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  • jdettmann

I Am A Lego Detective

Last week, for the first time, Garnet asked me what my job is. It’s a wonderful moment when your child starts to show an interest in you, as a person.  I told him I am a writer and an editor. He then asked what an editor is. I told him an editor helps other writers make their writing better.

But I’m confused, because although I think that’s what I said, what he seems to have heard is, ‘I am a Lego Detective. I can find any piece of Lego, anywhere in our house or car. I only need three seconds to do this.

‘I am also the repository of knowledge of the whereabouts of everything else we own. I keep track, at all times, of where the extra lid to your new water bottle is, which I last saw when you took it out of the room I was in five days ago. I am a tracking system for the black button that fell off your old raincoat and which you now treasure.

‘I am a reshelver of books, not because I fear for everyone’s safety when the floor becomes like an icy pond of paperback books with us all Bambi-ing about on them, but because I love putting books on shelves. Over and over again.

‘I am a mind reader. I work hard to know at all times what anyone who lives here means by “that thingy”, based on the context and the volume at which it is repeated. I appreciate how much you respect my skills, a fact which you make clear when you yell “YOU KNOW WHICH THINGY I MEAN’. To me, that is better than any pay rise or promotion.

‘I am a bulldozer of dirty clothes. I am sad that I don’t live somewhere I can drive a snowplough, so I love that you help me replicate that experience every day by shuffling through the house, pushing an ever-increasing heap of bolognesed t-shirts and weetbixed shorts in front of my feet.

‘I am your audience. Although it may look like I am drinking coffee with my eyes closed because it is half past six in the morning, I am really waiting for you to start gesturing at your mismatched pyjamas with a tin whistle and saying, “Mummy, look, Mummy. Mummy. See? Fashion here, with sailboats, and fashion here, with fire engines. I am Fashion Baby!”

‘I am here to admire your fashion and call you the Mixed Prints of Bel Air. I am here to watch you leap around the living room brandishing that tin whistle, which you are now calling a fashion sword, and shouting “Fashion Baby”, as you fight imaginary enemies (presumably of fashion). I am here to try not to laugh when you attempt to store your fashion sword in the waistband of your fire engine pyjamas and it falls down inside your pant leg.

‘I am here to buy you everything that all your friends have. All you need to do is ask me enough times. Nope, that’s not enough. Keep asking me, and all the Lego sets and trips to Luna Park shall be yours.

I am a chef. All I wish to make is pizza, but twenty meals a week some sort of nutrition fiend possesses me and I make you other, inferior things to eat. I am sorry.

I am here to talk into the wind. I don’t mean most of what I say, especially things like “Please don’t roll that ride-on-tractor down the stairs towards the glass cabinet,” and “Would you please put on your shoes?” I just like the sound of my own voice. Pay me no heed.

I am a telly magician. I can make shows appear on Netflix even if they haven’t been made.’

Sometimes your job is not what you think it is. I know mine isn’t.

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