It's not, I assure you, because of any dodgy goings on. As far as we know there are no crack, cat or other nefarious houses in our street... no, it's the Secret Agent who parks outside our house around 6pm on nursery days, warning off the low-life and making everyone jumpy.
We didn't set out to make our son feel like a boy. Wait, that may have come out a little, um, anyway, we didn't, as I think I was trying to say, start out by forcing slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails on him but he took to them anyway.
The minute he could crawl he was investigating the CD player, the DVD player (anything with buttons) and the first time he saw a toy car and realised that he, little spud, he himself could actually hold a car in his very own hands, he had gone over to the dark side for good. For 50p in a children's charity shop I bought him a medium-sized die-cast toy ambulance (well I couldn't pry it out of his hands) and if one was to divide the price of that toy by the number of times he has played with it, the resulting unit of currency would need to be raced around the Large Hadron Collider before it could be identified.
'Car' was one of his very first words and the minute he was big enough to sit in the drivers seat, we have had no peace. Here are a couple of shots of him, one at 13 months and one at 20 months (but with much madder hair). A recent will come in a bit, wait for the edit.
(OMG someone buy that child trousers that fit... )
At first, he was content just to hold the wheel but as his confidence grew, he started experimenting and quickly found the blinkers. He then moved on to the levers, found the horn, the indicators and, you guessed it, the headlights.
Now, the minute we get in from nursery he begs to be set free and once out of his seat, he scrambles to the front and orders me into the passenger side. He puts the keys in the ignition, clicking the locks on and then off again to disable the immobiliser - fortunately he hasn't worked out that one has to actually TURN the key or we would really be in trouble. Yes yes, I try to hide them but he just says 'Keese! Pleese! Keese! Pleeese! Pleeese! Pleeese! KEEEEEEEEEES! and then it all goes blank. Anyway, there we then sit in the dark, him rampaging through the dashboard and me cowering down in case anyone thinks I'm the one sending those signals to the aliens.
Given that by the end of most of my days I am rushing out of the door with no makeup on and a big question mark over the state of my hair, it's just as well that nobody really wants to look inside our car during these goings-on. Meantime perhaps I should hire him out as a neighbourhood burglar detterent?