If you stand anywhere in our house and look around, you will undoubtedly see something Lego-related and a scattering of cars-with-eyes lying in a pile on the floor.
When the Gort was about two years old, the movie Cars came out, and along with it a mild obsession with the likes of Mater and McQueen. [Side note: the Gort ran downstairs as I wrote this asking ‘is someone watching the movie Cars because I thought I heard some of the sound effects from that movie? Even though the only ‘sound effects’ would be from the professor listening to ESPN Radio on his laptop.]
The Hen has not had any toy obsessions. He did not memorize the names of all the Thomas engines (the ones I still remember because the Gort knew them all). He has always loved cars; loves organizing them by color, but he has not been ultra-obsessed with Radiator Springs and its cast of characters the way our youngest boy-wonder is.
Percy wears McQueen pajamas. Carries around one of those recordable storybooks that plays a story about the cars from Radiator Springs. And when he’s not sleeping in his pajamas with the cars lined up beside him, or listening to the book, he’s playing with his growing collection of cars-with-eyes.
More specifically, he’s battling with them in the way his four year old brother showed him.
Take two cars, slam them into each other in a very specific way [i.e. not the way I did it when I tried to play along] while yelling ‘Hi-ya-pang’. And whichever car ends up on its back loses. ‘He’s dead,’ Percy announces unsympathetically when one Finn McMissile loses against one of the other Finn McMissile’s. [We have three.]
Along with his Cars-obsession, Percy also enjoys using his voice and being the baby of the family. We were exiting the bookstore on Friday night amidst a substantial Percy-tantrum when I ran into a friend. ‘I thought I recognized that cry,’ she said.
I’d ducked into Starbucks on Friday after the preschool drop off. I ordered a hot chocolate for my cherub and a rooibos tea latte for me. ‘I have a kid’s hot chocolate for Nicola,’ the barista announced after reading the name scribbled on the cup. ‘That’s actually for me,’ the two point five year old informed her.
Afterwards, I drove to a friend’s house, pulling up to the curb at the same time her husband was leaving. We chatted for a nanosecond or two. ‘Bye Scott,’ I bid him farewell. ‘Bye Scott,’ young Percy followed suit, casually, as if they were friends or somehow related.
As we made our way to the friend’s front door, Percy asked yet again: ‘why he broke his ankle?’ Despite the fact that I’d already explained a dozen times that my female friend had broken her ankle after falling on the ice. ‘I wish I had a dog,’ he changed course when he saw their fluffy Goldendoodle.
I didn’t bother explaining that the object of his desire was at least partially responsible for that slip on the ice and the subsequent broken ankle, and that we weren’t getting a dog any time soon. Unless I had written-in-blood assurances that other people were picking up his poop or taking him for walks. Or feeding him. Or grooming him. Or training him. And that this dog would never trash my house or dump tiny toys on the floor. Or run off with my earrings.
The professor had invited some friends for dinner last night. They brought with them their almost one year old son, which garnered a range of reactions from our boy-children. ‘I’m going to teach him how to write his letters,’ the Hen declared; gathering paper and markers before the arrival of his barely-talking-or-walking student.
The Gort was somewhat enamored with the little guy, eager to show off his choking-hazard Lego creations; dragging out long-forgotten IKEA building sets and constructing ‘drum sets’ for his guest.
But our ‘baby’, the one who relishes crowing ‘I a ba-bee, I a ba-bee’ because he loves the attention it brings him, did not care for that other baby. ‘I don’t like babies,’ he announced toward the end of the evening, after watching the little man sit in his (never-used) booster seat. Pushing around his (unused) toy-stroller. Getting all the ‘awww’s’ and ‘he’s so cute‘s that ordinarily belong to him.