and intent on having lunch all over its cute little face.
So after breakfast of half-eaten toasted vegemite squares and OJ/Lemonade mixed with vegemite that never left the fingers, I was given a command: “Look after the girls, I’m off shopping with my mother!”
Let me make this clear, they were invited to be with us whilst we holidayed on Kangaroo Island. And whilst I was OK with that, I don’t remember signing a contract that involved child-sitting … yet this morning turned out more fun than expected. Little kids are lots of fun. Nobody screamed. No nappies were soiled. Nobody, particularly the 3yo and 9yo, argued with Uncle Stephen. We all made Lego traffic together.
That was four weeks ago on a sunny morning on Kangaroo Island: Sitting down in the front lounge room with two beautiful nieces to make Lego blocks. I’d already spent a little time that morning shooting photographs of pet dogs, bee’s, and frisky fly’s, so this was the perfect way to warm up after almost freezing to death on the empty block of land next door.
Below you can see both a profile and rear view of the Police Space Ship that began merely as a little project to see if I could build it ONLY with blue blocks. Achievement was almost possible.
Check out the little guy standing next to his new space-toy, the vehicle to take him from the ‘Pony-Head Nebula‘ right through to the ‘Cadbury Milky way‘. (Remember, these were kids, the names were changed to match the schooling!)
Because children have the most vivid imagination, and also because television provides a truck-load of SciFi cartoons, the older niece told me that every good space-ship needs a ‘Space Dock’.
She quickly nicked all the bigger blocks from the pile and built this roofless house. Here is what she built, again with the pilot out front to show size and scale. An enterprisingly simple yet effective design.
After we’d decided that the Space Ship was complete, I was still feeling enthused. I remember playing with Lego around twenty-something years ago … the joy of creating something from plastic blocks never really leaves. Well, OK, maybe girls grow out of it.
So I made the taxi you see below. Not huge, but it’s practical and it’s handicapped. No, no, not missing wheels. It actually allows wheelchair-bound plastic people to go up the ramp into the back of it. How cool is that?
Do you think I would have thought of building anything like that when I was a kid? Did we even have hinged Lego pieces back then? Probably not. Still looks cool, don’t you think?
So that was a fun morning with Uncle Stephen. Two little nieces enjoyed my company as much as I got a kick out of being there whilst they trashed my little Lego toys. Wait, I mean, I enjoyed watching them push the wheels into the carpet until they snapped off and their little hands mangled the cars to death.
So I am real glad I took those photographs before we got to that stage.
Yet I cannot wait until next time I get to enjoy two hours of Lego time with the girls whilst holidaying on Kangaroo Island!