Like many small children, Aiden has a rotating "obsession," usually an animal or cartoon character. During his obsession, Aiden collects facts or snippets about his current topic and does nothing but live, eat and breathe the object of his fancy. For a while it was dinosaur everything. Then we moved on to Scooby-Doo (although he's still pretty attached to Scooby). Then construction equipment and trucks. Then trains. Even though it has been ages since we've been to Sea World, now Aiden is obsessing about Shamu. Or should I say "Shampu" as Aiden calls him.
His stuffed Shampu must be in bed with him at naptime and bedtime. He wants to read books about killer whales. He makes up elaborate stories about killer whales with guns in their tales that fight off pirates. He and Shampu race around the house pretending to defend the seven seas. When riding in the car (read: he's got a captive audience, Mommy and Daddy), he doesn't hesitate to rattle off every fact he can about Shampu or killer whales. The other day, we were riding along, and the conversation went like this:
Aiden: Shampu is a whale. He's a killer whale.
Brad: What does he like to eat?
Aiden: Walruses and seals and sharks.
Brad: What else?
Aiden: I don't know.
Aiden: Yeah, fish! And when he eats them, they go into his stomach and his large intestine and they get gidested (that's digested in Aidenspeak). And they make him strong and grow really tall. And when the whales eat Dory and Marwin, he eats them and gidests them and then shoots them out his blood-hole.
Angela: His WHAT?
Aiden: His blood-hole. Where he shoots water out. Like this: SWOOSH! (Aiden sprays the back of my seat and half of Brad's as he demonstrates this).
By the end of one of these phases, I'm usually pretty tired of the object he's obsessing over and anxious for him to move on to something else. But the funny thing is, every time he lets go of one and moves on to another, part of me is a little sad. Yes, I'm happy I'm no longer subject to being randomly clawed by a "sharp-tooth" T-rex or having to slam on the brakes and find a place to pull over every time we see an excavator (I never made it anywhere on time during that phase), but part of me really misses the evenings playing dinosaur or his excited exclamations of "MOMMY! LOOK! AN EXCABATOR!! IT'S WORKING! IT'S WORKING!! SLOW DOWN!!"