Before Yagga Yagga came into our lives, cars never entered my mind in any meaningful way. They were something that got me from A to B and peeved me off no end if ever had to stop and put petrol in them. You could never impress me with the throaty roar of your 4 wheeled status symbol. Back then I couldn’t tell a Hyundai from a Porsche or a KIA from a Kingswood. They’re all just cars, big deal.
All of that changed when Yags grew old enough to manipulate objects with his hands and was given his first 4 wheeled toy. I’m a big fan of natural learning so I try really hard not to influence how my son plays. If I give him something he’s never seen before, I let him form his own relationship with it. The first time I gave him crayons was slightly stressful until I found the packet and saw the great big non toxic emblazoning on the front, back and sides.
So no one showed him what to do with a toy car. From the moment that aesthetically pleasing and tactile delight of a Steiner inspired wooden ‘car’ entered his chubby toddler hand our lives have been dominated by cars. And buses. And trucks. And trains. Anything with wheels will do but I never mention the pink dolly pram while his dad is around.
These days there are plenty of plastic and diecast hot wheels cars lined up alongside the hand crafted wooden heirloom vehicles. With Steinerish roots and a bit of a hippy flavour to my mothering I’d envisioned myself spending delightful hours fashioning whimsical felt delights, baking gluten free high fibre muffins together or giggling as we blew dandelion seeds to the wind while learning the botanical names of the flowers, herbs and trees around us. I never imagined that I’d be attending hill climb car rallies on Sunday’s and getting excited every time I saw a VW Campervan. I’ve had to make adjustments.
Yeah I know all little boys and plenty of girls go through a car phase as toddlers and pre-schoolers. In our house, the latest edition of Classic Cars Magazine is greeted with the same excitement as a new episode of Peppa Pig or a big packet of something sugary and delicious. By the age of 3, Yagga Yagga had memorised the car badges on everything from a Bentley to a Toyota (we’ve taken him to some posh places while in the UK where he spotted his first real Bentley). Car parks were like a trip to the baby animal petting zoo as he wandered around looking at the front and back of every car whilst exclaiming “Yook at yat car”.
We’ve had past day care providers “suggest” that we extend his interests to things other than cars and I admit to a period of being slightly concerned over whether his single minded obsession with cars was ‘normal’ but these days I just go with it. I did try. I bought him a dolls house that quickly became a multi level car park for his favourite posse of 4 wheeled delights.
I’ve relaxed and embraced his love of cars, now that he’s fully verbal, listening to the conversations that this cars have with each while he’s totally and utterly immersed in his car-centric little play world I realise that his cars are to him what dolls are to little girls (yeah yeah, and some boys too – I’m not trying to reinforce gender biases, things just are what they are).
This blog is my journey with Yagga-Yagga (not his real name), my totally and utterly Car Crazy Kid.
As a work from home mum with plans to not just home school but to Unschool, I’m continually looking for car related toys and experiences to inspire and facilitate natural learning and to encourage independent, active, creative and imaginative play – both for his enjoyment and development but also to give me decent chunks of uninterrupted time to get my paid work done. This blog allows me to share these ideas with the parents and carers of other Car Crazy Kids.
“Gentlemen, start your engines….”