All posts tagged: toys

I’m With the Pope

Before I became a parent, I had dinner with some co-workers whose children I found admirable. When I asked, “What’s your formula for success in raising kind, engaged, intelligent children?” They responded, “They watched no TV.” Oh. Bummer. I intended to teach limits, not be a TV Nazi. But they went on, “They watched plenty of DVDs. They just didn’t watch commercial television, so we avoided ads for buying toys and candy.” Smart. Very smart. I’m reminded of this every time my son goes down a rabbit hole of acquisition requests: “Daddy? Can I get a little ‘Scruff’ [a friend of Thomas] for my birthday and a ‘Glitter Glider Sleeping Beauty’ for my birthday and a ‘Zoe Zebra’ stuffed animal for my birthday and a racetrack for my birthday and four pink donuts for my birthday and the ‘Jasmine’ princess movie [Aladdin] and ‘surprise eggs’ for my birthday?” Thank goodness he’s accepted the “maybe for you birthday” mantra and doesn’t scream, “NO! I WANT IT NOW!” But still. He will go on and on and …

Thomas the Train Rage

Well that blew. It was our “Day Out With Thomas”, when a rail-riding, full-size “Thomas the Train” visits sleepy train stations with operable train tracks. In our case, the Essex, CT, train station attaches some coaches to a locomotive, followed by Thomas, and makes a 20-minute trip to the local dump, and then back to the station. Last year, our trip was idyllic. Ellison bounced along to the songs during the ride, thrilled at hugging a dressed-up “Sir Topham Hat” and riding a jankety fair rides dotting the parking lot. This year’s day out started out euphorically. For the entirety of our fifteen minute drive, Ellison chanted, “I want to ride Thomas!” The cuteness drove me crazy. At the station entrance, he skipped and chanted, “I’m so excited to see Thomas! Hooray!” I love it when he talks like he’s reading a “Dick and Jane” book. Colton was equal parts confused and excited. We cheered Thomas’ arrival from the previous trip to the dump. As we proceeded toward the boarding area, Ellison noticed a table …