M and J love trains. Love all types of trains, squeal at the sight of train tracks (with or without trains, it really doesn't matter) on the side of the road, spend hours scooting toy trains around their room, and know all the characters from the Island of Sodor and Tidmouth Sheds and Knapford Station and all...and they know which of these characters they own and which they do not so as to be fully prepared to pick up a new one at any given outing. I am no longer the keeper of this vital information. This is a clue as to how I lost track...
Please read that first caption; these pictures were taken before the packing and moving. The boys were allowed 10 trains each to bring along the ride. They have accumulated at least another 10 each since we left. The miles of tracks of all varieties and stations and all other types of accessories obviously couldn't fit in the pictures. Spoiled much, you think?
Anyway, the point is, they love trains more than anything else. All other toys not train-related are played with for approximately two days or twenty minutes and then cast aside in favor of more train play, even if the trains aren't as new as the other toys. So, what reason would someone - someone who calls himself a parent of these charming boys and demands that others regard him as a parent of them - what reason could he possibly have for not wanting them to play with trains?
I could understand if we were talking about kids obsessed with something like pirates, so much so that they constantly ran around leaping from furniture into imaginary sword fights, shouting about how they will pillage, plunder, and/or ravage any who dare get in their way, threatening everyone with walks on a plank. That could be construed as a bit violent, and I could sort of understand someone's objection to that, but trains? Really?!? What harm is there in train play?
His condemnation that trains were no longer age appropriate is beyond my comprehension abilities. How, exactly, are trains to be deemed inappropriate for 4-5 year-old boys? Why must he act so exasperated at their desire for all things train and ask me so desperately if they will outgrow this soon? Somehow I think he wouldn't be so displeased with their interest in transportation if they were more interested in planes, his favorite. I can only imagine the eye rolls and disgust he would express if they had taken to boats or, even better, submarines!
So, instead of taking full advantage of the opportunity to win the boys over again and again by indulging them in their passion for trains, he's vowed to never buy them trains again. That's alright with us, their family, because we certainly have no problem enabling their train addiction. It may not always be "Thomas" trains as they get older, but I don't see their train fascination dwindling anytime soon, not when one of them is so certain he wants to become a conductor when he grows up.