Sunday, August 31, 2008

Optimus Prime

I never watched the Transformers as a kid, and even my younger brother never got into them. I knew the general concept and had seen them around, but I hadn't even seen the live feature film that was released a while back. So I had no idea what Aiden was talking about when, a few weeks ago, he came home from school telling me all about "Optimus Prime" and "Bumble Bee." Later that evening, his daddy translated, explaining the different Transformer characters to me. Although Aiden hasn't ever watched the cartoon at our house, he's apparently learned quite a bit from the playground set--enough to spark a new obsession.

Then, when Aunt Cathy and Uncle Wayne visited recently, Cathy brought Aiden a bunch of Happy Meal toys she'd been hanging onto. One of them was an Optimus Prime Transformer, and ever since, that little robot has been accompanying our family everywhere. He rides to church and school with Aiden, then stays in the Jeep while he's inside. Aiden won't take him inside stores--he's afraid someone is going to try to steal his Optimus Prime from him. At night he sits next to Aiden's bed, watching over him while he sleeps, and first thing in the morning, those two are back to playing together.

Today, while at Target, I decided to cruise by the clearance rack in the boys' section to see what I could find. And as I was picking through, what should I find? An Optimus Prime t-shirt, complete with a sound patch that plays the Transformers theme song when pushed. I pulled it out to show Aiden, and instantly he was in love. His face lit up, and I swear the heavens opened up, radiant light shining down upon him, angels singing in the background, he was so happy. "Can I have it, Mama?" he asked, and of course, I said yes. Aiden wanted to put it on right there in the store, but I convinced him we needed to pay for it first. He wouldn't let me put it in the cart. Oh no, he had to carry it about the store, wrapped tightly in his arms.

When we finally got to the cash register, I had to pry it away just to get it across the scanner. The sales woman handed it to him, and it was all Brad could do to wrestle it away from Aiden, who was about to rip the thing apart in his effort to get the tags off. We couldn't even make it to the parking lot before he had to have it on--in the lobby, Aiden ripped off his other shirt and on went his new prized t-shirt. As soon as it was on, his little chest puffed up, his arms held rigidly out to the sides, like a body builder strutting around the gym. He tried to play it off cool, like it was no big deal, but he was bursting at the seams with excitement. He repeatedly pressed the music button, playing the song again and again with glee.

Although the shirt is already beginning to wear on my nerves (if I hear that theme song one more time...), and I'm not exactly a fan of licensed character clothing, I can't help but smile when I see Aiden proudly smooth down his shirt or carefully brush off crumbs. His entire face lights up when the music plays, and he shows it off to neighbors and passersby every chance he gets. I think that is the best $6 I've spent in a long time!

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