June 18, 2003 - Wednesday
In hindsight, it's remarkably to me that I'd even have considered that Jeremy wouldn't be interested in a cement mixer. "Is he old enough to care about it?" I thought to myself as we drove back from dropping Harry at school and noticed the cement mixer in the driveway across the street. It was stupid of me, or at least absentminded. After all, how could I forget Harry at a similar age and his obsession with backhoes?
Jeremy's baby-sitter called early this morning to say she couldn't watch him due to illness, so he'd stay with me this morning. Luckily, the man across the street is in the process of building a two-story garage for his construction equipment. A month ago, he'd dug the hole for the foundation with a rented blue backhoe. A week or so ago I brought Harry and Jeremy up there to see the footings poured earlier that day (I'd noticed the activity while the kids were at daycare). And today, the mixers had arrived to pour the foundation and there was one sitting waiting at the end of the driveway.
Right away when we went inside - I thought I'd better put on boots - Jeremy was upset about not going to see the "truck." Still, Jeremy still is fairly accommodating most of the time and went off into the living to play without comment once inside the house. But, as soon as I asked again if he went to go see the truck, he marched right over and sat down in the hall chair to have his shoes put on. We probably stayed an hour watching the cement mixers "du(m)p" and "more du(m)p" until Jeremy decided it was time for "home." "All done. All done du(m)p. Home," he said.
I used to do things like this all the time with Harry. From when he was little more than a year and already interested in backhoes, we'd go see them at every opportunity during or mornings together or weekends together. Even more fundamentally, we simply spend a little time together ever weekday morning watching construction equipment or any other random thing I could think of. It's old news that that doesn't happen with Jeremy, I suppose. It's just logistically less feasible. What's only a little more subtle is how we catered to just about every of Harry's interests and whims and that it just doesn't, and really can't, happen with Jeremy if Harry is around. Still, even Harry understands Jeremy's interest in trucks and regularly points them out to him as we're driving in the car. "Jeremy, look a truck." That I did not immediately do and think the same with a cement mixer next door, right there for the ogling, has got to be the result of either a less acute 40-year-old mind or the overly crowded mind of a parent of two small boys. Or both.