A few days ago, Sonya and I had some down-time. We’d danced to the musical cube, built and knocked down towers of blocks, and climbed on and off the sofa many times. Then I remembered an idea I’d seen.
For the past few months, I’ve been following an inspiring stay-at-home-artist dad blog called Made by Joel. Joel Henriques posts different toys he makes for his kids. One of his simple, beautiful ideas were these slotted building discs. The circles have four notches cut into the side that can interlock, so you can put them together into little sculptures.
Sonya and I printed out Joel’s two templates, glued them onto thick green cardstock, and cut them out. That took about thirty minutes. Then I realized that not only was Sonya unable to interlock the discs, but she had no interest in watching me put them together, either.
Sonya kept snatching the circles from my hands and shaking her head no-no-no, and so I said something like, “Wait, Sonya, Mom is going to show you what to do with these.”
(Eventually, however, I had to give up my aspirations to build a replica of Damián Ortega’s tortilla sculpture which had inspired Joel).
But I’d actually been wrong. Sonya didn’t need me to show her what to do with the colorful circles we’d made. I needed to learn from my daughter, instead. There are actually many things to do with Joel’s slotted discs.
Sonya patiently taught me.
First, we could stack them like poker chips. Then we could slide them along the floor and press them like buttons. Once we had them arranged, we could stomp on the dots and have them stick to the bottom of our feet. Then we could spread them all around the living room, like magic medallions, to decorate our barren wooden floor.
I am not young enough to know everything.
— J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan