It is time for Legos! This announcement is frequently made in our home. It is a ritual that never gets old for kiddo Brick. I remember when the mania started. As a baby, my son had the usual stuffed animals and alphabet blocks; but then one day someone gave him a set of Legos as a birthday present. He was two. He took to them instantly and tried to build things on his own. Daddy Brick and I wanted to help him by showing examples of what could be done.
After that, he always wanted us present during Lego building time. We complied and had established a pattern that was never to be broken. We adore our son and playing with him is a privilege. Time goes by fast and he is easy to get ready for bed. Legos have helped him become extremely cooperative because he knows that it is a reward for good behavior.
The only pause in this practice is when Mama is cooking or cleaning (or watching a favorite TV show) or when Daddy is tired after a hard day at work and Lego building would be stressful. He needs a rest and goes to the back room for a smoke. It calms him down and gets him in the mood for playtime. In good weather, he sits on a lounge chair in the patio, but when it is cold, he is entrenched in his favorite leather stuffed chair. I hate when he smokes in the house as wisps of the odorous material permeate the entire house. Kiddo Brick doesn’t seem to care, but I do. This is definitely not good for the child’s health. If I ban the cigarettes, there are nasty mood consequences, so I must put up with it for now. I am going to handle it with technology.
Immediately after a meltdown, I went online and found the best air purifier for smoke and set it in the den. I am not sure my husband even noticed it. It was a unit designed for smokers and used a HEPA filter for extra protection. I read about it on Facebook. It cost more but had rave reviews.
I took to opening the windows during smoking sessions and set down some new ground rules. Here is what I demanded. Now smoking was going to be on my terms:
- Smoking permitted on rare days when stress must be dissipated and there is no other means.
- Smoking is done outdoors unless it is raining.
- After smoking, the culprit must spray the room with lightly scented deodorizer.
- While smoking, a candle will be burning. It is a good addition to other odor-reducing techniques.
- Smoking in the den is limited to one cigarette.
- No smoking elsewhere, especially Kiddo Brick’s room.
- Opening windows is a precursor to any smoking.
Daddy agreed to the rules immediately and promised to stop smoking soon. He bought some liqueur and tiny glasses. He was changing one vice for another, but I didn’t want to complain. I was just happy to put away the deodorizer.