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Building patience to creatively destroy masterpieces

September 10, 2015 The Wine Time Dad 0 Comments Category : , , , ,

Its destruction brought tears of joy to my eyes.
     In the beginning, there might have been the Word. But there was also destruction, with an expression of mad glee, permanently fixed on the face of a young tyrant. These young tyrants, AKA toddlers, see any construction as an affront to their innate chaos. Any block perched upon another block, is an open invitation to violence, and all nascent architectural masterpieces are destroyed before they can get off the ground.

     If you find yourself dealing with this stage of toddler development, you may try the "Wait, wait, wait!" approach, but I’m warning you now, it rarely works. Toddlers just don’t have the built up experience to understand the waiting game. Delayed gratification. They have no fracking patience. But, it’s not their fault, their inner Hulk just doesn’t do patience. Yet..


     There are probably more frustrating things in life than teaching your toddler patience, but right now, I'm uninterested in of those things. Even potty training has fallen on my list of things I’m not looking forward to teaching a toddler. Considering my wife did a lot of the initial legwork, potty training was a breeze. 

     Currently, I'm focused on the patience game and getting her to understand the ultimate point of building towers. Really, it's some kind of life lesson. It's a game of constant setbacks for my toddler, as her patience only lasts seconds to a minute for most things. Other things, like waiting for food, she’s gained a modicum of skill. I sometimes explain to her that I'm getting her lunch ready while I'm still sitting on the toilet or reading something (sometimes doing both), but then make her wait fifteen to twenty more minutes. Yes, it's a lie, and she can see that I'm not actually getting her lunch ready, but I feel we understand eachother. Daddy gets the food ready when he's done. Now, frack off and play with your toys. 

     Of course, there are certain things for which I never make her wait, like going potty. She’s less likely to lose her bowels on the floor these days, but I sure as frack don't want to clean it up after making her wait. That would be my fault. I’d drop a call with Publisher's Clearing House in order to make sure #2 does not end up on the floor. 

     No, our real patience game starts when, for example, she's noticed I’ve stopped watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with her (worse fracking kid’s show ever), and started playing with her blocks (one of my favorites).

     "Daddy wha you wan playin’ with my blocks?" Motherfracker, I think to myself. You were just watching your favorite show. What could you possibly want with me?

     “Don’t you want to watch your show,” I suggest.

     “No. I wanna pu-way wif you,” she says still staring at the TV.

     “O-kay,” I draw it out, “But, daddy’s gonna turn off the TV.”

     “No!” She asserts, “Baby does it!”

     So we sit down and play. Or rather, she lets me play with certain items. She might give me specific instructions from time to time, which I'm expected to follow or she'll tantrum. Often times I’m expected to read her mind, and when I clearly haven’t done so, it’s my fault. But, mostly I am to do what she says and build towers that she may to knock down, at any time, for no fracking reason.

     Once, long ago, my wife persuaded the toddler not to touch the tower she’d built. I'd never seen such a thing, a 1.5 yr old giving a block tower a wide birth for hours. Sadly, that one incident was a fluke and it never worked for me.

     After weeks of failing to put any structure together while she was awake, I stopped trying and avoided the blocks. Occasionally, at nights, when everything was silent, I'd build magnificent towers while silently sobbing to myself. I'd strategically locate the tower in the middle of the room, so that it would be the first thing my daughter saw when she walked out of the bedroom. I wanted her to see what the blocks could do when put together. Then I would rush out of the room, gesturing wildly with my hands, and scream at her, "Godzilla that shit! Destroy! Destroy!" She would tilt her head at me like a dog until it dawned on her. Then the smile would break through as she smashed her hand through my tower. Thus, making me proud. 

     Afterwards she’d screech at me, "Buil anozzer towah, daddy!" But I couldn't build one more. Stacking 2-4 blocks every 20 seconds for 30 minutes, so she could knock them down, is pretty fracking tedious. Stay Puft Marshmallow baby didn't understand yet that only destroying the masterpieces, not a few stacked blocks, brings the most exquisite joy. 

     Then, after constant frustrating destruction, I realized that subterfuge was my best ally. I would redirect her attention towards other things while I surreptitiously finished my glorious towers. When all the sudden, she realized my trickery, “You buil a towah, daddy? You gon nock it down?”

     "Yes, I did. But I'm not “gon nock it down”, you are. Now, destroy it!" 

     Sometimes, I get ambitious and try to add the train set. But, the fracking train set is a pair use item, meaning, I only get to use it when she does (the only non-pair useitem is her paints. Daddy isn’t allowed to touch baby’s goddamn paints).

     Still, towers can be built, I think she's caught on. She hasn’t come to the full realization yet, but dawning awareness is there. Towers are only insanely fun to destroy when they're built up. Especially, when you make a game out of throwing things from across the room. 

     I'm sure there's a metaphor for life somewhere in that sentiment...


Author's note: This post was brought to you by Battlestar Galactica. Because what better way to circumvent language restrictions than by changing a few letters in English's favorite word. Not that I have any language restrictions on this blog, but sometimes I just feel like toning it down. Motherfracker.