For as long as I can remember, my little man has been obsessed with carrying around what I call “modes of transport.” Cars, trucks, trains, heavy machinery. They’ve all come along on our various adventures, imprisoned by the kung-fu grip of one of his tiny little hands.
It’s not the same thing every day. Sometimes they’re small things, sometimes they’re inappropriately large things. Some days he can even go without. But on the days he’s chosen to carry around a little plastic friend, he becomes so attached that it’s near impossible to get him to do anything without holding it. He’s carried a plastic train into his swimming lesson. A large Playmobil fire engine accompanied us to the dentist and then to the shops. And just last week I dropped my son off at school where he proudly introduced his teacher to a lump of clay he called “Harvey.”
Occasionally, I’ve adopted the tactic of hiding the item in the hopes that he’d forget it existed. But that doesn’t work anymore. He remembers everything. A few weeks ago we embarked on a desperate bedtime mission to find the “pickup truck” he’d been carrying around. I honestly did not even know what the “pickup truck” was but it was lost. Thankfully, that night Daddy realized what it was and found it. It bears no resemblance to a pickup truck by the way.
Mostly, I don’t have the heart to take these things away from him. As I’ve said before, I am weak and unable to say no to him when it doesn’t really matter. And, if carrying around a little toy car is what gives him the confidence to get through his challenging toddler day, then why not?
What if someone took away the things we carry around all day, the things we’re attached to? If someone said to me, “right, that phone, I’m taking it away because you’re using it in too many inappropriate places.” I know I’d feel naked and incomplete.
Do you have things you carry around all day that you’d feel lost without?