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  • Another Investment Goes South

    November 17, 2008

    When Sean was somewhere around three, he discovered Lightning McQueen. I’m not really sure how that happened.  I think someone gave him the DVD for his birthday and on a long car trip we pulled it out, out of desperation, and after that there was no turning back. His world became all Lightning McQueen all the time. Ka-chow! Which roughly translates to Cha-ching!

    We have since invested untold millions into Lightning McQueen. Okay not millions, but untold dollars.  More dollars than I care to consider at the moment.  And I’ll be honest here, I’m to blame.  It seemed safer than investing in the stock market and it turns out I was right.  Whereas the stock market took our money away, thanks to my savvy investing skills, we now have a fine collection of Lightning McQueen die cast cars.

    The truth is I became addicted to seeing Sean’s eyes light up every time I brought home one of those little Lightning McQueen die cast cars.  And then every time I went to the grocery store, I would check to see if there were any new ones, sqealing with delight if there were and lamenting if there were not.  I’ve even trolled eBay looking for Darrell Cartrip.   “Someone” recently suggested that maybe the cars aren’t really for Sean, that maaaaybe I’m really collecting them for myself. To that I say, “PROVE IT! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!”

    In addition to the die cast cars, we’ve also “invested” in Lightning McQueen clothes, backpack, lunchbox, shoes, socks and undies – and on and on. So then, Sean goes off to school every day carrying a Lightning McQueen backpack and lunch box and occasionally wearing a shirt bearing the image of Lightening McQueen.

    A week or so ago, as Sean was getting dressed for school, I suggested that he wear a certain Lightning McQueen sweatshirt since the weather had turned chilly.

    “No.” he said firmly.

    “No?” I asked, surprised. “Why not?”

    And then like a copy writer for J. Peterman, I proceeded to try to sell him on the sweatshirt pointing out its stylish yet rugged features, constructed of an uncommonly luxurious polyblend with superior stitching, ribbed cuffs and collar for uncompromising comfort, spirited handsome styling at home on both the playground and the lunchroom…

    But I could not overcome his objection of “Because I don’t feel like it.”

    Something didn’t add up, so I pressed him a little bit more.

    “I’m off Lightning McQueen! OK?! ” he finally confessed with an exasperated sigh.

    R-R-R-R-R-rrrttt! (Cue sound of screeching breaks)

    What? (breathy gasp of disbelief) Off Lightning McQueen?  OFF?

    “The boys at school say that Lightning McQueen is for bay-beeez!” And then he scrunched up his face in disgust because when you are five there is nothing worse than being called a baaaay-beee.

    Well that’s just great. My investment in Lightning McQueen tanked due the whims of a few pre-schoolers.

    I supposed if the government isn’t going to exact restitution from the AIG execs, I can’t expect any help recovering damages from a bunch of five-year-olds either.

    37 Comments »

    1. kiy says:

      This is one of my huge issue with school, and why I struggle with it. I go back and forth on the merits of ‘traditional’ schooling and home schooling. Our little gal (right now at least) is quite the social butterfly, and while I know that there are other ways of socializing if we were to go the HS route, we worry about that. We also worry that we wouldn’t do as well by her as a ‘real’ teacher or school setting would. But, the peer pressure and ‘yuck, you EAT peas?’ kind of stuff bothers me.

      Motherhood is so much harder than I thought it would be. I do wonder if we will be going through something similar in a few years though.

      Thank you for today’s post. It got me thinking. Again.

      Kiy

      November 17th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    2. Kathy says:

      Ow. Ouch ouch ouch.

      I’m cringing because my son (just turning three) is a huge Cars fan, and I know how I shop all year long for Christmas so the bills don’t hit all at once… how much have you invested in Lightning McQueen for just this Christmas?

      November 17th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    3. sheilah says:

      My son never got into the Lightning McQueen stuff (altho’ he did like the movie). We are drowning in Thomas the Train stuff.

      I am not looking forward to the time when I have a similar conversation about Thomas.

      November 17th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    4. The Roost says:

      So funny! I have been there before & it really hurts! LOL :)

      November 17th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    5. Heidi says:

      Oh, those nasty fun-spoiling preschoolers! I think I speak for most mommies
      who would be absolutely fine with 5-yr-olds still being their baybeeeez.
      Well, other than the nursing and burping and diaper changing, of course,
      because gross.

      November 17th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    6. Lori Drumm says:

      Ah yes. The peer pressure has already begun. In pre-school. It only gets worse.

      November 17th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    7. Rivkeleh says:

      Oh man, I feel your pain. I’m pretty sure that the Lightning McQueen set is going to be mine eventually, but it’s definitely out of favor. It went to the wayside when we discovered DINOSAURS! And to my amazement, Noah told me quite seriously the other day that he wasn’t so into dinosaurs any more. So now I also have 200,000 plastic dinosaurs and a dream of getting my artistically inclined paleontologist brother to help paint the wee guy’s bedroom that I’m prepared to sell at a loss.

