You'd think we only have one toy in the house. It's the orange and yellow Little Tikes car which was outside until this past weekend.
Clark is completely obsessed with it.
It used to stay in the garage and when Frances or I pushed Clark on the blacktop driveway he dragged his toes and his shoes developed actual holes. I struggled with this, thinking that the shoes are meant to be worn and so what if they look like crap and don't be so uptight forgodsakes, but I couldn't let go of my anxiety about material things ruined, so I brought the car inside where the carpet and hardwood is much kinder to leather. For some reason I didn't foresee the drama that was to come.
Now, every evening, the kids take turns being pushed around the loop that is our downstairs, twice around each. When we tell Clark it's Frances's turn and he has to get out, he looks at us with this completely blank expression, like maybe he just didn't hear us right. We tell him again, and he opens the door and willingly climbs out (they're so compliant at this age!), then stands beside the car and cries torrential agonized tears. Frances ignores him and climbs in and positions her new easter bunny beside her for the ride while Clark stands and cries and cries. All during Frances's ride he totters along behind, whimpering, his face wet.
It's hard to love something so much.
Just tonight he's started to help push Frances as she rides, so big, so pleased with himself. It seems to help with the sorrow of having to get out of the car. Maybe he was sad because getting out meant not being included. Isn't being included what we all really want after all?