During the past two weeks Braden has developed a new fascination. The fact that this fascination is supported by the TV should come as no surprise as he is my child. Lately Braden watches the Disney Pixar film Cars all the time. By all the time I mean it is on a continuous loop at our house from the time he comes home from school until the time he goes to bed. He plays and does other things, but Cars must be on at all times. When the movie is over Braden always suggests, “Mo Car.” If you think he is not watching and try to turn it off you will hear “I wa Car.” He cannot be deterred.
So I have watched Cars a few hundred times now it seems. Since Arica and Braden get home a few hours before me each day, Arica has seen it even more. I am happy to watch Cars rather than that purple dinosaur Braden used to watch so I try not to complain. Still it gets old after about the third straight viewing.
Here is a little play by play of our movie watching experience. Braden loves Mack, the truck that hauls Lightning McQueen from race to race. As soon as he comes on the screen Braden starts pointing and exclaiming, “Mack, Mack, Mack” until you respond. Then he waits a bit and does it again.
His love of the Mack truck reminds me of a saying a French colleague of mine once told me about. He said in France they have a saying that translates to "pretty as an American truck." At first that sounds ridiculous, but if you have seen the small ugly things that pass for big trucks in Europe you might understand. Our Eighteen wheelers are huge and covered in about 500 pounds of chrome. So Braden finding joy in a beautiful American Mack truck is an understandable thing. Plus it's huge and powerful and all boys like that.
Right after Mack makes his first appearance he and Lightning McQueen leave on a trip for California amidst Braden's exclamations of "MACK!" The song “Life is a Highway” plays at the start of this trip. Braden dances with this song every single time. He loves it. See for yourself.
After that song is over Mack eventually falls asleep and loses Lightning McQueen. When McQueen wakes up he storms off looking for Mack. During this time Braden is looking for Mack too. Then comes the train that McQueen has to beat to the railroad crossing. Even before the train appears Braden starts saying “choo choo.” He has the events in the story down pat at this point.
After that the Sheriff chases our friendly race car through the countryside. Then the movie cuts to a scene of the sleepy little town of Radiator Springs. To show how sleepy the town really is there is absolutely no sound during this part. It is in great contrast to the high speed chase that precedes the scene. Every time this happens Braden says “Uh-Oh” because he thinks the sound is broke. Then he gets the remote and gives it to either me or Arica to fix it.
This little sequence plays out at our house about 5 times a day. The rest of the movie is filled with naming a few characters like "mamer" or "Doc". Braden also has learned the word speed and can point out the Piston Cup or "tin cup" on sight. Who says you can't learn things from watching TV.
Braden likes Cars so much that when I woke him up on Tuesday morning the first thing he said to me was “I wa Car.” I tilted him back from my shoulder to discuss this with him and I noticed his eyes were only cracked open the tiniest bit. He was not even half awake yet. Still, in his sleepy haze, Braden knew that he wanted to watch a little bit of Cars to start his day.