      I may need some dinosaurs in my office, though. I seem to get over it, whatever it is, so much more slowly than he does….

      As long as the next trip isn’t Power Rangers, I’m okay with it, I guess.

      November 17th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    8. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      Obviously, you were duped by your child into thinking McQueen was forever.

      Bail-out! You need a bail-out!

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    9. Melissa says:

      So what’s the cool thing with 5 year olds, if McQueen is out?

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    10. Pam says:

      I was thinking that very thing as I was reading through your post…His likes are subject to change at any given moment…My youngest son was into police THINGS. He collected a certian kind of police cars. Guess what. He is 23 now and trying really hard to get on at a Police department.

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    11. Sally says:

      It stings, doesn’t it, when other children say things that make your own child question whether or not he or she should continue to like certain toys, etc.
      Been through that here, too…….It makes children think they have to grow up too fast when they aren’t really ready, and give up interest in things they previously enjoyed, just because some other kid calls them a baby…

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    12. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

      Too funny for words my friend. Been there, done that many, many times.~~Dee

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    13. PastormacsAnn says:

      Aw that is a bummer, have totally been there a time or two…or three…or four….ahem.

      OK, so you can recoup some of your $ by putting all that Lightning McQueen stuff up on Ebay for some other little baaaay-beee. Trust me (I’m speakingfrom experience here) he’s out there. Sell it as a huge lot and you’ll make out like a bandit.

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    14. Tracy says:

      If it goes as it did with my eldest – the clothing went by the wayside, but
      the toys came back quickly.

      Sigh… peer pressure.

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    15. Annie says:

      I get you in reader and it was the weirdest thing today when I tried to read this post. It went into some website. I quickly closed it, but I remember that the background was red and there was a funny email address and graphics. Guess nobody else had any issues.

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    16. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      I don’t want to downplay what’s going on here, and I can totally sympathize
      as I have one of those 5 yr olds running around my house. BUT. All I can
      think about is the J Peterman catalog! I used to love reading it. If I
      remember right, it didn’t even have pictures of the clothes, it had
      drawings. All I wanted in high school was to own something from the J
      Peterman catalog. That, and to move out of the small town and never look
      back (turns out I not only looked back, my husband and I MOVED back).
      *sigh* J Peterman.

      * * * *
      I would love to be a copy writer for J. Peterman. I love the tiny stories that go with each garment. Writing pointless and overstated stories is kind of my specialty. ~ Antique Mommy

      November 17th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    17. Tim says:

      At the risk of sounding rude, bit for the sake of future embarrassment, you might want to change “die cast” to “dye cast”. It’s so easy to read over those little typos. I do it all the time.

      * * * *

      I make typos all the time Tim, or flat out just spell something wrong and don’t mind being corrected (I used to be a pretty good speller before Spell Check came along), but this is what dictionary.com has to say about die cast:

      2 dictionary results for: die cast
      Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source – Share This
      die cast?
      –noun to shape or form by die casting.

      I have a 5YO — it takes more than a typo to embarrass me.

      ~ AM

      November 17th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    18. HarryJacksMom says:

      Right there with ya! All of it, including the confessions ;-) It’s a great
      movie, and I’m hoping the sequel due in 2011 gives them another chance to
      embrace the CARS friends.

      Ours insist that they still love him as we decide about bedrooms. I’m
      thinking of going with the colors for their room so if they ditch the
      characters, we still have a chance LOL

      Happy week and thanx for the laughs, as ever!

      November 17th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    19. denise says:

      Other bad stock bets: Dora the Explorer, Disney Princesses and Barbie. Those little ladies have taken me for all I’m worth in the last 5 years : )

      November 17th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    20. Refrigerator Art blogger says:

      One winter morning several years ago my daughter announced she could no longer wear her Dora the Explorer coat because Dora is for babies. That night she didn’t want to sleep in her Dora sheets. With our son it was Thomas the Tank Engine. Sigh.

      November 17th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    21. denise says:

      One more thing I thought of . . .

      When the stock market is at its lowest, it’s not wise to sell your shares, but in hard economic times, it’s easy to sell kid stuff like “Cars” paraphanalia! Put it up on eBay, Craigslist, or in your local paper’s ads . . . for every child that is “too big” for a character, there is another fan just being born. Many of those fans have parents that just can’t afford to buy the new stuff (probably because they just spent a mint buying their beloved’s last favorite character items).
      Very “cycle of life”, don’t ya think?

      November 17th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    22. Thea says:

      But don’t get rid of all of it! My Mom saved something from all of my fads from when I was little, a popple, a care bear, etc.. and it is great to look back on all of them. Even though he will move onto something else, Lightning McQueen will be part of a long string of fond memories.

      November 17th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    23. RefreshMom says:

      I hate when the big kids spoil the little ones’ fun! Don’t worry, I bet his
      interest will just go underground. He won’t wear the sweatshirt to school
      any more, but he’ll still like having his Cars buddies around at home.

