His name is Big D. He's the mascot for Dixie State College.
Little Guy LOVES Big D.
Last week, my husband invited Little Guy to attend a DSC basketball game with him so they could have some bonding time. Basketball games are full of sensory issues (noise, crowd, etc.) so Daddy planned in advance by bringing along Little Guy's Superman hat (see post here) and arriving at halftime for a shorter stay.
However, Dad forgot one thing: Big D.
Or rather, I should say Little Guy's obsession with Big D.
As soon as they walked in the arena, Little Guy's mission became to catch the mascot's attention. Every time Big D would face their way, our son would excitedly wave his arms - only to be seemingly "snubbed" by his idol. My husband sent Little Guy a few rows down where Big D was talking to a group of kids; but by the time he got there, Big D had turned his back and was walking away.
Little Guy became increasingly upset and frustrated as the game wore on. As an adult, one can understand that Big D's job is to work the crowd and get them cheering for the team. He has a lot to do, and the mascot head is large and makes it difficult for him to see everything - making it easy to overlook a small child. However, Little Guy didn't understand these details; he could only see that Big D wasn't paying attention to him. He was trying hard not to "lose it" but was becoming dangerously close to having a big meltdown.
This is where my husband intervened. After watching Little Guy's thwarted efforts and sensing our son's growing anxiety, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Although it was a close game, Dad decided it was more important to help Little Guy track Big D down and get the "high five" he was so desperately wanting. So up and down the aisles they went in an effort to catch the mascot; apparently at one point, they were even running down one of the empty rows, hopping over the chairs in order to reach him.
Finally...they had success! Daddy said they'd had many strange looks during their "chase", but that it was all worth it to see the big smile on Little Guy's face when he shook Big D's hand and received the long-awaited high five. Little Guy came home ecstatic; Daddy came home exhausted :)
Thanks to my hubby who was so understanding of Little Guy's needs and was able to turn a potentially disastrous situation into a positive one. I am so glad he stepped in to save the day!