E. is obsessed with cars and trucks and things that go these days.
When he wakes up in the morning and comes downstairs before breakfast, the first thing he does is get out his Bruder garbage truck from where it was parked the night before (in his cubby under the stairs). Then he gets out some of his smaller cars and trucks from their basket- his San Francisco trolley car, his Plan Toys dump truck and school bus, maybe his tractor. On a good day when we don’t need to rush out the door after breakfast he’ll get his trains out too.
At nursery school, E. plays with their trucks pretty much non-stop. In the first hour, when his group and the middle group can move freely between the two main rooms, he stays in the front room driving their collection of Green Toys (he likes the garbage truck and the school bus the best). All the other children gradually navigate to the back room, where the water table is, where the playdoh and the paints and the crafts are, where the toy kitchen is, where the sand table is. It’s a much more interesting room.
E. stays in the front, driving his trucks.
In the afternoons, when he has to be in the back room because another group is using the front room, he finds the one part of the room where there are school buses and dump trucks, and he plays with those. Very occasionally he heads over to the sand table, which has a bulldozer and a cement mixer and a few other vehicles in it, and he plays with those.
When we go to our local park E. makes a beeline for the sand around the swings where people leave communal toys. You can always count on finding a few buckets and shovels, and there is usually a truck or two. While we were away a few more trucks appeared- the heavy duty metal Tonka ones.
At the park E. will have a turn on the swing, and will try out the slide, and will eat his snack, but he always, always returns to the trucks. He pushes the large dump truck around. He empties sand into it using the front loader or the excavator. He dumps the sand out.
He can do this for hours.
E. has liked vehicles for months now. But this single-minded purpose is relatively new. Even while we were in the U.K. he had more varied interests.
He still likes reading books but he keeps choosing books that have trucks in them. He keeps requesting a particularly insipid one at bedtime (Counting with Miffy) solely because on one page where Miffy is cleaning her room there is a blue car (along with eight blocks, which is what we’re supposed to be counting).
He has this gorgeous wooden farm that he basically ignores except to get the cat out so it can go for a ride in the dump truck or on the train.
He has Schleich animals that stay in their basket except on the rare occasions where he thinks it’s a good idea for the train to go to the zoo, at which point we’ll set them up around the tracks.
He has puzzles, and blocks, and musical instruments, and colouring supplies, and play-doh, and a doll.
Once he enjoyed all of these things.
Right now it seems all he wants to do, all day long, every day, is play with his trucks.
It is infuriating and humbling all at the same time.
I really like thinking about what toys are developmentally appropriate for E. I put a lot of time and energy into reading reviews of things. I’m really careful with what we buy, with what comes into the house. I rotate his toys so there are never too many out at once, so that he can’t get overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ that is available to him.
I worked SO hard not to fall into gender stereotypes, in the way I interacted with him, in the toys I made available, in what I pointed out on our walks when he was too little to say anything himself.
Nature is kicking my ass.