Thursday, May 3, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Thomas' Day Out - part 2

So, here in Ann Arbor today, it is 86 degrees and sunny. Seems Spring has decided to give up his villain/hero waffling and just cede the session to Summer. This was not remotely the case last Saturday...

Seems that most of you are familiar with the Day Out with Thomas phenomenon; at least no one guessed anything other than C. in my Thomas quiz....although look for option B. to be my next theme party. Therefore, I am gonna speed on through our experience in a photo post!
Cinders and Ashes!

Super Baby's ready for her close-up with Thomas.

The drivable-play-cars were a huge hit! But the Supers know where the real fun is...

Pretending to gas-up. I swear that they did this most of the time they were in there.

Yet another of our frame-worthy photos with Sir Topham Hatt.

Super P. looks thrilled with his ride on Thomas. Of course, he could also be tired from posing for the 2378977th picture that Awkward Dad insisted on taking. I won't even talk about the videos....

The mean, Engine, himself! Complete with creepy rolling eyes and piped in whining voice! The children react like they are meeting the Beatles.
So, I have one favorite part from our Day out with Thomas. The children are in the toy train tent, a bustling locale for many reasons: we are all trying to get out of the cold and rain, they are selling popcorn (and Awkward Dad swears he saw some beer, but I think it was a mirage), and well, toy trains are pretty awesome. Unlike the toy trains at the Henry Ford Museum, or just about anywhere else, there is no fence up around these beauties. You can get close enough to feel them whizzing by your eager 2-year-old face.

It also seems you can get close enough to touch them, which we discover when Super Toddler completely derails a Thomas train that he just had to reach out and "pet." It flies off the track like something out of an action movie, and every adult head in the place turns to look at me, like something out of a horror movie. The children could all care less; there are about 14 other trains still breezing by. Parents are shooting daggers at me and you can hear their similar thoughts; Borg-style. "Are they gonna stop letting the children close to the trains because that awkward-looking mom's child stopped one. Just kick them out and let our children continue to play. I don't want to go back out in the rain and take more pictures with Sir Topham Hatt."

Just as they are all reaching for their pitchforks, a technician approaches. He looks official and slightly frazzled in that way that train enthusiasts always look and he pulls a pretty neat Red Sea parting on the crowd. I think it is the impressive Santa-beard and striped overalls. He has a controller in one hand and the other hand reaches toward the derailed train. Time stands still and all you can hear is the rain quietly tapping on the tent. You can feel the crowd hold its collective breath, as he places the train oh so gently back on the track. He flips a switch and Thomas races away like nothing happened. I feel the laser-eyes of the crowd stop boring holes in my head, so I start to breathe again. The technician leans over to me and whispers, "so worth it." I must look confused because he nods his head in Super Toddler's direction. I look at my son and the enormous grin now spreading across his face. I turn back to thank this wonderful man, but he only has eyes for Super Toddler. Their grins match perfectly, and, as I watch them watch the trains, I suddenly don't feel so cold and crabby anymore. With a quick ruffle through Super Toddler's hair, this magical toy train conductor slips back through the crowd and disappears. Well, duh; I should have known. You see, Fairy God-persons come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes it is easy to forget that. But they certainly walk among us; sometimes they just like to wear striped overalls over their wings.

Well, they survived Thomas and his Day Out, although I bet Awkward Mom is gonna insist on a Thomas Day In next year. Some news, my lovely Readers: the Awkwards are heading west! They leave on Saturday for a 9 day tour de force tour de extended family which will test not only patience, precise packing, and Super P.'s burgeoning potty training, but their very cohesiveness as a family. Yeah...the tales from this trip are gonna be terrifying, so be sure to check 'em out in a couple weeks. If Awkward Mom doesn't completely lose what is left off her sanity. Catch ya later, Readers!


  1. Once again, the Supers have slain me with cuteness. The matching train-adoring grins! I melted when I read that.
    Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Thomas' rolling eyes are creepy. Oh boy, I can't wait for the Thomas phase...I think it's just around the corner. If you say the word "train" around Katie these days, she replies "Toot toot!" We're doomed. :)

    1. Oh, thanks. They are pretty cute...and crabby...and cranky...and cookie-lusting....

      Oh, get ready, girl. Sounds like the train phase is heading right on it to your station. :)

  2. Here when we have a day out with Thomas, they don't have electrical trains. They just have a huge play table with tons of very well used wooden trains that kids can just play with. I think we spent about an hour next to this table when we went last (and only) time.

    1. Toy trains are fun no matter who is moving them around. Yes, I think this might be a once and only experience....