“That’s your territory,” I hear them telling her.
The kids are in Benjamin’s room, building with Legos. There are Legos in other rooms of the house, but they all build in his room. Why have they all tacitly agreed that his room is the Building Zone? Most likely because it is the only activity pursued in his room. While Lilah and Zachary occasionally make forays into the world of drawing, writing, or imaginative play, in Benjamin’s room one is either reading or building. There are no other ways to spend one’s time. Perforce, Benjamin has the largest supply of tiny plastic blocks. When we win a bid on eBay, the lion’s share go to his room. We may have a chicken-and-egg thingy going on here.
“Where’s her territory?” I ask.
“Right there.” Benjamin draws an imaginary line with his finger. The line cordons off two square feet crammed into the corner by the door.
“She has to stay there?”
“No, no. She can come out to get Legos, but that’s her building territory.”
I notice that Lilah has actually schlepped her bin of Legos from her room into her territory, leading me to suspect that her brothers are, in fact, not letting her use the Legos, either. She’s looking at me anxiously, clearly fearing I’ll put a stop to the proceedings. To her mind, being allowed into the room at all is a boon.
“You can’t relegate her to a tiny corner of the room,” I protest.
“But we moved her out of the closet!”