Friday, September 16, 2011

The Opposite of Trucks

It seems normal for little boys to like trains and cars and trucks and construction equipment. All the boys’ little male friends like vehicles. They will play for an entire playdate calmly making tractor noises and dumping imaginary dirt with the tractor, slowly maneuvering the (super cool) garbage truck I bought my boys, or dexterously navigating a train on the tracks. Cal and Clark prefer picking up a train track and swinging it like a bat or chucking a cement truck across the room. 

We went to a cool event for kids a few weeks ago with all kinds of vehicles for kids to see, and most of them you could sit in—an ambulance, lots of maintenance trucks, fire truck, bulldozer, mail truck, garbage truck, you name it. They didn’t care. While their friend Andrew watched, wide-eyed at the big excavator (okay, I don’t actually know what it is called… maybe that’s where they get their vehicular apathy) lifting and moving dirt, they practiced running away from me. They. Don’t. Care. So, they prefer whatever is the opposite of trucks.
Trucks? Nah. Give the kid a hat and a horse and some music.
Ah, but they love balls. They love bats and golf clubs and hockey sticks. They love books. They love their rocking horse. They love to swing and play anything outside. They love their hats. They love ceiling fans. Cal lately informed Gammy that his favorite toy is his little helicopter because it goes ‘round and ‘round like a ceiling fan. Aside from the ceiling fans these other likes are very boy in nature so I'm generally not too worried about them.

They've recently taken their affinity for balls and books to a new level. They want to not only sleep with their teddy bear, kitty cat, and panda bears, they want to sleep with footballs and baseballs and books. Clark insisted on sleeping with a pile of books at naptime yesterday. I love so much that they love books and so of course I lovingly tucked the required critters in next to the books with the beloved ones the most accessible.
Clark's naptime specifications

Every once-in-awhile I have a mini meltdown in my head, thinking that perhaps my boys aren’t developing correctly if they don’t want to play with trains and cars and such. So then I dump out their Duplo train set and try to set up the simplest track design before they can mess it up. It is all I can do to not scream and throw things at them as my structurally sound and architecturally magnificent bridge is ripped from the green base and my intricate weave of tracks is deliberately disassembled and spread throughout the house as ceiling fans. Then they go to sleep and I set up a charming countryside all over the living room with a train track and meandering cattle and horses for plowing. It is then that I must have the honesty to ask myself, “Who did you really get this train set for?” When they wake up I can’t stand to watch it crumble as they lick the blocks like ice cream cones and raze my countryside with one swipe of the hockey stick. For the record, I still think that Duplo garbage truck is awesome.

Look out, Mom. I need to hit things while wearing Dad's tie.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that all kids go through phases and maybe mine will either not have a trucks ‘n stuff phase or it will come later on. I think they’re developmentally sound. Perhaps my obsession over having my train station color-coordinated and my tracks symmetrical might present an equally curious question about developmental soundness. At least at Christmastime I can channel this strange need for control and order into my gingerbread houses. Maybe I should start meticulously carving some pumpkins.

1 comment:

  1. Of COURSE they love bats and hockey sticks! Whose kids are they?!


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