Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On The Importance of Glue In A Marriage

Last Christmas, my in-laws bought Gianna a train table for Christmas. It's the kind that requires lots of assembly, so naturally we left it in the box for a very long time. Over four months, to be exact. You'd be forgiven for suspecting me of exaggerating, but alas, I am not.

I know for a fact that it was over four months because for Gianna's birthday, which is in May, my in-laws bought her an amazing play set that I sometimes think I'll move all our furniture inside it's so swanky, and when they came up here for The Installation, which occurred on April the 8th, they were appalled. They were appalled because the train table was still a non-table-in-a-box-in-the-basement situation. So my ever-patient father-in-law put the whole thing together. So you see, Christmas, which takes place in December, to April 8th, is over four months. Not exaggerating, not this time.

After construction, Dominic found the site of a fully assembled, organized, lovely-to-behold train table offensive to his chaos-loving sensibilities. So he wrecked it. He wrecked it every day. He wrecked it in such a way that it was rendered unusable. Like so.

Which kind of made us want to make it look like this

My brother-in-law is the type who still plays with Legos. He took one look at the train table and re-assembled it in a jiffy. Then he said, "Got any wood glue? Cuz you should glue this to make it Dom-Proof."

He and Brad glued a few test pieces and let it sit until morning. The next day being a Sunday, we had our usual after-Mass crowd over to the casa and our friends remarked over the tidiness of the train table. "Ah yes," we said. "We plan to glue it all together. It will solve all of our problems."

In unison, one of the couples that we a very good friends with cried out, "But you can't do that!! You'll regret it later, because you'll be limiting their creativity!"

This gave us slight pause, because we like these friends lots (I think they read this blog. Hi, my lovely non-train-table-gluing-friends!) And because I know what open-ended toys are and I generally go in for crap like that. So the question was...to glue or not to glue. Brad was all for the gluing. Apparently, watching Dominic chuck wooden train tracks at everyone was really getting to him. I, on the other hand, am very good at tuning such things out in the name of being "laid back" and "chill" but really all that means is that I'm too busy reading to pay much attention to the state of the train table.

In the end, we chose sanity over creativity. We glued it. Every last piece. That night, as Brad and I gleefully slathered wood glue all over the tracks, I was happy. Not just happy because now there would not be train tracks on the floors and train tracks in the toilet and train tracks flying past my head and I would soon have two calm and peaceful children navigating the trains for hours on end, but happy because Brad and I were gluing together. And I liked to think about our non-train-track-gluing friends and how they were not-gluing together. There's a lot of madness and instability in this world, but there's also a lot of people like us, and like my friends, and lots of others, who are steadily gluing or not gluing based on what they decide for their family, and I like to think about all these cozy families and their messy, creative, joyful, sacrificing, different lives.

Oh, and I'm also happy because now, the train table looks like this:

tres perfect!