“Don’t forget your truck,” I casually reminded Wolfy as I removed him from his stroller.
“This is a car carrier,” he said pointing to the tiny plastic vehicle now clutched securely in his fist. He was rather polite about correcting me, considering that anything with wheels has become almost sacred to my two year old son.
A few years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at this exchange. Who cares? But now I understand.
Of course these machines are awe-inspiring. They are gigantic. They make a ton of noise. They can dig giant holes and dismantle buildings. They move very fast or lumber along like dinosaurs. They are nothing short of amazing and I never noticed them until Wolfy started pointing them out to me.
I never wanted to learn about trucks or construction vehicles or anything with wheels.
Anything that has to do with vehicles of any kind is just so boring. Just the thought of discussing trucks with Wolfy made me want to cringe. Who wants to live in a house in which you have to watch my every step or else go flying across the room on a perfectly miniature version of a tractor? I certainly didn’t care about the difference between an excavator and digger. I didn’t even know there was a difference.
But then everything changed.
It all started when Wolfy was a little over a year old. We lived next to a busy road and as we were getting the mail one day, some kind of construction vehicle rolled by. “Big truck!” Wolfy said appreciatively, pointing his tiny finger, his eyes wide. It was his first real phrase. Soon his second phrase followed: “Beep! Beep!!” My little boy was talking! Finally! It didn’t matter that it was about something as boring as trucks. I was instantly as hooked as he was. I would talk about trucks all day everyday if it meant finally having discussions with my son.
I don’t want to try to control Wolfy’s interests.
I have actually heard stories about parents discouraging their child’s interest in big trucks because trucks hurt the environment. I really wish I was kidding about that, but I’m not. I believe that parenting Wolfy isn’t about shaping my boy into a replica of me or his father. If he is into learning about trucks, I’m going to learn right along with him.
The other day, I was in the car with Wolfy at a stoplight. A big truck slowly turned into the lane next to us. I was surprised to find myself getting so excited. “Look Wolfy! That flatbed semi- truck is carrying an excavator on the back!” I said. Wolfy squirmed in his car seat to get a better look.
“Wow! That is a big excavator!” he said. I had actually gotten it right. Excavators run on tracks. Diggers have wheels. Duh.