Once upon a time my son was really obsessed with Elmo. The sad thing is, this wasn’t even half of it. He has an Elmo toybox, bookcase, wall decals, various electronic Elmo gadgets, every other Sesame Street character and who knows what. Before Christmas, when he got out of his ‘Elmo Craze’, we went and donated the majority of the items you see plus his Elmo Workshop Tool Table. A month ago I donated the blankets, clothing, shoes and then I sold most of it at the garage sale this past weekend. The last little bit will be gone on Friday (aside from his birthday wall decals) to a daycare in town that is doing a whole Sesame Street theme. It’s kind of sad watching all of it go, more for me than him as he isn’t really into Sesame Street anymore. It’s just another sign of him growing older.
… but now he’s into Cars. Before it was just cars and trucks in lower case and then he found Cars, the Pixar Cars and everyday he wants a new Car. They don’t seem to ever end! Why they had to put so many characters in those movies I don’t know.
This is his mix of cars and trucks; Cars, Chuck the Dumptruck and various other things he’s picked up. These are the ‘small’ ones, we’re not counting the bigger sized Chuck the Dumptruck characters, Car characters and Matchbox’s Big Rig Buddies. He’s also into Matchbox and Hot Wheels and CAT trucks. I think it just really has to have wheels and then it’s a go.
I just have to say that these things are dangerous to parents. I stepped on a Motorcycle the other day and it went right through my foot!
This is a mild state of my house on any given afternoon. There are cars everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I’m always having to watch where I’m walking and no matter how many times I pick them up they wind up spread across the floor, hiding under things. They sneak up on me!
I know some of you are thinking we just bought into it, got him everything he wanted. The thing is, my son never ever asks for anything. He has a language development delay and for a very long time he didn’t know how to even ask for his cup. We just knew when he was thirsty, knew when he was hungry or needed changing, etc. It has some advantages because up until last month he really never asked for anything at the store. One day he asked for something and my husband and I were so overjoyed we just got him whatever he asked for! We are learning our lesson now as he has figured out this ‘asking for things’ and although it is generally only a $1 Hot Wheel, it’s the beginning to an end. However, we spoiled him of our own vocation with the Elmo because he loved him and with the Cars, because he was so interested. Had he been a child that always wanted something and always bugged us about getting things, maybe it wouldn’t have turned out that he’d have a mountain of Elmo’s, but he just wasn’t ever that child.
In fact, we used to muse over this a year or so ago. We’d go to the store and he’d go straight to the toys, play with them for awhile and then put them right back. He’d say bye-bye to them and expect them to be there when he came back. It wasn’t until he got to the age where we heard kids screaming in stores, you know, those kids you can hear on the other side of the building releasing all the air in their lungs because they can’t get a candybar? That’s when we realized how we had such a well mannered child. He leaves when you say it’s time to go, says good-bye, never asked for anything, never throws a fit and is pretty tolerant if you tell him no.
That is… until he got into these Cars.
Today he moped all day long because he couldn’t get Miguel Camino at Family Dollar. Yesterday I got him the Carlo Maserati and the day before I got him Miles Axlerod. He was really broken up about not seeing Daddy for a few days because he was working and I was trying to cheer him up. Today he expected to go back and get the other car he was missing and when I said no, he couldn’t get a car every day it started an entire day of talking about when he would get Miguel Camino and moping and moping and moping…
So the day has come where he gets sad if he doesn’t get something. He doesn’t throw any fits, doesn’t scream or cry. He just mopes on and on and on about when he can get Miguel Camino and reminds me of it consistently that he can get him ‘later’, but not today.
He’s still learning though. It’s kind of tough when he doesn’t understand exactly why he can’t get the car, the way he understands things is different because he hasn’t quite grasped understanding language just yet. So sometimes he has to repeat things to make sure he gets what we’re saying or remind us. His memory is like nothing I’ve ever seen and he will remember. The doctor told us when he was 1 that his attention span was 5 min and to set him with something else and in 5 min he should be distracted and forget what he was upset about. He never forgot.
So he’ll never forget Miguel Camino is at Family Dollar and he can get him ‘later’ until he has him.
And to think this all happened because one day we were at the store and he saw a car from Cars and he was so excited because he’d seen a video of them on Youtube (he’s actually never seen the movie). And I was being nice and said, “Do you want to bring him home?” And he jumped up and down in delight and kept clapping saying, “Take him home! We can take him home!” Then every other car came with the question, “Take him home?” It was so cute to see him actually ask for something that we said yes and yes and yes… and now it’s, “Okay, take him home. Stand in the line and get in the big big car and take him home.” This rambling goes on while he’s already walking away with the car forgetting we ever existed.
It is the greatest joy to see him with a new car or truck. It doesn’t even have to be new. He’s carried on for days over trucks that are so beat up that they don’t even have anymore paint. Some of his cars don’t even have wheels, but he loves them. He is just the happiest little boy on earth and then he gets a car/truck and he just jumps around, clapping and is so excited. It really melts your heart. So this lesson in teaching him he can’t get a new car everyday is a little hard for me because I get so used to seeing that overwhelming sense of enthusiasm and childlike bliss. It’s sad to see him with these eyes that don’t understand, his curled up lip as he repeats not today in half a question and half an understanding that it means ‘no’.
But there will come a tomorrow when the Cars are all piled up and taken away for another obsession. I guess that is why we ‘buy into it’ as they say, because it’s so momentary. It doesn’t last any longer than the Elmos that were passed onto other children and loved by them just the same. His smile is priceless. I could buy a thousand cars and trucks and it would never measure up to the purity of his happiness and generosity.
Which is probably why tomorrow I’ll wind up buying Miguel Camino.
Do you have a character toy(s) that you buy into for your child?