By guest blogger Kelly O'Leary
If you’re like us and have a 4-year-old boy who is active, inquisitive and who loves to build (is there another kind?), then there’s a good chance you’ve already amassed an impressive collection of LEGO. It’s as ubiquitous in our house as matchbox cars and as on equally high rotation as the breakfast milkshake.
A few weeks ago we decided to indulge Cohen’s LEGO passion and took him to see The Art of the Brick exhibition on its final day in Sydney. Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist whose creates large-scale sculptures and portraits using LEGO. His works were surprising and impressive and included a series of skulls, the Earth and a several full-scale human figures (the swimmer mid-stroke was a standout).
Unsurprisingly, Cohen’s favourite was the massive T-Rex skeleton. But the apples were what caught my eye:
Also unsurprisingly, after Cohen took a lightning quick lap of the exhibition space with the requisite “this is so cool… awesome cool”, within about five minutes came the familiar “please can I have some LEGO, Mumma?” While his consumer instinct is already finely attuned, not so much his appreciation of (albeit pop) culture. Maybe we’ll just have to slap a bit more yoghurt on him.
From Cohen’s passion to one of mine: children’s books. Well, it’s more of an obsession, really. I love kids’ books – mad for them. I especially love the ones that rhyme cleverly and the ones where the illustration takes up the whole page and don’t even get me started on the books that have both. I try to limit my purchases to a few a month, supplemented with a hit from the local library every three weeks. I have it under control and it’s for Cohen and I can stop whenever I want, okay?
While I was researching appley goodness for this post I happened upon this book:
How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world by Marjorie Priceman. It starts, “Making an apple pie is really very easy…. Unless, of course, the market is closed. In that case go home and pack a suitcase.” The book then takes readers on a journey around the world to collect the necessary ingredients and at last bake the pie (recipe included).
I’m usually a touch-it-before-I-buy-it kinda gal, and in the case of a kids’ book, want to read it cover to cover and be swept away by it before I make it mine, I mean, Cohen’s. But finding little finds is not always a predictable business. Sometimes you stumble across a treasured trinket in the council toss-out pile in front of your neighbour’s house; others, you spend days or weeks scouring the internet and wearing out your dialling digit to no avail. Alas ‘twas the case with this book. After many failed attempts to track down a copy in Sydney, I gave in and ordered it online.
I was taken by the whimsy of this book and hope that I love it, I mean, I hope Cohen loves it when it arrives next week.
My final nibble of the apple is the Big Apple, New York. It started late January 2012 when a friend sent me this clip, part of the marketing campaign for the movie, The Chronicle. It features three human-shaped remote control planes flying around New York.
I showed Cohen and he was enthralled. His first question with wide-eyed wonder: “Mumma, where is that? I want to go there.”
Ever since then the idea of a holiday to New York has been a faint but fairly constant buzz in the back of my mind…kind of like the low hum of a party down the street that you’d like to crash. Then last week, I came across this photo on Pinterest:
Painters on the Brooklyn Bridge Suspender Cables-October 7, 1914, Eugene de Salignac
There’s something about this picture that I find utterly enticing. I want to climb up on the suspension cables and disappear into the vanishing point, into New York’s vanishing point.
Logic and a quick glance at my bank balance tell me it’s unlikely that we’ll find our way to New York this year. Then again, there’s that background buzz, which I’m rather enjoying, so who knows.
Some people would probably say that New York is drawing a bit of a long bow in terms of ‘an apple a day’. I guess I can only say this… long bow; bow and arrow; William Tell, famed 14th century marksman; William Tell, famed 14th century marksman who is said to have shot an apple off his son’s head; apple.