Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Day Out With Thomas and Friends

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.


  1. I haayyyyyyyyyyyte, hate, hate it when things go like that. Thomas is nice in theory (and in deeds) when on his little show. It ends there. My kids loved Thomas, yet still took those expensive ass pieces of wooden track and used them as weapons in their mock sword fights.
    This post is a crack up because we've all been there! :) Hang in there.

  2. Part of me wants to laugh at the course of events, but part of me feels the frustration you felt and that comes through your writing. I want to say that some day you'll look back on this and laugh, but it is too soon to say that! You guys are good parents, though, to reach out and try to experience things like this with your son.


  3. I feel for you Kim. You and Shaune tried really hard to make a nice day for Deaglan. You definitely didn't get much for your $50. I would've been exhausted too. Those terrible two's do sneak up at the worst times. I'm sure Deaglan enjoyed seeing his Thomas in person though.

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  5. "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

    I am so sorry you had to endure all that. At least it made for good blogging material.

    And they all go through the "no" phase. It will pass.

  6. Thomas and his friends are definitely not my favorite. Luckily none of my kids were ever that in to it.

    It's always disappointing though when we plan these things for our kids and it all goes to shit. :-)

  7. Kim-so sorry. should have been a beautiful memory. We'll get em next time! ~rick

  8. I am so sorry you had a bad experience....but your writing of the whole situation made me smile. I am happy to know that not all these kinds of things happen to only me. Too bad it couldnt have been a fun filled day.

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  10. Aww Kim that is too bad. It is the thought that counts!! :)

    We went to Elmo Green Thumb last week-end...not sure if Sesame Street is coming to London but it was AWESOME!! and it exceeded our expectations. The costumes and stage production was high quality for $20 a ticket.

  11. Oh no! Sounds just terrible. Maybe you should sell all your current Thomas stuff on craigslist and never look back?! Sorry you had such a crap time!

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  13. What a nightmare. I remember having some bummer outings with my kids when they were little, and the drain on the wallet adds insult to injury.

  14. oh god!!! what a miserable day! i am so sorry!!! b a h! the drive home in silence said it all. well, the whole POST said it all! what a nightmare!!!

    i hope the terrible twos aren't quite as bad as they seem. but my sister keeps telling me rather DRAMATIC stories about my niece -- saying stuff like, "janelle, we weren't sure we were going to make it with her last month". ha hahahah!!! but i hear she is a little better now. eke!

    i can barely handle 2 cats and an unruly boyfriend! i know i couldn't handle that thomas the train scene very well!


    and thank you for the lovely birthday wishes. you are so sweet, so likeable, and i am so glad to know you through blogging! and i hate having my picture taken, so don't hold your breath on that! ;)

  15. We had no windows when we went and it was pouring and we all got soaked. But the kids did like it.

  16. Awww, honey - sounds like a rough day. Sorry it wasn't more fun for y'all. I know it must have been frustrating. But at least they didn't charge for parking, right? :)

    Sending you hugs and lots of love (and hoping y'all have a fun-filled family day very soon)

  17. Thomas played a huge part in our home as well, Kim. I must post a story about this one day!

    Thank you very much for your VERY kind words about my novel. If you'd like to leave a comment on my blog with your email address and then delete the comment immediately after (so no one else can see it but me) I'll send you a text file that you might enjoy - relating to the writing of the book.

    Have a great weekend


  18. Whew! I have learned to limit our commercialization trips. They tend to be less about quality and more about making dough. My hat goes off to you. :)


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