Sunday, 2 September 2007


My son is completely obsessed with anything to do with the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. I am not really sure how he became aware of the movie. We didn't take him to see it at the cinema, but when the posters began to emerge advertising its release on DVD, he begged for a copy.

We got the movie, unsure of whether it would hold his interest, but it did. He loves it. He even pretends to be Lightning McQueen, who actually helped him out with some pre-school bullies when he found, while pretending to be Lightning McQueen, that he could outrun all the kids in his class. Since then he has been progressively collecting all the little die cast car characters from the movie. He has t-shirts and pj's emblazoned with the Cars theme, even his sandals and undies have Cars on them.

Leading up to kindergarten, Mister has been less than enthusiastic about starting something new (read: outright defiant). Last week however, I managed to find a Cars backpack, lunch kit, drink bottle AND pencil case, so now he is impatiently counting down the minutes until he is able to use all his new Cars stuff and show it all off to his new school friends. Hey, whatever helps.

Recently his best buddy has been enthusiastically collecting cars and they play well together with their cars and swapping characters with each other. This week his best bud got a number of new cars and excitement over these toys reached fever pitch as they plotted together which ones they wanted to collect next. Upon hearing this for the entire week, I went on the net the other day and searched out some hard to find characters that we NEVER see in the shop and won an eBay auction for some of them. I wasn't sure how or when I was going to give them to him, until today....

Mister has a bit of a speech problem; he quite badly th'usses his ess'es, and unfortunately Missy Mopps decided to copy him even after she had originally started saying these sounds correctly. I once spoke to a speech pathologist about it, and she told me, if the rest of his speech is fine, especially if he can say his z's properly, then his th'ussing is merely a habit - "a habit that will be difficult to break", she assured me. Thus far, she has been right. We have tried everything to help him out of the habit, but he would become so frustrated that he would simply refuse to co-operate or he'd intentionally th'uss at us with exaggerated defiant emphasis.

Today we bribed him. "Practice saying your ess'es correctly and once you have them down pat and spoken without a second thought, we will get you a couple of hard to find Cars characters". Well! Never before have I heard him so enthusiastic and excited by a challenge. I was impressed. We corrected and reminded him for a good 2 hours tonight, without one wobbly cracked - he was really trying. As I said...whatever it takes.

Guess who he wants to be for Halloween?


jeanie said...

Great bribery!

Scribbit said...

Somehow I'm picturing the little guy in the Music Man singing "Gary, Indiana" with that cute lisp. :)

Scotty said...

Aaaaw, that's so cute, Strauss - maybe I could get him a Cars poster as a 'welcome to Australia' gift when you guys finally get here?

I wouldn't mind, really; I love the look on a child's face when you get them something special... (got kids myself remember?)