David Beckham has won major dad points and general kudos after posting before and after pics of his most recent project – constructing the Lego Disney castle for daughter Harper.
The epic 4,000-piecer came with 490 pages of instructions and took him seven days to complete – he finished at 1am and so far the Instagram post of him posing with the built castle has got 1.5 million likes.
Many parents will share Beckham’s mixture of pain and joy – “I look confused but I’m so excited” – as they attempt to help a child build (or are simply instructed to construct on their own) the latest Lego project to land at home.
Here are a few other thoughts that might be going through your mind…
1. Your eyes aren’t as sharp as they used to be
Those two-stud bricks have suddenly become the bane of your life – and anything smaller, forget it. Handily, the instructions for the Lego Juniors range (4-7), which my son is now into, have a little magnifying glass logo for those pieces that are tricky to spot…
2. The temptation to resort to Super Glue is strong
Will Ferrell’s dad character in The Lego Movie, a Lego collector who wants to glue all the models together (telling his son that’s how adults play with Lego), is starting to look more and more reasonable as everything you build gets torn apart. Just waiting for a follow-up Insta post from Beckham of a ruined castle.
3. Your appreciation of Legoland models hits a whole new height
Never mind Becks’ heroic effort, there are 657 Lego models in the Legoland Castle Hotel, which opened this summer, that took more than 2.1 million individual bricks to build. And that’s someone’s actual job! Where do we sign up?
4. You obsess over the whereabouts of every piece lying around the house
Why is Magneto’s helmet (from the recent 4th birthday prezzie Mighty Micros: Wolverine vs. Magneto set) sitting on the side of the bath? Not that we want the villainous Magneto to win, but surely Wolverine now has an unfair advantage?
5. Christmas and birthdays now hold a small amount of trepidation
In the dead of night, every wrapped present that goes under the tree (from care-free grandparents and well-meaning aunts) gets an extra shake. If it looks like a box of Lego and sounds like a box of Lego, that’s at least half your day gone.
6. The pain of treading on Lego bricks is worse
Scientists (with lots of time on their hands) have done research into this – and discovered the reason stepping on Lego with bare feet hurts so much is down to the fact the average 75kg person is exerting 3 million pascals of pressure onto the brick’s surface, sparking pain receptors into overdrive. Presumably kids don’t weigh as much, so it hurts less? Here’s a handy Youtube video that explains it.
7. It feels like Lego and Ikea are in cahoots
You love the finished product, the bonding, and the fact your child is not on a computer game, but the instructions make your brain hurt as much as Ikea’s.
8. You resort to military precision tactics to keep tabs on all pieces
You count them all out and count them all back – making sure every single piece (plus instructions) is put back in its rightful place. We know someone who used sandwich bags to store each Lego model, ensuring everything was present and correct. Either that or face the wrath of a child who cannot finish a model because “one piece is missing!!!”
9. You’re nostalgic (a bit) for the old days
Lego has come on a very long way from your childhood, when it was just basic bricks and the only thing you could make from your pathetic supply was (half) a house. Those 70s spacemen are no longer the height of Lego sophistication and random colours just don’t cut it any more.
10. You worry about chipping your manicure when breaking bricks apart
11. It’s harder to get up off the floor
After a two-hour session of full-on building, you’ve lost all feeling in your legs, your back aches and frankly you need someone else to pull you up – but it still doesn’t dampen the satisfaction of seeing the finished model.