Gather ’round, readers, for a tale of unfortunate diary explosions, precarious Wellington roads, and one very ill-advised decision to put a LEGO set in the oven that nearly ruined Solstice.
For the record: Do not put your LEGO set in the oven. If you take nothing else away from this story of disaster and triumph, please take to heart this single important lesson. Do. Not. Bake. Lego.
Picture it: It’s the morning of Summer Solstice. There are a pile of presents under a tree acting as symbol of multiple different holidays. We’ve just finished having a delightful breakfast of gingerbread muffins and have opened all of the windows because it is the hottest day of the season so far.
(December holidays can be very confusing in the Southern Hemisphere for a Philly kid used to wishing for a White Christmas, which is why we have leaned into celebrating the change in seasons like Pagans with a Saturnalia festival spanning from Solstice to Christmas.)
(Yes, we also celebrate Winter Solstice.)
It was an ideal holiday morning. The kid had just opened her first gift, which was LEGO’s special 2022 free holiday gift set: a diorama of a pair of elves in snowy landscape.
We picked it as the first present not only because she loves LEGO, but because it was part of our Saturnalian theme. No, not human sacrifice. You see, because I am an obsessive dungeon master who can only celebrate things like Bachelorette Parties if I turn them into day-long, city-spanning alternate realty games, I can’t just put presents under a tree with normal “To / From” labels on them.
No. That takes the mystery out of things.
Instead, our Solstice gift-giving is a double-blind process. Every time anyone in the family wraps a present, they reserve a random number for that gift on a shared spreadsheet. Then, starting on Solstice and continuing through Boxing Day, we periodically reveal gift numbers to each other and it is the kid’s job to play Holiday Elf and find said numbered gift in the ever-decreasing spread of presents and deliver it to its intended recipient
The LEGO was a commemoration of her official role of Holiday Elf. It was the kickoff gift to our whole holiday festival.
And that’s where things started to go wrong.
The kid had dumped her LEGO into the middle of the floor to begin working on bag #1. I had made myself a peppermint milk in my home sippy-cup, because I am disaster-prone and cannot be trusted with an open container even in my own home.
(As will become evident in a moment.)
I attempted to hopscotch through the splayed-out LEGO to take a seat closer to the tree so I could watch the assembly process. During my incredibly graceful leaping, my grip on my sippy-cup slipped upward towards the lid. Unbeknownst to me, I hadn’t lined up the lid with the threads of the cup, so the connection between the two was tenuous at best. The combination of holding the cup by the lid and my hopscotching sent a half a liter of peppermint milk plummeting to the ground, where it struck DIRECTLY in the middle of the brand new LEGO kit like a minty dairy bomb and spread to cover the entire carpeted path to the tree.
This sent various family members springing into action. Well, the kid mostly sprung into whinging, which was totally justified based on me dunking her entire first gift as if it was a holiday Oreo.
(That joke wouldn’t work for a New Zealand audience, because they don’t dunk their cookies in milk here, but that’s a whole other post entirely.)
I bustled across the house to find supplies to begin the long process of making sure our carpet wouldn’t smell like spoilt milk for eternity. Meanwhile, E and the kid attended to scooping all of the milky LEGO into a fine strainer to whisked away to be rinsed off in the kitchen sink.
By the time I was done with my extensive soaking up, soaping, soaking up again, and-dehumidifying process there was no resumed LEGO-ing but the kitchen was suspiciously quiet. I poked my head in.
“Are the LEGO still drying?” I asked
“Yep,” E replied.
“Cool. It’ll probably take a while for the water to drain out of all the little nooks and crannies.”
“Oh, don’t worry, I put the LEGO in the oven.” [Read more…] about The Great Solstice Baked LEGO Diary Disaster of 2022