If you ask, Little Bug will tell you that his favorite thing to play is "ramps and cars." As you might imagine, this involves using his blocks to make a ramp for his cars.
I have a clear idea of how this should be done. When he asks me to play with him, I always build the same one. It looks like the one below:
Bug does not think much of this ramp. He'll usually let me run a car or two down it just to be nice, but he'll quickly begin to offer other suggestions. This is impressive given the limits of his words. He will, for example, stand up and step away and jump in the air to suggest it should have a jump.
He thinks my ramps are boring.
So I asked what he would build instead. This is what he made:
"Do drivers like to crash?" I asked, trying not to pre-worry the fact that he could get his license a mere 14 years from now. He sighed. Grown-ups are hard to explain things to.
So then he built me this one:
Little Bug had a plan. He started showing me how my ramp could be fixed. All these months I thought he didn't know how to build a gently sloping ramp that you could let go your car at the top of, but I was wrong. He started building my ramp. On steroids. With jumps.
He talks like a comic book. "Bam! Pow!"when there were crashes. "Zippo!" is what he shouts when it makes it.
We worked on it from before dinner until bedtime. I got more and more excited. Finally, this is what he built:
I took pictures. We called Mama Jennifer. I showed her how a car would go all the way down, negotiate that top (3-block) jump, that final one-block jump, and shoot through the double arch. "Zippo!" I shouted, pumping my arms.
There's a great, middle-ground ramp that he's learned to build, I thought, keeping his sense of adventure but creating something that works better.
Still, I was a little wistful for his crazy architectural features, thinking sadly that I'd inculcated my little guy into the boring world of stereotypical but functional figures. I shouldn't have worried. This morning, he got up and built this ramp: