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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK,

I have a 3.5 year old nephew who loves trains, Thomas, etc.. He likes to run every single one of my trains. I have been charged with watching him next Saturday while his sister has a dance recital. I get out of going to that and so does he. Now, the reason for the sanity check: I was thinking of taking him down to the Strasburg RR (20 mins away) for a train ride. Turns out it is Day Out with Thomas next Saturday. I have been told by 'others' that Thomas attracts HUGE crowds. I will also be taking care of Luke, who is just about 8 months old.

Some info on nephew: He can be a handful. Often doesn't listen. Likes to get his own way. Sounds like a typical 3 year old, right?? Am I crazy for even entertaining the idea of taking a sometimes tyrant 3 year old to this event? I have a pretty low threshold for his BS, and could see myself just walking him out of there if he starts pitching a fit. But, since I'll be weilding a baby by myself, I wonder if I won't be biting off more than I can chew. (I just thought of something. I could rope my neighbor in to going.)

So...am I nuts?

Should I just stay at home and be content to run trains in the backyard?

Mark
 

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Mark,
Those Thomas days can get crazy, with Luke and a 3 year old I think it would be too much for one person. Now if you can rope your neighbor into going that would change the situation. It might just be best to run trains in the back yard.

George
 

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Mark
Go ahead, it will make for better skill as parent and an uncle. Good "training" for the next stage in your personal life. The situation is a win-win kids and trains. You ought to try a classroom of 3 year olds- that is crazy!
 

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Being the father of three small boys (5,4 & 2), this is just about an every day occurance for me. If it were just you and the 3 year old, I would say go for it and just take it as it comes. Adding a 8 month old on top of that I would say is just asking for trouble. I love Strasburg and have been there many times as both a kid and with my own kids. The only thing that may be a factor here for me is that I HATE crowds! You will never find me at places like Six Flags, etc.

That being said, you can always set him straight from the beginning and tell him that if he acts up and throws fits you will take him straight home. If he really wants to be there he may suprise you with some good behavior.
 

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My wife and I thought abut taking our daughter, age 3, to Baltimore to see Thomas at the B&O museum. We decided not to, figuring A: it'd be a zoo, and B: Thomas lives in her mind as something small and safe and comfortable, a little toy trains and an image from movies. A huge, noisy, puffing Thomas surrounded by 100s of jostling kids would be jarring and off-putting, we thought. The gap between the Thomas of her imaginative play and the real world Thomas would be huge. Who knows, maybe we were wrong. That's just what we decided.

I made a Thomas the tank engine for our layout, out of a wooden pull toy and an old LGB mogul.

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Image exceeds 640 pixel max. width - converted to link. - Mod

She likes it less than I thought she would. It makes sense though--the little wooden thomas can go take a nap with her, she can do whatever she want with it, the rules are all hers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys,

So, it looks like most are saying 'do it!'. This wouldn't be Paul's first time to the rr or to DOWT at Strasburg, so I know he'll be OK with it from that point. I like the idea of telling him that if he pitches a fit, we're leaving.

I did email my SIL to get her expert opinion (she's actually taken Paul and his sister to DOWT, but during the week.).
 

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I wouldn’t recommend taking both, but if you do make sure you have a strong harness and rope on the 3 year old. Nothing can slip from your grasp faster than a determined youngster. Chasing a fleet footed 3 year old through a crowd while holding a baby does not sound like a safe thing to do.
 

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We talked about this before Mark, but just to rehash my opinion I think its too much with Luke and Paulie. One or the other would be fine, but if either of them wind up tired or stressed from the day when they get home.......the wrath of MB will decend upon you. Instead just bring them to the B&O so we can get Luke's first cab ride in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chris,

That sounds like it might just work. That'd be Paulie's first cab-ride too. To be clear, there is no wrath of MB to be had on me next Saturday - its our 5th anniversary. She's ditching me to go to the dance recital, too. Having a little sister who was in to ballet for many years, I have fulfilled my quota of dance recitals!

Mark
 

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Mark,

I say go for it!!!

If it doesn't go so well, it will make running trains in the backyard more relaxing (If that is possible).

If it goes great, those smiles on the kids faces will stay in your memory forever.

Tommy:cool:
Rio Gracie
 

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Posted By markoles on 06/13/2008 9:07 AM
Having a little sister who was in to ballet for many years, I have fulfilled my quota of dance recitals!
Mark




Are you done having children then? Don't count out that Luke might want to take Dance at some point. You aren't done yet my friend. I thought I was ocne upon a time when my little sister was done. Not so. Blessed with two little ballerinas I am. Just finished our first year for both of Dance classes. Both young enough that neither has a true recital per se.

I've juggled baby and toddler at the same time on a camping trip and was so stressed out I cannot even imagine I have any friends left that were around that weekend. An extra set of Eyes & hands, ANY that are willing to help would balance that equation. Now that my girls are 4 and 6 I'd do things like that by myself but the extra demands of a toddler and a baby are too great I think?

Chas


Shot from Aethelmearc War Practice in May 2005 when Elizabeth was about 1 and Margaret was 3 and having potty training & "bowel" issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chas,

You're right - my own might be into dance, but for now, I can get out of it!!!!

In talking with my SIL, she indicated that it might be a little bit too much (What do I do when Luke needs a diaper change, etc..)

Mark
 
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three year plus eight month? from my experience, do it! - if your neighbour is insane enough, to volunteer.
but alone? stay at home, where you can lock doors and gates.
 

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Of course you're crazy, but what does that have to do with anything?

Take them both. The older 2 of you will have a blast. The 8 month old might not get much out of it.
 
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Mark,
Try to rope Goergie into going, he would probably get a kick out of seeing the trains run, as he doesnt know much about them he could learn while there.....also helping you with the kids.........
Nick..
 

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Anything under 21 years of age should be avoided at all costs!

Very simple rule.

Then on the other hand you could get one of those zapping dog collars. They seem to get unruly brats attention.
 

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Arrive as early as possible before the event gets crowded. Make sure you bring lots of drinks and snacks and be prepared to shell out some $$$ for Thomas toys (which are well worth it since it usually gives them something to occupy themselves with).
You might consider bringing lunch and getting off the train at the picnic area for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nick, I'm no moderator, but that sounds an awful like a personal attack. George held Luke at the ECLSTS and did a great job.

JJ- you are a man after my own heart!! I like the shock collar! Maybe I could open a booth there selling them..

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Guys,

Thanks for the sanity check last week. I have decided it is probably best to keep both boys at home where I have more control over the situation. I have started preparations for running trains tomorrow. To that end, I ran the New Haven mikado, boxcar, two bay hopper and a Napa Valley Wine Train observation last night. You know, just to make sure everything is still working right...

I will stage some freight cars up at the beverage service siding tomorrow, and we'll just run laps and switch cars all afternoon. I'll see if I can dig up some action figures to play the part of passengers, and some trucks for flat cars to work as loads.

Mark
 

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I think you are making the right decision, Mark. As a father of three young girls, I know the limitations of being on your own with two very different age levels. The diaper thing, IMHO is a deal breaker.

Have fun tomorrow!
 
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