Moooooommmmmy?? Have you seen my blue car? The one with the black wheels. No, not that one, I said it was blue. You know my blue car with the white roof! No, that roof is black, my car has a white roof and black wheels. Mommy I can’t leave for school without my car, please find it!
That conversation took place with my 5yo over 5 fabric bins containing what seemed like hundreds of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars – almost half of which were blue. How kids can tell the difference between 2 cars that seem to be exactly the same always amazes me!
I can remember the first time I bought the twins a Matchbox car. They were probably 18mo old and we were shopping in Target. I was browsing through the baby aisle when the twins started to get antsy in the shopping cart. Yikes! I better get moving before it’s too late, I thought to myself. Quickly I turned the corner and there it was, the Matchbox car display! It stood before us like an oasis. A wall full of shiny, colorful cars that cost only $.99. Jackpot! I thought as the twins each picked out a car.
In the weeks and months that followed others apparently shared in my thinking because more and more Matchbox cars began invading my house. Before I knew it, what started out as a quick fix in Shop Rite, had now taken over my living room. The tiny cars would show up everywhere, my bed, my purse, the pantry and the van. I can’t even count how many times my husband and I would step on one in the middle of the night. Soon the cute bins bought to organize the cars (by color and size) were now torn and overflowing.
Time went by and the twins started to forget about their Matchbox cars. Now they had firetrucks, bulldozers and helicopters with lights, that worked, to play with. Finally I was able to weed out the older cars and reclaim my living room.
Soon, however, the twins welcomed 2 more brother in the house. The little kids began to see how great the shiny, colorful cars could be. Who wants to play with Elmo when you can have a 3-car race on the kitchen table. This also coincided with the twins new-found obsession with Monster Jam (their father’s doing). Wouldn’t you know, Hot Wheels had a line of Monster Jam trucks too. It seemed the car aisle at Target was my destiny.
The boys’ toy phases come and go but Matchbox and Hot Wheels have remained a constant. The cars may not get played with everyday, but every once in a while I will catch someone racing a car along the window sill or constructing a ramp out of an empty box or even shoving a car into their coat pocket. Now when I find a lone car in the van I cant help but smile as I think of the memories.
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