Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Lego club, and a small victory

Today was the first meeting of a new local club - a Lego club.

Organised by a very lovely and enthusiastic local home educator, we met in a library and the boys built!

We all had a list of blocks to bring, and herein lies my downfall :(

Somehow I managed to misread the list and didn't bring enough blocks (specifically we were short of blue blocks).

Can you see it coming?  I didn't . . .

I had prepared for A, J and M to build - L wanted to stay at home because he has a late evening planned. 

We took a big crate of Duplo for the younger ones to play with, and once things started A decided she would rather play with that.

As it turns out I am relieved that she did - she had a great time, and the boys were able to use the bricks I had prepared for her.  I think she enjoys being the older one in a group, and she was thoroughly enjoying building a farm with the younger girls :)

M and J sat together, and I plonked myself in between them hoping to be able to help them both. 

The session began with a short presentation about Mario and his history.  Then the lady leading the group showed us - step by step - how to build an 8-bit Mario.

At the first step we found out I hadn't put enough big blue blocks in.  M was very cross - lots of "I can't do this now!  You've ruined everything."  J was tearing up, collapsing in on himself. 

The lovely lady leading the group reassured them that we could improvise.  M was still cross, J still quiet but we got going.  I used a few techniques I am building up - a head rub for M, back rub for J, lots of praise, forewarning of problems before we hit them, helping them work out what to do rather than leaving them to it and finally pointing out that not many other people had all of the right blocks either.  It helped a lot that the other lad on our table also had problems with missing blocks.

I was worried that we were headed for a big disaster - not being able to follow instructions precisely is a HUGE trigger for both boys.  They feel the weight of expectations keenly, and it often causes meltdowns.

We were moments from a proper collapse from both boys - probably not helped by lack of sleep last night - and somehow in spite of it being a "perfect storm" moment we managed to skirt the edge of the pit and have fun :)

Both boys are pleased with their Marios - and I am too.  All in all a good day :)