Gabriel and his obsession with cars, or as he calls them "duuhkks" began about 3 months ago. He loves anything on wheels and so it doesn't matter the size, shape, or a make of his toy car, if it can roll he'll play with it. I think his obsession was the first indication to me that perhaps there is a fundamental difference between boy play and girl play. I have never favoured the toys we bought him, in fact we usually let him choose his own type of toy at birthdays, Christmas or when hes outgrown one. And he has picked and played with talking dolls (Iggle Piggle and Elmo) but recently has decided all he wants are cars. We took him to the toy section at Zellers the other day to get an idea of what kind of toys he was drawn to for Christmas when we hit the car aisle. Well my goodness, you would have thought he died and gone to heaven. Everywhere he looked he shouted "Duuhk, duhck" he pushed all the buttons, carried, hoarded, arranged, until his hearts content. Finally it was time to go and we had to practically drag him from the aisle.
When we got home he ran straight to his cars and started to play with them. And although his choice of play would be considered uniquely boy he doesn't play like a normal boy would. He's very protective over his cars, and if he could wash, polish, and display them I'm sure he would. In fact his favorite car game has nothing to do with driving his cars around, making them do cool jumps, or even bashing them together..oh no...his favorite thing to do is park them. He brings out every big, medium and small sized, yellow, green, blue colored, talking, vibrating, and sound making vehicle and drives each about a foot before parking them all next to each other. When Scott and I play cars with him he designates us a car (we aren't allowed to touch any but the one he's given us) and then we get to park it...repeatedly.
One day I told Scott to try parking his one car differently from the others (to judge just how anal he would become) well when he looked at his dad's car parked on its roof he slapped himself in the forehead, groaned, up righted it, and drove it properly to it's parking spot. Scott and I howled with laughter. Normally this bizarre play would make me think my son has OCD but because he doesn't act this way with anything else I've let that fear go. Its just one of his quirks. If you are going to play the all hallowed game of "Duhks" with him, you better play it properly.