Dylan has broken up with Cars. He no longer loves them. He actually told us, “I don’t love cars anymore.” Mike and I were speechless. Relieved and sad all at once.
Sad because, strangely enough, we all grew accustomed to having Lightning McQueen and the gang in our lives. And, truthfully, it made parenting easier. Bribes were effortless. If you share with your brother…or go to the doctor…or clean up your toys, you will get a surprise. Birthdays, Hanukkah and Christmas were a cinch. We knew exactly which toys to pack for vacations and long car rides. Alphabet show & share at school was simple: “C” was Chick Hicks, “D” was Doc and “J” was a picture of Mater’s junkyard. Most recently, dressing Dylan on a cold day was doable. He would wear his long-sleeved Lightning McQueen t-shirt to school. With the sleeves rolled. Every day.
Sad because of the investment we made. The financial one! Forget the toys – the cars, racetracks, books, movies and puzzles. There are t-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, toothbrushes, bed sheets, blankets and Sippy cups to name a few relics. Now, the clothing is tucked in the back of the drawer and the toys are sitting in a crate in corner of the living room. At Target yesterday, we walked past the Cars toys and I asked Dylan if he wanted to look at them. He said again, “I don’t love them anymore.”
The relief, for me, is that his infatuation with Cars made his world small. Everything had to be red like Lightning McQueen. If it wasn’t red, there was risk of crying or whining. If we were caught somewhere without McQueen, The King and Chick, there was hell to pay. The Cars movie and Mater’s Tall Tales were driving me nuts. He would only wear Cars t-shirts to school. Nothing else. He slept at night with all – and I mean all – of his cars in bed with him. It was getting to be too much.
And now it’s over. Except it’s not. He doesn’t love Cars anymore, but he didn’t stay single for long. Now he loves Toy Story. Now we drink from Toy Story cups and sleep with Toy Story toys. Show & share this week is the letter “L.” Lotso Bear, maybe? Or one of the little green aliens? The reason we were at Target yesterday was to buy Toy Story underwear and toothbrushes. Next, I have to go to the Disney Store to buy some Buzz and Woody t-shirts. I have been forced – against my shopaholic will – to go shopping for the sake of Dylan’s personal hygiene!
I think our trip to Disney World had something to do with all of this. One of our most important stops was Luigi’s tire shop in Hollywood Studios where we saw Lightning McQueen and Mater. Dylan loved it, but then we went on the Toy Story rides and shot lasers with Buzz Lightyear in outer space, and then we met Buzz, Woody and Jessie and hugged them, shook their hands and gave them high fives. How could the lifeless cars compete?
In all fairness, there were loves before Cars. For a while it was music. When he was two, he sang Matchbox Twenty’s Push into a microphone while banging on drums for about six months straight. We have a video to torture him with when he’s older. Then it was Thomas the Train and then Madagascar.
I sometimes wonder how Dylan’s personality now will translate into adulthood. His relationships will probably be intense. He’ll fall in and out of love easily, and broken hearts – his and the other person’s – will be excruciating. Career wise, my money is on poet or scientist. Until very recently, he told us he wants to be a race car when he grows up (not a race car driver, just a race car). Who knows? I just hope he’s caring, happy and eats food other than orange crackers and cheese sticks.
We’re all doing our best to cope with this new change. Even Riley seems okay with watching Toy Story 2 over and over again…for now. Is this new infatuation with Toy Story merely a rebound? Maybe. At least the movies are good. Cars II is coming out this summer, though, so we’ll see how long this new love lasts.