Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Brick Robot Dilemna

So for the past, let's say, four or five months, Ethan has been talking about robots. Not just any robots. His robots. In particular, his brick robot. And he wants to build it. In fact, he has created a multitude of water color pictures that are his "instructions" for said robot. And he plans to hire a construction worker to help build the robot.

This robot is the robot of all robots. And I haven't quite figured out how to tell the poor guy that we cannot build a BRICK robot with real bricks. Last time we built a robot, his little heart was crushed when he discovered it didn't actually move or speak or protect anything.
The excitement exhibited during the building of this robot was much like the excitement you could imagine if you let a child loose in a candy store. It was sky high! Only to be brought to a crushing low when we were finished and reality set in. And so entered the BRICK robot. Because he must have had it all the wrong the first time and there must be a way to create a robot that really does all the things he wants.

Our many conversations about the robot show the imagination this kid has. This robot, made from REAL bricks will be stronger than any robot currently in existence. It will protect him, leaving Mom and Dad to sleep peacefully knowing we do not have to protect him from any bad guys that might enter his room. It will dress him and get him cereal and demolish bad guys with its super power strength. It will walk and talk and require no batteries. It will not have to use electricity to fight its battles.

This robot will be able to watch Dylan and change diapers. It will go into "bad" areas and defeat bad guys so that it's a safe place for kids. And when he's on these missions, he'll leave his "family," that being us, at home to ensure our safety.

And it will make him perfect.

He imagines this robot will be able to do what he cannot, and that's make him perfect. In fact, he says that his robot will whisper in his ear, "Ethan, if you're thinking something bad, don't think it anymore. Quit thinking it. If you're thinking something good, keep thinking it." He follows that up with, "And then I will be perfect. My robot can do that!"

I haven't the heart to tell him we can't actually build this robot. How do I squash his creativity and enthusiasm that is more detailed than any story I've ever written? How do I tell him that I can't help him achieve his well-thought-out dream? Yet every weekend, he asks us to go buy some bricks. And when he and Dad went to Lowes over the weekend? "Dad, we need to buy some bricks while we're here. His robot will be free thinking yet will lack one thing that keeps him from being human. A heart. Because robots cannot have hearts.

I wish I had the technological savvy to at least build SOME KIND of robot. I wish I could help him create a robot from scratch. And I wish I could afford those expensive kits that would at least create a walking, talking robot that might satisfy his dreams until he figures out how to create his creation. Because I have no doubt that a day will come when my Ethan does figure out how to build this amazing robot. It might not be able to do all the things he wants, but I foresee some kind of "brick" robot in his future.

Or at least a microscopic one that can go into people's arteries and clean them out. Because he fully intends to create that as well.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, that is quite the dilemma. You don't want to crush his dreams. I went over to Amazon to see if there was anything. There are a lot of books but not sure if any of them would help him see he can't build one himself. They do have the Robot Dog that you can build.