Evan’s First “Safety Blanket”
It all began last Sunday, when my 18-month old, Evan, found a tote bag in our closet filled with excess Christmas gifts that some very generous, yet overzealous relatives had given him. All still new, unopened, forgotten by the wee one moments after their paper came off nearly 4 months ago. We, of course, opened and assembled and gave him a bunch of the gifts at Christmas, but I stashed this large tote full to supplement through the rest of this year. You know – to reward extra good behavior, to have something new and different to take on a long car trip, etc.
Anyway, he found this tote and right on top was one of the Thomas the Train characters – the red one, whatever its’ name is. He’s never watched Thomas, we don’t have any of the DVD’s, though his favorite toys and books are about trucks and large mobile objects that make noise. He looooves his little chunky Tonka trucks, and the boats he sinks in the bathtub, he adores firetrucks (and any rescue type vehicle) and we try to point them out to him whenever possible while out on the town. I suppose trains are the obvious choice next on the list. So, my husband gives me the “can we let him have this one thing?” look and I nod and smile. The red train is opened, battery installed, and handed over to its’ new engineer, Evan. He pushes it around the floor, runs it across his chest, happily experimenting with the new “chooo chooo!” sound effect in his growing vocabulary. This train lights up and makes whistling sounds when activated, capturing and holding the munchkins attention for an amazing 2 hours straight – all the way through a trip to Pottery Barn and all the way through a sit down lunch. We are amazed and somewhat appreciative for this new toy’s cool factor.
It continues through the week in this way. Red train goes in the car with us. Red train must be at hand during meals whether clutched in a tiny fist or sitting on the table where he can gaze upon Evan as he eats. Red train cannot go in the shower or tub with us, which has caused some distressed tears that end as soon as Evan is out of the bath, swathed in a towel and can resume control of his little rolling friend. Red train is even in hand at bedtime, and only comes loose when little man is fast asleep, gently removed and sat upon the dresser until morning comes and Evan remembers that he had him when he fell asleep.
This, in a way, is a big deal for us as a family because Evan has never in his short life been this attached to anything. He has never had to carry around a favorite blanky, he has never been glued at the hip to a stuffed animal of any kind…hell, the kid never even wanted a pacifier (which is fine with me considering the age of a few kids I know that still use them). It’s new for us, bizarre, but not in a bad way, and oh so fascinating. I even went by TJ Maxx while my short handsome man was in preschool the other day and attained 2 additional characters for his little collection – the green one and the purple one (again – sorry, I don’t know their names!)
We’ll see how this goes over the next few weeks. He doesn’t seem to have a preference for which color he has, but he has had one with him every waking moment over the last 7 days. Verrry interesting!