How do I spell annoying?


S-P-E-E-D R-A-C-E-R!

My son, without any assistance from us adults, gloms onto the car movies and their assorted parephenalia. With Cars, it was some cheese display at the grocery store that caught his eye — and led to two years of Lightning McQueen worship. With Speed Racer, the new king on the block, it was a free car in a box of Cheerios. (And then a little encouragement from Mom, who googled the cartoons and found a cache of all 52 episodes. He’s seen five already.)

I was fine with it for the first few days. He carried around the two cars he’d gotten out of Grandma’s cereal boxes just as he carried around many of his other cars. (Did you know you don’t have to dig around inside the cereal anymore? They put them on the outside of the cereal bag where you can just pluck them right out.)

Then we spotted a Speed Racer book at Pooh’s Corner. I’d made a point of telling him when we entered the bookstore that we wouldn’t be buying anything. But he saw the book and went into freak-out mode. It’s the first time, other than one small incident when he wasn’t even yet two, that Devin has pitched a hissy fit in a store. I had to carry him out to the car, his screams echoing off the walls of Breton Village.

I caved a couple of days later when we spied the same book at a downtown bookstore.

I had no idea what I was in for.

First, of course, we had to read the book. Every night. It’s THE book that has to be found at bedtime and read. No other book matters in his world right now.

Then he started carrying it around with him. To the breakfast table, to the bathroom, downstairs in the TV room. The first day of school this week, he stuffed it in his backpack. I told him he couldn’t take it, but forgot to tell Scott it was in there. So he got away with it the first day. The next day, though, I was dropping him off and I was onto him. I knew the book and his two cars were in there and I made a point of telling him they wouldn’t be going into the school with him.

He still pitched a fit when I emptied his backpack before we went into his room. Totally freaked out.

He’s been asking me when the teacher will have a book day so he can bring his book to school. They had a stuffed animal day yesterday and he yelled at me that morning that he didn’t have a favorite stuffed animal. “I sleep with my cars, Mommy. The are my stuffed animals! I want to bring them!”

Today I caved the the incessant request to visit the Golden Arches. (I’m a mean mom. We go a couple of times a year.) His friend Reese had told him she’d gotten a Speed Racer car in her Happy Meal. So today I found us a Mickey D’s and ordered a Happy Meal. But what was plunked on our tray instead of Speed Racer? Kung Fu Panda. We missed the boat!

I was truly afraid of the ruckus that would ensue.

But he surprised me. He was simply happy to get a toy. Panda? Race car? Didn’t matter. Yet the moment we got home, the panda took a backseat to the cars once again. My boy. He’s truly a boy.