Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just another boy who likes trains

Ever since Max was a baby, he's loved things that go—trucks, cars and most of all, trains. It used to give me comfort. Developmentally, he may have been unlike other boys his age but in this way, he was totally typical.

A train track runs about a quarter-mile from our house, which has proven to be a Good Thing for Max. Dave and I are oblivious to the sound of the trains but if Max is near a window and one goes by, he perks up and says "Rain! Rain!" (t's are hard for him). Last summer, we took him to an outdoor railway museum filled with old train cars and Max was giddy with excitement. You can bet we're going back as soon as it's warm enough.

Music may soothe the savage beast but for Max, nothing is more relaxing than kicking back with a good train DVD (and a glass of fine wine, of course). Max's collection includes Hard Hat Harry's Trains and Helicopters and All About Fast Trains & Airplanes. They are kind of fun to watch, unlike Thomas the Tank, who I thought was a big bore. Thankfully, Max outgrew him.

Last night, Max wanted to read a book he's had since he was a tot, Trains, by Byron Barton. He's too old for it, really, but to him it's the book equivalent of comfort food so I let him. Suddenly, he pointed to the conductor and then he pointed to himself. Then he did it again. "You want to drive the train, Max?" I asked and he nodded "Yes!" vigorously. I've made a lot of stuff happen for Max; I'm not sure I can pull that off, though we're overdue for a train ride and maybe I can get the conductor to let Max watch him in action.

What kind of things are your kids into these days?


  1. i think im in love with your children! :P

  2. Cool Max, I like train too. I had a very large model layout as a kid.

    On a different note as transpiration goes. Check out http://challengeair.com , they provide FREE airplane rides to children with special needs, just for fun. Our friend Cole flew with them, he says they are very cool!

  3. Noah is obsessed with trains too- he calls them Choo Choo's ( it's his favorite word, clearest word, and the one he uses most often!!!)
    My brother was also in love with trains as a kid, my dad used to take him to ride the metro north train on weekends, once the conductor actually let my brother go into the area where he stands and "drive" the train...so it is possible!!! I am sure there is a nice conductor somewhere waiting for Max to drive his train =)
    I am not sure where you live but I am from the hudson valley, upstate in Phoneica, NY there is a train ride that follows the esopus river...its very pretty and would make a nice weekend destination.

  4. Ah, the vehicle obsession - I think it lasts from ages 2 to 89 in many boys. Daniel would be a happy camper if I bought him his own subway pass and let him ride around aimlessly for hours. He's definitely big into vehicles, especially anything related to Disney Cars. Ever since he saw the movie at 22 months old, he's been hooked.
    Musical instruments are another big one. Daniel learned to crawl by chasing a guitar. Guitar was one of his first words, and his first three - word phrase was "My daddy drums." He would move to music from a young age, and we've used a lot of it to help him in therapy. Now, at the ripe old age of 4, he's learning to play drums.
    But the newest/oddest obsession is baby clothes. He's had three new baby cousins in the past two months, so he's been on many baby clothes shopping trips. When he sees an outfit he likes, he jumps up and down and squeals in a squeaky voice, "That is SO precious!" It may not be a "normal" interest, but it works for him.

  5. My boys love trains, too. And CARS--and trucks! And DUMP trucks! If it can transport anything over the ground, they love it!

    They haven't displayed as much interest in aviation, but they have never been on a plane yet, either.

    Bubba loves the stars and the planets, too. One of his uncles bought the boys one of those little machines that turns the bedroom into a little planetarium, and he loves to turn it on at night and watch the "night sky" from the comfort of indoors. Now that the weather is improving, he'll be wanting to spend more time out back in the evening.

    Buster is also very musical, so long as it involves just blowing into the instrument. He has a kazoo that he'll toot half the day, and a harmonica that he enjoys, too, though the kazoo is his real favorite, because he can just hum into it to get results. He's no Mozart but it is fun for him. Some of his favorite kazoo hits are the theme from Jeopardy and the music that comes on when the news starts! It's funny how kids decide what they like, sometimes.

  6. Aaron is all about trains as well. we are going to take him on a ride this weekend with the easter bunny. where was the train museum you went to? i definitely will be going there this summer.

  7. You don't live near KY by any chance? If so, I could totally get Max into the drivers seat of a train.

    Maddy's really into trains too. We take her on the subway all the time just for fun...the ride becomes the main event.

  8. Andrea, click on the link in the post to see the train museum. Amy, that is so sweet of you! Unfortunately, not near KY. Train ride in NY is more feasible—thanks for that recommendation! Rich, I will check out the plane rides though I think I would prefer for Max to stay on the ground! And Jo, I laughed at the thought of your little guy saying "That is SO precious!" Max loves Cars, too.

  9. I'll admit that I'm feeling like Charlie is a little abnormal at this point. . . he likes music, music, music and food. This week he's really been feeling Jason Mraz, Britney, and the Old McDonald. I'll admit that his tastes are a little eclectic!

  10. My Max was into Thomas for quite a while, his buddies still are. We've upgraded to Legos here (and Indiana Jones!) But I totally agree that the Thomas videos are truly dull. We got a few DVDs along with a train here and there. Max wouldn't even sit through them, but would play with the trains for hours.
    Piper is all princess all the time, which is funny since her big sister despises anything girly. Aria told me last night she no longer wants to be an archaeologist but a rock star like Pink. Yikes!

  11. Clayton's like Max with trains--except it's cars and trucks for him. TOTAL BOY and I love it!

  12. Trains form a massive part of my boys' world too. Even more so because dad works in the railway sector, so outings with dad invariably involve a trip on a train, tram or bus (or often all three). During our most recent overseas trip we stopped off in KL for the sole purpose of BC traveling on the monorail (which he ADORED).

    And I totally agree about Thomas. What a bore. I don't mind that my boys like the character but I am glad they don't much like the TV show. There's so much more to life than being a 'very useful engine' ;-).

    I hope one day Max gets to drive a train.

  13. It sounds like we should get our boys together. Alex LOVES trains. In fact, sometimes we go driving to "find" one. We can hear them from our house, but really, it's a teaser. Watching his eyes light up when we "find" one is priceless.

    We watch YouTube videos for our train fix, though I've often thought of becoming those train chasers you so often see and making him his own DVD.

  14. Has Max seen the "I Love Toy Trains" series by Tom McComas? Lots of toy trains, real trains, steam trains--everything a train enthusiast's heart could desire.


Thanks for sharing!