Monday, August 11, 2008

Lego Calamity

My son is very fortunate this evening. Fortunate he wasn't hurt, fortunate he scared the crap out of us before we saw the carnage, and fortunate we were so relieved that he was okay that we chose not to kill him.

Luke and DH were upstairs engaging in a mutually favorite post-bath time ritual: playing with DH's Star Wars Legos that reside in our bedroom. I was downstairs playing on the web, waiting for the Olympics to restart at 7 PM. I heard DH leave our bedroom and go into Luke's bedroom to "prep the room" before bedtime, just as he's done every Sunday evening for months now.

Then came a huge crashing noise from overhead, and DH and I could have beaten any Olympian in that moment. He sprinted across the hall from Luke's bedroom back to ours as I hurtled up the stairs two at a time, both of us more concerned about the silence following the crash than anything.

DH got there first, having only a fraction of the distance to travel that I did (he already being upstairs and all). The crying started as soon as he opened the door; I didn't know if that was a good sign or a bad sign. By the time I got up the stairs, DH was shoving a borderline-hysterical Luke out of the bedroom and slammed the door right in my face (he had no idea I was there, I promise).

There was no doubt about what had crashed. Only two possible pieces of furniture could have fallen, and the other one would have made a *much* larger "boom" on a different part of the ceiling (plus it is surrounded by junk and is extremely heavy, so it is unlikely he could have pulled it over at all).

Clearly Luke was okay, or he would not have been shoved out of the room so unceremoniously. I opened the door to see the bookshelves laying face down on the corner of the dresser, the back corners of the shelf digging into the wall, tiny Lego pieces strewn everywhere. The shelves housed DH's prized Star Wars Legos collection. I can't even tell you how many sets we had up there. 25? 30? More? That's not an unreasonable guess; some sets are quite small, but others are large and impressive. Roughly 21 cubic feet of Star Wars Lego goodness, lovingly assembled piece by piece by DH over a period of 6-7 years. The only reason there weren't more is because we were simply out of room. The unassembled sets were stacked next to the shelf, waiting. There were a few of my collectible dolls on top of the shelves, but they are plastic and in boxes and survived mostly unscathed. Our room is bit of a mess, so I don't have photos of the whole scene, but here is some of the aftermath:

The bookcase was cheap, mostly press board with a cardboard backing. Nevertheless, it was heavy enough, and fell hard enough, that it cracked the corner of my dresser that is made of solid wood:

I think DH was just in shock (and feeling a little guilty). I was much angrier about it than he was. Luke was still crying out in the hall, a crumpled little heap on the carpet. I went back out, at DH's request, so that he could pick up the bookcase (it was rather unwieldy for me) and I could try and calm Luke down. I'll admit, I did more borderline-shouting than comforting. I was still just so angry, both at him (he knows better!) and myself (for not anchoring it to the wall; I *know,* I know).

And Luke was still just *screaming,* which did nothing to help my jangled nerves. I told him he could either calm down and go down stairs, or he could go to his room and go to bed. He didn't budge. I don't know if he was just being stubborn, or if he simply didn't hear me over his own wailing. So I picked him up and plopped him down on his bed, and he just curled up and bawled. Now how bad do I feel? DH comes back out of our bedroom about this time, and he still seems a little out of it. He talks very calmly to Luke and gets him to calm down and go downstairs, and we completed the remainder of the usual bedtime routine without incident.

After Luke was in bed, I went in to take pictures, and DH started picking up the pieces (literally) and assessing the damage. I offered to help, but I certainly didn't know what pieces went with what. He didn't know all of them, but he would definitely know better than I. I went down to watch the Olympics (at his insistence) and left him to his own devices.

Two hours later, and he has all but one put back together. Nothing appears to be irrevocably broken; everything broke into bricks, like it should. There are a few extra pieces that we don't know where they go, but if we can't tell from looking that something's missing, then it's not really a big deal. The Millennium Falcon, however, is still a wreck. It is so complex, and there are so many small pieces, that he will virtually have to rebuild it from scratch. (Guess it's a good thing he kept all of the building guides, no?) Last time, I think it took him about 6 hours to put it together. Not sure when he will have that kind of time to devote to the restoration effort, but I will do my best to make it happen sometime soon. We both realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is not a catastrophe. In fact, we are really quite lucky that the damage wasn't worse, to the bookshelf, the dresser, the Legos, or the child. But it was still heartbreaking to see all those hours and hours of hard work shattered in a single moment.

Currently feeling: in pieces


  1. Ack! I'm glad everyone is okay! I did something similar when I was 2 - climbed up side of rolling TV cart, with TV on top. Everything fell on top of me, and I got 8 stitches on my forehead!

  2. Oh, how horrible! Hugs to all of you. I'm glad your DH was able to sort most of it out, and Luke wasn't injured by the falling furniture.

    My nephew disassembled our Millennium Falcon earlier this summer, while the rest of us were in back on the deck, and his parents were ready to ground him for life. Luckily, DH had saved the manual.


  3. I'm glad Luke wasn't hurt. I think you and your DH handled it a lot more calmly than I would have!

  4. Like everyone else, I'm glad Luke wasn't hurt.

    My heart goes out to DH to have his precious legos broken. I guess the bright side is that they are designed to break and so can be put together again as well.

    Hugs to you all.

  5. Oh my gosh, been there (though not with Legos). I'm glad everyone is okay, and I hope your husband has a chance to put his piece back together soon.

  6. Given that lego is designed to be broken and put back together again and humans aren't, you're lucky it took all the damage and not Luke.

    I hope he's recovered from his fright.

  7. What joyus said. Very glad that the lego sets were broken and not Luke.


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