Our Current Obsession – The Rubik’s Cube

We are currently crazy over the Rubik’s Cube. The boys pack it with them everywhere they go. They play with it during car rides, while waiting after school, in the restaurant and even when they are hiking outdoors. They (we) are totally obsessed with this piece of twistable, rotatable plastic.

I remember playing with this puzzle when I was in Primary School. It was one of those geeky toys that I could never figure out and I had never gone beyond solving 2 faces.

Forward 30 years later, with the advent of the Internet, you can find a slew of Youtube videos on how to solve the Rubik’s cube. The only challenge is to be able to sit through the videos, understand the instructions and follow the steps.

I got inspired after watching a 2 year old solve the cube on YouTube. After a day of staring intently at the screen, I got it solved but could only do it by going back and forth the video many times. There were just too many steps, or what they call algorithms, to memorize.

My boys were surprised to see that I could actually put the pieces into its original position without throwing it, kicking it, jumping on it or blowing it up. Since the least geeky person in the house could do it, it couldn’t be too difficult. So they thought. And that was how it all got started.

My 11 year old got it figured out after watching the video and he was determined to beat me at the timing. In the beginning, it took me more than 20 minutes to solve the cube but after a few days of playing with it, I could do it in less than 3 minutes (if I got lucky).

We bought more cubes. Now each of us owns one. The new cube is smoother and could turn faster. The quality isn’t as good as the original one but it costs less than half the price. The boys were happy with it and they call it the ‘speed cube’. Within a couple days of twisting and turning, my elder boy improved leaps and bounds and now he could beat me flat. He could solve the cube in less than 2 minutes.

Marcus was eager to join us but even after having sat through the video with us, he couldn’t grasp what was being said. I decided to teach him myself. My husband thought it would be futile for me to teach a 5 year old something a 40 year old couldn’t do. Little did he expect to see him master the cube in less than a week.

These days, we would sit at the dining table and have a cube race while the Dad watch on. We have officially dethroned Dad as the Geekiest guy in the house. He was totally impressed, humbled and amused.

I guess I would be too, if my 5 year old has to teach me how to solve the Rubik’s Cube.



    • Rachel says:

      he started off as ‘no I am not going to waste my brain bytes doing this’ to now ‘I will master it during the school holiday!’ But I told him he might never be able to catch up with the kids!

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