Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brother Trucker

My son is fascinated with trucks. More accurately, my son is OBSESSED with trucks. He can’t say, “I love you” in any comprehensible way, but he can say the words, “backhoe”, “excavator”, “cement truck”, “bulldozer”, “dump truck”, “pickup truck”, “trash truck”, “police car” and “fire engine” perfectly clearly and can identify them all correctly. The first words out of his mouth this morning were “digger truck”. I’m pretty sure that qualifies as obsession.

Not that I didn’t see this coming. He’s a boy, to begin with. When he was only a few months old, my mother bought him a little wooden pickup truck because, as she very sensibly stated, “A boy needs a truck.” And as soon as he had enough control of his hands to grab that truck, he did. He spun its wheels endlessly. In fact, his fascination with wheels (and anything else that can spin, for that matter) was a blatant precursor to his fascination with trucks. I had to be careful whenever I brought him to a playground where there were other strollers parked, because he would march up to one of them, grab a wheel, and hoist the stroller (and occasionally its rather startled occupant) into the air so he could examine – and spin – the wheels. He loves grocery carts, industrial wheeled trashcans, and moving dollies. He’ll stop in the middle of a walk to admire the tires of any parked vehicles that we pass. So when he discovered the joy of trucks, it came as no surprise.

This love of trucks was cemented last week when there was a road construction crew working in front of our house. The city is putting in new water pipes, and after the crew had dug up the street and laid the new pipes, they brought in a backhoe, an excavator and a roller truck to repair the hole. I know that those are the exact trucks they used, because my son and I spent a good deal of time sitting at the side of the road watching, and he made friends with the overseer, who was very happy to point out what each truck was doing, and carefully said the name of each truck so my son could repeat it. The kid who says “yesh” instead of “yes” and “muck” instead of “milk” managed to get “backhoe” and “excavator” out properly on the first try. (Well, technically, he said “escavator”, but since so does every construction worker in Jersey, he gets a pass on that one.) He was absolutely in his glory watching the trucks dig and spread and smooth and tamp the dirt. Every time one of them clunked or groaned, he excitedly announced, “Noise!” Every time one of them backed up, he happily “beep beep beep”-ed right along with it. The day they moved on to the next block was very sad for him. I explained that they’d finished their work and were somewhere else, and he must have understood because he got up from his nap that day, pointed out the window and said sorrowfully, “No more digger truck. Truck all gone.”

Luckily for him, we live in eastern Massachusetts, the Land of Perpetual Construction, so pretty much any time we get in the car we see some big construction equipment, either working or parked on the side of the road. And when we’re at home, he has a whole collection of books with pictures of trucks (thank you, cousin Henry!). Plus, Daddy showed him a YouTube video of some construction vehicles at work and now every time he sees a computer screen he begs, “Big truck? Dump truck? Digger truck?”

At some point, I’m sure he’ll grow out of this obsession. I just hope it’s before he gets his driver’s license and grows back into it.

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