      Our version of Lightening McQueen was a series of trains. We’ve graduated
      past Thomas to “trains without faces.” Now he wants trains that look like
      real trains–BNSF, Santa Fe, Union Pacific…and every Friday night that he
      can convince us to go, we head to a model railroad club with a bunch of guys
      who got their first model trains before they hit first grade and they still
      haven’t outgrown them (at 60+!). The only trouble is that “trains with no
      faces” cost a loooot more than Thomas and friends!

      November 17th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    24. Shannon says:

      That stinks!

      What did parents do before ebay? I can’t get my act together enough to actually SELL anything on there, but I do buy a lot. And then I don’t feel quite as bad when I’m giving it all away. (That is, when my husband isn’t making me box it up for the black hole – I mean, the attic – “just in case we need it later on”…)
      Oh, and my kids still love Cars, so you can send it all here if you want to! :)

      November 17th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    25. Beth S says:

      I swear we have thousands invested in Thomas the Train – we could not live without Thomas and all of his cheeky friends and their destinations and oh, track, more track, we must have more track – and I too became addicted to getting him new ones just to see the joy in his eyes…and then kindergarten came along and now he is all about spiderman, star wars and spongebob. I miss Thomas and the Island of Sodor.

      November 17th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    26. Lynn says:

      I used to enable my son’s addiction to baseball cards. I would stand for hours looking at the new packs and I would be just as disappointed when we got a pack that was sorry! And before that he was all into HE-MAN masters of the universe. The original from 1982!

      November 17th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    27. Shell says:

      YEP…that happens, ouch…I have a 5 yr old that did this with Thomas. However, he carries a CARS backpack to school !

      November 17th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    28. Fiddledeedee says:

      Sue.

      Little boogers.

      We, too, have all the Lightening McQueen memorabilia. And add to that Little Einstein’s Rocket & trusty sidekick Leo. And Mickey Mouse.

      I’m treasuring these years.

      November 17th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    29. Steffj89 says:

      yeah hang on a bit before you get too upset, because he may not be as off cars as he thinks just yet. i
      have one who is “off baby stuff” as well and yet he has been a gem at
      picking the stuff “baby” will love when he gets here cause he keeps bringing
      stuff out of secret hiding places that he didnt want to get rid of but didnt
      want anyone to know he had either
      steff

      November 18th, 2008 at 5:28 am

    30. Mary says:

      AM,
      Unfortunately what they didn’t put in the mommy manual is that this investment practice has to be repeated about 15 times during their childhood until all of your money is gone, I mean until you finally learn a lesson.

      As time goes on the lessons get bigger, harder and more expensive. This week I will be trying to sell, an electric guitar and amp (played for 2 weeks 4 years ago) A surf board (been in the water for 20 minutes), a drum set (been played 2 times for 5 minutes). I have already given away, a box full of rockets, a boatload of legos,enough barbies to hold their own Miss America Pageant, and the list just continues!

      You have only just begun!

      November 18th, 2008 at 8:57 am

    31. nan says:

      Ah, my big boys still play with their Cars cars when they think no-one’s looking. And when the next movie comes out, they will be “Original Collectors Item Cars” cars. So there.

      Oh, and it’s die. Cast in a die. Jigsaw puzzles, too, are die-cut. And if someone makes a spelling or grammar error on their blog, I don’t think it’s necessary to correct them, anyway. Thank you and goodnight.

      November 18th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    32. Connie says:

      When we went to the party store to buy napkins, cups, etc. for my son’s 5th birthday, I was expecting him to go for Batman, Spiderman, or something in that genre. Instead, he chose “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and I secretly rejoiced that he hasn’t yet been overly influenced by the other boys to know what’s “cool.” He does have his share of Lightning McQueen items, as well as Toy Story stuff. I know it’s just a matter of time…but for now I’m glad he still enjoys them.

      November 18th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    33. Rose says:

      The same thing happened with my daughter and Dora. After we amassed a huge collection of Dora toys, videos and clothes. Now it’s My Little Pony. You’d think we would have learned the first time!

      November 18th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    34. Cee says:

      Even if he doesn’t want to wear Lightning to school, be sure to tell him that he can still enjoy Lightning at home! My son loved Barnie the big purple dinosaur long after his playmates told him that “Barnie’s for babies” and he happily enjoyed the videos for years without sharing his enthusiasm with his too-cool friends.

      November 19th, 2008 at 12:15 am

    35. Kay says:

      First it’s Blue’s Clues and then it just goes on from there…brace
      yourself! *sniff sniff*

      November 19th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    36. Eliza says:

      Hi AM,

      My son still very much into Lighting McQueen. Care to donate those unwanted items? :)

      November 19th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    37. Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says:

      My 13yos was totally into Toy Story when he was that age. He eventually outgrew it, but we rented the DVDs recently (because ours were from the Neanderthal VHS days) and he loved watching them again.

      I’m gonna go tweet you about something you won’t believe I did this week!

      November 22nd, 2008 at 5:50 pm

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