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I’m afraid we are losing Simon to the thrall of the internal combustion engine. What in the world could be as magnificent, as the car, the truck, the plane, or–above all-the bus? If Simon had any idea how often Matt and I rode the bus during our eight years in San Francisco, he might never forgive us.

This has to be the Y chromosome at work. We have one toy car in the house, one simple train, and no buses, trucks or planes (yet). He’s only got two shirts with wheeled vehicles on them, and both of these owe more to Mondrian than a monster truck rally. He has one set of books about fire engines and trucks, a hand-me-down from his cousin Ben, and we only just got them out a couple of weeks ago.

It’s as though the love of buses and trucks were encoded in his DNA, and something just triggered the bus-loving gene. Really, it’s the only plausible explanation.

About a week ago, Simon saw a toy dump truck at my mom’s house. It was love at first sight, and he played with it for longer than any other toy there. At about the same time, he started to get more interested in the Big Fire Engine, Big Race Car, and other Big Vehicle books he got from Ben. His love even extends to the page in Hippos Go Berserk where eight hippos board a Greyhip bus. He will flip through the pages front-to-back and back-to-front in search of that page, then emphatically point to the hippos in the bus to make sure we join him in his excitement.

But nothing in the world compares to the joy of seeing a bus go down Bardstown road. When that happens, Simon starts to talk a blue streak and gesticulate wildly. I’ve taken to walking him down Bardstown road instead of through the neighborhood because he’s less likely to resist being in the stroller if he is surrounded by trucks, motorcycles, and the like. It’s our little compromise: I relinquish my love of quiet nature walks in exchange for Simon giving up his rage against confinement and letting me stretch my legs.

At our playgroup on Friday, Simon once again sat outside the play area for much of the time and entertained himself on the shop’s front steps. Every time a bus roared down the street, he’d get excited. Then he tossed a ball down the front steps, watched it roll into the street, get hit by a bus, and fly a full block ahead, and he was in sheer heaven. It was the happiest I saw him all day, and that Friday Simon ate a cupcake, a chocolate kids’ Cliff bar, and a piece of apple strudel. (No comment on the nutrition here. I sort of lost track. In my defense, the cupcakes were for a birthday and he also ate plain yogurt, grilled cheese, fresh fruit, and sag paneer that day, so it wasn’t a complete bust.)

Clearly Matt and I have some shopping to do. And I have to say, I’m crossing my fingers that if we indulge his love of trucks and buses he might just forget about that other great love…

…the love that dare not speak its name…

… the motorcycle.

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