Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old Toy Trains

There is nothing like a child's excitement on Christmas morning. It's truly a thing of beauty. Case in point; back when my son Will was two, after he had already unwrapped a bunch of presents, he came to a large cylindrically shaped package which concealed a tub of Lincoln Logs. As he started ripping the wrapping paper off he let out a squeal of delight and exclaimed, "Cat litter!!"

Marjorie and I were reduced to hysterics. After all our planning and shopping, Will would have been genuinely and sincerely thrilled to have gotten the gift of cat litter for Christmas. Heck, he probably wouldn't have cared if it was fresh cat litter or not. Of course this was the one moment that morning we failed to capture on video, so it's a memory I make an extra effort to treasure.

This year, our two year old daughter Amelia has discovered Will's set of Thomas the Tank Engine Trains. As you can see, there is a lot to discover. This is very good news as far as I'm concerned. Will had kind of moved past his Thomas stage and this guarantees a bit more return on a considerable investment. And since Amelia has been playing with the trains, Will has once again become obsessed with them. So it looks like Santa will be bringing more presents from the Island of Sodor this year. (And maybe if Amelia is really good Santa will bring her a bucket of cat litter too.)

Roger Miller's sentimental Christmas song "Old Toy Trains" beautifully captures a young child's sense of anticipation on Christmas Eve. A few years ago Dean & Britta released a nice cover of it as a free MP3. I imagine it's still floating around in cyberspace somewhere. This version is by former Beach Boys' session musician Glen Campbell, and it's nice too.


Mark said...

We went though the Thomas obsession with our oldest son (although our younger one has thus far resisted the Thomas bug). His passion for all things Thomas, which lasted about two years, never failed to amaze me. Now he's gone on to other things, and we have loads of the small wooden Thomas trains collecting dust in the basement. I think I'll be saving them because I'm sure when our sons are adults, they'll get the nostalgia bug and want them.

Pete Bilderback said...

Definitely save them. Some of them will no doubt become collectibles. (Actually, some of the more obscure engines that have gone "out-of-print" already are). One of the things I love about Thomas trains is that they don't take up too much room. Even if you have a lot of them, they can be easily stowed in a drawer under the table.

Thomas is like crack for kids in the 2-5 year old range. Although Will is going back to his old habits for now, I don't expect it to last too long.

Kirsten said...

I have been searching for YEARS to find Glen Campbell's version of "Old Toy Trains". I haven't found it until I happened upon your blog today in a Google search. It wouldn't let me listen to it though because it said "your bandwidth was exceeded". Can you send me the link to it? I have two little boys (2 and 3 who are train fans and Glen Campbell's version is the best). Blessings!

World of Julie said...

I have been laughing about the cat litter thing for days. Seriously.

The best thing that happened here lately, Thomas-wise, is that Eli got a train (a "road vehicle" named Jack, actually) and it came with a little catalog of all the trains and track bits available, and I swear it has occupied both boys for probably 60 hours total. The whole thing is covered with a complex system of circles and tick marks that indicate which trains they want, in what order, and which trains they already have. Henry has also been fastidiously copying down the names of the trains he wants, so I find lots of crayon lists around the house that look like some English boys' school roll call.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.