We went to see Thomas the tank engine on Sunday. We've sort of been plugging Thomas and his buddies shamelessly - the Rev W. Awdry would be proud of us. I'm not sure exactly why we want Deaglan to love Thomas but we've been collecting the pieces to build a train set, we watch the show on Treehouse all the time and I even found six DVD's of different episodes at Costco for $24.99.
So when we found out that Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt were coming to a town near us, we bought tickets and counted down the days. Everytime the ad for this event came on, Deaglan would squeal, point and say "Taw-Ass!" Parents really need to harness this power they have over their kids and use it wisely. (I don't know if Shaune and I are the sharpest knives in the drawer encouraging him to covet such an expensive toy - but that's fodder for another post).
Anyway the day arrived and reality couldn't have been further from our expectations. For one thing we were met with monsoon-like weather as soon as we left the shelter of our car without umbrellas or proper foot gear. By the end of the day I could have easily rocked out on stage with Alice Cooper and fit right in. However, the weather was the least of our annoyances.
Apparently I had misunderstood the ticket buying process. So when I went to pick up the $50. tickets ($21.99 for each Shaune and I -Deaglan was free because he is under two), the lady told me that my train reservation was that morning at 8:45 and it was now 12:30 pm so we had missed our train. And before I could swallow the lump of anger that had risen in my throat, she said in the most condescending way: We'll try to fit you on the train but you'll have to wait until all of the passengers who booked their tickets properly get on - you and your family may not get to sit beside each other.
And do you know what that $50 got us???? A freaking 25 minute train ride in a stuffy old, out of commission train car whose windows were sealed shut, jammed full of other irritated parents with hyped up toddlers screetching to see Thomas.
There were all sorts of booths and kiosks too but these were selling Thomas paraphernalia at inflated crazy prices. The only 'free' offerings were a tired out old balloon-animal lady whose heart must have sank every time she looked up to see a line of about 60 families all waiting to ask for a giraffe or weiner dog and three big buckets full of dish soap and enormous plastic tennis racket-like contraptions meant to be used to blow bubbles.
And Deaglan? I swear that the terrible two's officially began right there in the rain amidst the soapy puddles of water while my mascara was running in streams down my face. I could not wrangle that kid to save my life. He was a mouthy, unruly little wild man shouting "nnnoooo!!" at every single thing we said. And every time I tried to pick him up to get to the next place he acted as if I beat him on a regular basis, writhing and wriggling out of my grasp. If someone had bothered to get it on film it would have made an effective birth control ad!
At the beginning of the day we had excitedly planned to take advantage of some of the other features of the town in which the event was held. But by the end of that $50 train ride Shaune and I wanted to get as far away from Thomas and his friends as we could. We walked the half mile to the parking spot - I'm still surprised that we weren't charged for parking - and drove home in silence.