I am almost certain that my feet contain the world’s most sophisticated homing device for small pieces of plastic. Back when I would manage to step on sewing needles that had been lost in the horrific shag carpet that my grandparents never quite got around to replacing, I used to think that my feet had some kind of magnet, but since the arrivals of my kids, I’ve learned better. Or maybe the foot magnet evolved to pick up on a specific type of colored plastic now.
In any case, if either of my kids has lost a Lego block, or a piece of K’nex, I will find it. With my feet. And I totally love them to pieces, but there’s always that moment when the sharp square edge of a Lego has just jammed directly into the softest part of the arch of my foot when I wonder what in the world my wife and I were thinking eight years ago when we started down this path.
It’s usually not even their fault, either. In almost every case, they tried as hard as they could to clean up the Legos before I blunder my way through the room, and just missed one. Or two.
You’d think that I’d eventually get used to looking for Legos when I walk — after all, in some way kids seem less devoted to playing with their toys and more happy to just build a mine field by strewing them around the house. But, that doesn’t help. Somehow, I only see the accidental remnants of the last Lego brick buildingfest after the homing device in my foot has done its job.
I’ve tried all kinds of little things to reduce the number of Lego Incidents in the house. Nothing worked. First, I tried to restrict the Legos to two rooms of the house — the den and the kids’ room.No luck. I stepped on the Legos the second I went to put them to bed, and then found another lost, lonely block in the hallway. How did it get out there? Did it bounce? Do we have House Elves?
So then, we tried using one of those outdoor tablecloths as a play mat. I figured that the Legos would be easier to see when it was time to pick them up. You can imagine how that worked out. That time, I was struck down by a Lego block that had made it all the way to the kitchen before lodging itself between my toes.
I still try to avoid the Legos, but it’s something of a half-hearted endeavor now. I’ve more or less given up. It doesn’t matter how hard my kids try to protect Daddy’s feet, their blocks will escape from their clean-up attempts.
I guess it could be worse. At least nobody in the house has decided to take up sewing.