Jan 132008

2008 01 04 028 

I don’t know when my son’s obsession with cars began. Sometime in November, I think. He’d stand by the front door and yell, "Caw! Caw!" like a true Bostonian, any time anything with wheels drove past, bicycles and skateboards not excluded.

For Christmas, we told everyone to just get him cars. Cars and juice seemed to be all he had an interest in so why disappoint with airplanes, building blocks, or Backyardigan accessories? When we took him to see Santa, he could have given a shit that he was perched on Santa’s knee. All he had eyes for was the plastic car that the photographer was undulating and squeaking in an effort to eke a smile out of him. "Caw! Caw!" he yelled in a panic with outstretched arms.

Some people got him official Pixar Cars merch for Christmas, and he seemed genuinely appreciative, even though he had never seen the movie. It was on last weekend though, so Henry squeezed what little intelligence he has left in his brain cells and had the foresight to DVR it. Chooch’s first viewing lasted a few short minutes before he moved on to other things, like moving his armada of cars from the floor to the dining room table, standing back to appraise the new lineup, and then relocating them to his tent (which takes up two thirds of my living room).

That ambivalence didn’t last long. I made the mistake of placing him on the couch one morning last week, tucked his blanket and juice cup next to him, and put on "Cars" so I could sneak off into the kitchen and prepare his (frozen) waffles in peace. (And by peace, I mean without him standing on the other side of the baby gate and hurling objects at me.)

We haven’t been able to watch regular TV in his presence since. Even if it seems like he’s oblivious to the movie playing in the background, as soon as we hit ‘stop,’ he whips his head around and comes toddling over to us, chanting, "Caws? Caws? Caws?" Ad nauseum. He gets all cozy on the couch and then demands, "And car!" sending me on an egg hunt for certain cars around the house that he desperately needs to have in lap and I try to fulfill this desire as fast as possible, for fear that he might shrivel up and die. I give him his cars. "And juice!" Thus signals the start of the great juice cup hunt. "And bowl!" he commands, pointing to his bowl of pretzels with an angry finger. We do this every day, until he’s satisfied with the pile of goods burying him on the couch.

He won’t sleep with no less than four of his cars now. It’s a good thing my pajama pants are equipped with pockets, else I’d have had to make two trips getting him out of the crib this morning: one for him, one to retrieve his cars. Failure to do so will send him into a shrieking spell and real tears will flow freely. We have to stuff his backpack full of cars just to  get him to willingly leave the house with us now.

This morning, after the first viewing of "Cars," I lost it. I got all caught up in my pent up resentment to being a Pixar prisoner, and defiantly punched the buttons of the remote until something I wanted to watch filled the screen with a breath of fresh air. Then I promptly sat on the remote. He noticed. Oh boy did he notice. But I held my ground. Henry sat next to me and winced, waiting to see what Chooch’s move was going to be. He turned back and resumed play with his cars. I smirked, basking in the win.

But then something tragic happened: I got up from the couch, unearthing the remote. His eyes, full of car-lust, honed in on the site of the magical "Cars" stick, and he grabbed it. "Caws. Caws. Caws!!!" he droned on and on. Then he climbed up on the couch and sat between us on the pillows so he had a slight height advantage on us. He grabbed a fistful of Henry’s hair in one hand; I laughed too soon. He turned to me, glared, and took a fistful of my hair too, and angrily chanted, "Caws Caws Caws Caws."

He was still watching it when I left to go out to lunch with my friend Jess.

  16 Responses to “Pixar’s Prisoner”

  1. This one is a keeper. One day when his kids are terrorizing him, he can read about what he did to you.

    Wait until cars turns into Thomas the Tank Engine. You will be branded an idiot if you don’t know the difference between the engines, freight cars, passenger cars and supporting players, everyone’s numbers and colors. Bugbear plays with them still but he’s not as obsessed as Dylan is. Dylan sleeps with his, too, and bathes and in passing by the bathroom while he’s pinching a loaf, I have seen them on the sink while’s stinking up the place.

    We never can wait for their first words and you never believe it when other people tell you “Don’t teach them how to talk, it’s just all downhill from there”. But it so is.

    • You’re scaring me!!

      I thought I had more time. Like, at least until he turned 3.

      My younger bro went through horrific phases like this too, except there was no Pixar then so we had to suffer through “Mary Poppins.” I’ll take “Cars” over that anyday, I guess. But now I’m so behind on “Days!” (Lol.)

  2. Back in 2003 my television was hijacked by Finding Nemo
    in the exact same way.
    Just think, in a month you’ll be able to recite the entire movie……….I wish I was kidding.
    Good Luck!

  3. My son loved cars too. Any time someone asked me what he wanted for a present?
    Cars and car tracks.
    He’d always lose one piece of the goddamn tracks and then they wouldn’t work, so I would buy another one the next time.
    He still likes cars, but at ten, he’s more likely to go for the Nerf gun when given a choice.
    I still find myself looking at race car tracks and then I always slap myself in the face and say “NO, you can’t!” and avoided buying one in the past couple of years.

  4. p.s. My little brother loved “Dragon: The Bruce Lee story” and I might know all the words to that still. =S

  5. movies are lame.

    yo gabba gabba FTW.

  6. Make him watch “Christine”. ;)

  7. Aww, Sadie loves cars, too! A match made in…a vehicular-centered place.

  8. chooch sure behaves a lot like his mother.
    just an observation.

    and since that’s the case- he won’t just give up his “caw” obsession. it won’t be until he finds a new one…
    and it COULD be worse.

    cynthia said you just love dora.

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