Friday, June 1, 2007

Chocolate Factory Revitalization Project

Legos and Lincoln Logs are a hot commodity in my house right
now. My son creates tall, elaborate
structures and no matter what they look
like, I always get the same answer when I ask him what they are: chocolate
factories. He builds chocolate
factories like they are going out of style. A common occurrence in my house of late is my son's sudden, hysterical crying followed by a dramatic collapse and an almost incomprehensible, “Sissy isn’t
being nice. She knocked over my
chocolate factory.” If I were a random
onlooker and witnessed one of these fits, I’d probably think that my son's puppy  had just
gotten run over by a truck. It’s
that dramatic.

Clearly I cannot endorse this type of
reaction to my daughter’s maybe accidental, most likely purposeful, destruction
of my son’s structure. I also don’t
feel like I should punish my daughter for knocking things over
occasionally. It’s what kids do. It’s normal. My son, however, is not. He assigns great value to his creations and feels that the rest of the
world should not only recognize this value but also respect it. He’s got some tough lessons to learn.

When this happened this morning I told him that he was
overreacting. He continued to jump up
and down and scream, whining unintelligible phrases between deep, dramatic
breaths.  I was forced to threaten to take his Legos away for
the day if he continued.  When he was finally able to compose himself I explained to
him that he could play uninterrupted in his room if he chose to. I told my son that his sister could not be
expected to refrain from knocking over his chocolate factories if they were built on the living room floor. He didn’t quite agree
with this and fought me tooth and nail but finally conceded. He begrudgingly dragged his Lego basket back
to his room, closed the door and commenced a chocolate factory revitalization
project. My daughter stood by his door
for a while perplexed saying, “Bubba? Bubba?” It was really sad but
she gave up pretty quickly in favor of “helping” me fold the laundry.

I’m happy to report that the chocolate factory
revitalization project was a success. It is restored to its formal glory and has found a new home on the floor
of my son’s room. The room wrecker lock
on the outside of my son’s door has been given new life as my son’s official
chocolate factory security system. The
success rate thus far: 100%. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. I'm shopping for some new threads for Lil' Sweet 'Tater', I have seen T-shirts that say; "I make little boys cry" the ones that I've seen are in much larger sizes, but, it's evident, the little darling needs one, and, hopefully soon, the Trumster will learn how to cowboy-up, and not take this wrecking phase too seriously. He does seem to like him some Chocolate Factories don't he???

  2. I got a kick out of this--one of my favorite blog entries to date! Was I on the phone with you this morning when Tatum destroyed the factory? It certainly was quite a commotion I heard in the background of the Hale home.

  3. Trey builds Castles. Our motto is "you can always build it back". This helps w/ the tantrums. Trey will build a train track, then Ben swoops in. I remind Trey again. This usually works. Also, lately I have told them that Ben wants to help, maybe he might have another idea.
    I have pictures of some of his structures too. He is so proud of them.
    I might try the later, like you.
    Anyway, good luck!

  4. Another Willy Wonka maybe? ;-)~ O' the joys kids bring to our homes! To think it only gets worse as they get older, and I had 3 why?!

  5. Another Willy Wonka maybe? ;-)~ O' the joys kids bring to our homes! To think it only gets worse as they get older, and I had 3 why?!

  6. Papa Dale-
    If you find that "I make little boys cry" T-shirt, please get it for Tater. It is the gospel truth in our house.

  7. Jacquelyn-
    Yes, you were. It happens quite frequently.

  8. Katb-
    Taking picture is a clever idea. I might have to steal that one. The "you can always build it back" theory doesn't work on my son. He doesn't care.

  9. Candice-
    You know, the ironic thing is that he's never even seen Willy Wonka. I have no idea where he got the "Chocolate Factory" idea from.