Monday, November 24, 2008

The Great Lego Pistol dispute

Just when I was looking forward to a quiet afternoon. Ha! No, we must have drama instead! David came out of class this afternoon in a right state. The story emerged slowly, interspersed with sobs and sniffles.

A piece of Lego is being held hostage in the teacher's staff room this afternoon after a major dispute over ownership broke out in class today. Why the hell are the kids playing with Lego in class? Well may you ask! It's all to do with the project they're doing - a personal interest project - they have to produce a presentation of some sort about something they like. So, for David and a few of his friends, that means Lego. They've been taking models they've made to school and photographing them to use in animations or comics or whatever.

Actually, David takes Lego to school most days to play with at recess and lunchtime. I'm not happy about this for several reasons, it's expensive, easy to lose, he's prone to sneaking it out in class and fiddling with it when he should be working and it's vulnerable to being pinched. But short of bag searches and pat downs each morning I can't stop him, so instead we've established some rules. It's not to come out during class, he has to accept that in taking it to school he risks losing it and that if that happens he will get no sympathy from me and he's not allowed to make it my, or the teachers' problem in any way.

Unfortunately it all came unstuck today when he lent some of his Lego to a friend to use in their project. A tiny Lego pistol became separated from the rest of the model and was claimed by another friend (and here's the odd bit) and promptly gifted to the first friend. Shortly afterwards David realised he was missing the pistol (and let me assure you, he's obsessive enough to be damn sure about what he does or doesn't own or have with him at any particular time). David indicated that the pistol was in fact his and within moments the discussion had degenerated into 2 of them yelling "No, it's mine!" at each other. They ended up in front of the deputy principal (here's where I cringe in humiliation) who has confiscated the disputed property and requires proof of ownership before it will be returned. What I don't get is that the friend who is contesting ownership is the one who gave it away when he thought it was his, why does he even care?

So when Dave tells me he's supposed to come up with proof of ownership I'm all "What? How the hell are you supposed to do that?" I need not have worried, he had it all figured out. It seems the key is which set the pistol is supposed to have come from, Dave identified it as part of the Batman range, the friend said it came from an Indiana Jones set and that the 2 sets have the same piece in them. Dave assured the teachers that the 2 pistols are different but they would not take him at his word (this was the source of most of the distress, to not be believed about a question of Lego, of all things, was devastating).

I read the riot act on the subject of reasonable responses to situations and the inappropriateness of losing your shit over a tiny piece of plastic, said that of course I believe him, laid down the law about not taking your bad mood out on the rest of us after he snarled at Tom for asking what was wrong and then assured him it will all be ok.

All of which goes to explain why we had to come home and raid the Lego.com site for pictures of pistols.

Evidence gatherer, trauma counsellor, behaviour critic and giver of hugs. That's me.

You'd think there'd be enough real problems to wrestle with without this sort of mountain out of molehill stuff as well.

David is right, of course.

5 comments:

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

CLEARLY, very different lego pistols. I'm glad your son stood his ground. Otherwise it could have turned into one of those King Solomon "tear the baby in half so you each get a bit scenarios". And really, half a lego pistol is even more useless than half a theroretical baby. ;)

Mim said...

LOL :)

I used to threaten to toss things in the rubbish when the kids fought over them, don't know why I never tried the King Solomon approach!

Nap Mom said...

Love the story. We had a similar situation just last week at Lulu's school. They students rotate to different classes and apparently Chloe took Lulu's cootie catcher from her desk. Various students saw Chloe take it OR saw her with it. Chloe denied ever having it. It is missing from Lulu's desk. I know that stealing is not a good thing, obviously. However, should she have been making cootie catcher's at school anyways? Don't we have better things to worry about? Don't know what a cootie catcher is? Just google 'cootie catcher' and you'll see what I mean.

yodaobi said...

YAY
Things I have to look forward to!

Awesome.

I'm not sure if William's old enough for James's suitcase of lego.

Mel said...

Ah yes - hey you could have just emailed us to be referee - Mr 8 is also a master of Lego and would have been able to find a picture proof too.

Poor baby.