Monday, January 24, 2011

Trains, trains, trains

Lil' Misses latest setup, pretty good for a 5 year old!

 It was Christmas of the year 2007 that we were introduced to GeoTrax.  From cruising around the 'net I quickly realized that these toys can become an addiction (well at least more for the parents if not the kids!).  I think everyone bought a little something for Lil' Miss that year to add to the GeoTrax set, this happened even though she didn't quite "get" what to do with it all and certainly couldn't build herself a track yet!  So, in spite of the somewhat uncomprehending 2 year old, the collection grew exponentially at first (mommy & daddy needed all those extras to build an interesting track!) with extra track packs, bridges, and assorted buildings.  She did however rather quickly understand that the controller for the R/C train was important (still didn't know exactly what to do with it) and refused to give it up.  So what did Mister Vonkysmeed do?  If you guessed he went out and bought another R/C train for his own use, give the lady a prize, you're a winner!

We are not lucky enough to have a basement, finished or not, as they do in other parts of the country in which to put a playroom for the kids.  We also have a fairly small home (Destructo-boy & Lil' Miss currently share a room, sorry kids but the planned addition will cost about 200K, gotta wait a few more years!) so our family room where the tv and my laptop reside also house most of the toys.  Of course, fairly quickly the family room was being completely taken over by train tracks.  We adults were getting ambitious with our constructions and every time someone wanted to sit down on a couch they quite literally had to step over various parts of the layout to get there.  So I decided that the trains did not need to be out all of the time.  But what to do with all those trains?  Target (pronounce it tar-jhey so it feels fancier somehow) gave me my affordable solution of two Rubbermaid plastic totes.  They fit ever so nicely behind the end table out of sight, keeping me happy and all the parts together when not in use.

Enter child #2 to the trains and what first started as a spot on imitation of Stitch in the "Ooh, SanFrancisco!" scene starring Destructo-boy as Stitch, has evolved into more interest in actually playing with the trains instead of tearing the tracks apart and flinging them all over the family room (yes, this resulted in Lil' Miss screaming and crying trying desperately to both stop him from pulling up more tracks and recover the pieces already flung across the room which would've been much funnier if I didn't have to physically pull them apart).  He is finally starting to 'get' how to use the trains on the tracks, placing them correctly and running them back and forth with his little hands, he even got an R/C train of his very own this past Christmas.

 I love to watch them when Lil' Miss is using the R/C train and Destructo-boy is madly running back and forth to keep up with the trains progress, squealing all the while, jumping up and down, pointing and yelling "Ack-Ack" (didn't know he had watched Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!).  They have gotten a whole room of adults to sit watching them play with the trains this way, quite entertaining (or are we just easily amused, hmmm).  He is absolutely fascinated with watching it go round and round, particularly when the track has been set up with lots of elevation changes, a roller coaster track as Lil' Miss calls it.  I love it when a toy entertains the children and adult equally, talk about value for the money!

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