Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Heady Times

This weekend we teamed up with some friends and took our little ones to "A Day Out With Thomas." In ideal terms, it's a chance for kids to see their choo-choo obsession come to life, which of course is magical and whatnot. In realistic terms, it's an opportunity to drop a ton of bank on merchandise. Lucky for us, though HR lacks for nothing and gets treats all the time, he's very chill in stores and rarely asks for anything, including on this occasion. He was happy to play with the many train sets provided and move on. So right off the bat, it was Family: 1, Greedy Event Organizers: 0.

The overall experience of the event was interesting, and I find that these things never happen like you think they will. For example, he was suitably awe-struck with his first sighting of a real-life Thomas chugging by when we arrived, and enjoyed the train ride when it was our turn, but overall he seemed unimpressed by just about everything, including his first ride on a carousel. Here we are having a photo op while we waited to board Thomas. That is not the face of a thrilled child, though to be fair, he's not into having his picture taken these days, anywhere or for any reason.

By far his favorite part of the day was getting to meet Sir Topham Hatt, owner of the Sodor Railway and all around self-important dictator. He is not as cuddly and benevolent on the show as the costume makes him seem, but my kid would have stayed there all day high-fiving and waving to this creepy, earless, silent facsimile. You just never know what's going to be the thing they take away in the precious moments department. And that's part of the fun, I guess.

I think HR is just old enough to enjoy something like this, we didn't stay long enough for him to be overstimulated, he didn't get carsick on the ride down, and he passed out on the ride back. So even if he wasn't overcome with wonder the entire time, I'd say the excursion was definitely worth it.

We also read Where The Wild Things Are for the first time over the weekend, and though we apparently don't share the same distaste for people in costume, my boy and I are simpatico regarding Maurice Sendak. There were many repeat readings, and, as it's my favorite picture book of all time and the dearly departed Mr. Sendak is a personal hero, that means a lot to me. Of course I expect him to be so over it by next week, but "We'll eat you up, we love you so!" has been permanently added to his frame of reference so I feel my job here is done.

We've been going through a family-wide obsession with old photographs, and it has renewed my quest to achieve some kind of preserving-while-living balance. So far I think we're doing OK.

Here's a song that never fails to inspire. And if this isn't your day, play it again tomorrow.

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