Thursday, June 12, 2014

So buzzed

Late last year, it seems, was the last time I provided an update of the goings-on with our household’s multiple Buzz Lightyear deluxe action figures. Since then the little guy has gone through a few different cycles of interest in How to Train Your Dragon, Finding Nemo, and Cars/Cars 2 (again), but recently he’s gotten back into Toy Story in a big way, which brought Buzz back into playtime with corresponding prominence. To review for the click-averse, we got the little guy the Big Buzz for his birthday last fall, and within a couple of months he had broken off the leg, and we just went ahead and replaced it. We also held on to one-legged Buzz.

Which turned out to be a good thing, because since the last report, the replacement Buzz managed to get his arm snapped off. His non-laser arm, which was fortunate, but still. I don’t know if there was any causation in the correlation, but around the time of the second grievous toy injury the little guy was cycling out of his Toy Story phase anyway. So while I made vague declarations about trying to fix Buzz, it wasn’t an urgent issue.

However, when the cycle began anew in the last month or so, I similarly renewed my resolve. I was about 80% sure that there was a way to take apart the one-legged Buzz and remove his perfectly undamaged arm, similarly take apart the one-armed Buzz and remove the remaining stump of joint in his shoulder, and swap in the working arm. I offered this option to the little guy repeatedly, and he turned me down repeatedly, but eventually he got on board and agreed to let me take a shot at the repair procedure. (It turned out, as I discovered talking to him while he watched me perform the transplant, that he had misunderstood at first and thought I was offering to break off the old Buzz’s arm and then mash together the damaged toy parts somehow, and he was understandably skeptical that anything good would come of that.)

The operation was a success! The little guy was nothing short of amazed. My wife and I always take great pains to explain things to our naturally inquisitive son, and you would think this would at least instill in him a little bit of faith in the breadth and depth of our knowledge. Yet (and I know this is true of just about all kids) he’s very susceptible to getting an idea in his head along the lines of “well, I can’t figure out how to do this, so it can’t be done.” And when we prove otherwise, he is astounded.

So all was sunshine-rainbow-happiness in the house … for a few days. And then the stupid arm got broken AGAIN. As with every other calamity that has befallen both Buzz figures, it was an accident (and ironically it involved affectionate rough-housing that happened a little too close to Buzz but really wasn’t centered on him). Part of the reason I had been so dead-set on fixing the Buzz was because it was already the second copy of the dang toy we had bought, which not only meant we had the viable spare part we needed but also that I was drawing a line in the sand about buying a third one.

The third Buzz came off the UPS truck (which the little guy charmingly calls “the Amazon truck” because that’s the kind of box it brings the sweeping majority of the time) yesterday. Who knows how long this one will last? I’d like to believe a good long while, third time’s a charm and all that, not to mention the good karma I hope I earned by at least trying to teach a lesson about resourcefulness and not automatically treating everything as disposable and replaceable. But I’d settle for lasting until the little guy’s attention wanders off to dinosaurs or construction machines or somesuch.

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