Action Doesn't Always Equal the Proper Reaction

Apparently kids don't get the law of "every mommy action requires a perfect kid reaction". This is to validate us as mothers and isn't it really the reason we do these things at all? We want wide eyes, grateful hugs and "I love you's" out the wazzoo.

So here was the plan at Christmas. Sam was going to get a train table. I put a lot of work into this. There was a lot of planning and a lot of blood, sweat and tears...okay there was no blood or tears, but there was sweat. I recreated a town with tracks and trains that would rival any old Sodor. There were people, trees and an airport that I hot glued to the table in the perfect locations. The train table was a thing of absolute beauty. I couldn't wait.

On Christmas day, we went to my parents' house where "Santa" - who is WAY more fascinating to Samuel than Jesus is right now...but we'll get there - was going to leave his train table. It started out fun. He was excited. He screamed Choo Choo. He ignored all others for the attention of his train table. He was fascinated with the track, the trains, and the bridge. He played happily by himself. That lasted ten minutes. Someone tell me how to explain the scientific principals behind magnets to a two year old? He was getting so upset when his trains would or wouldn't stick together, depending on his goal, that I thought I was going to have to put him on blood pressure medication to continue to play. The whines and banging coming from the foyer was getting louder and closer together. I kept wanting him to explain his objective instead of getting mad. Right, if you can get a two year old to explain their "objective", you will make millions. The scene went from total kid elation to trains being thrown, tantrums being had and all those cute trees and people I had perfectly glued to the table being wiped out by a certain toddler with a 'tude.

I was devastated. By the end of brunch, the perfect train table looked like it had been hit by Tsunami Samuel. I contemplated setting out FEMA trailers and passing out VISA gift cards to help the wooden train workers get back on their feet. Oh the carnage! It was senseless destruction. Well, senseless to a 30-something year old. To a two year old, they were actions that had to be taken. Can't get the train to go under the bridge? Well then the bridge gets it. Punishment was swift, harsh and there were no trials in Samuel's world.

In the end, I stripped down the train table to a very simple track and decided that as he gets older, he can recreate Sodor in his own time. For a few days I was really disappointed as I would glance at the all but empty train table. I remarked several times to Andy that it looked like we'd given our son a coffee table for Christmas.

But we've all managed to come to terms with the train table. It is now merely Sam's play area. It's perfect for storing bins of toys underneath and he can set up his hot wheels, his trains or his Diego-go doll and play as he wishes. Below, you can see the before and after pics.

All in all a good Christmas!
Sam's Mom


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