Friday, January 29, 2010


So, as you all know, my son LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine (and all of his friends). Apparently the love of model trains is hereditary. VNB got it from his grandfather, and AJ got it from...well, both VNB and my mom (looks like it skips a generation here and there). One of VNB's first bonding moments with AJ was the week after AJ was born, sitting watching the trains run on the layout that VNB had made.

Ever since we got him a train table, he's had fun playing with the trains and making them run on the tracks, but things have changed recently. You see, initially, VNB would make a track for AJ, then AJ would play with it for a few days until it got destroyed (the number of days decreased dramatically once Joanna was mobile). Then, the fine motor skills developed a little and AJ started putting a couple of pieces of track together. It still took quite a while though before he made this:

(no, I don't know where his pants are or why he's posing like this - we'll say that he was attempting to climb onto his train table for the picture). No one helped him with it. Maybe he'd seen daddy do something similar....but this was all him.

So was this:

(that's our bed...not sure why the layout moved there except to be close to daddy's trains which live under the bed)

And this:

(notice the variation in height and the fact that there's actually a buffer at the far end. Not sure what would happen if the trains went the other way though - guess that's coming from all of the Thomas shows where someone almost falls off a cliff.)

And this:

(at Nana and Granddaddy's house - we didn't bring any of the ramps, so he couldn't make it elevated)

And this:

(notice Tidmouth sheds attaching to the splitter, which attaches to several other tracks, making a "yard" and including the airport/helipad)

But we knew that a) he was creative, and b) we had too much track when he did this:

It was a couple of days in the making, but he did every single piece by himself with no prompting from anyone. And that's saying something considering that Joanna is a master of destruction. After he completed that circuit and still had some track left over, he took a section apart and started extending it. If you know our house, at one point it went through the kitchen, in between the coffee table and "my" couch (the love seat), under the coffee table, over to the dining room table, around some chairs, then started heading back towards the playroom. It never quite made the circle, but that was ok because then it went from the kitchen, in between the coffee table and my couch, under VNB's couch, and under the dining room table. Then Joanna destroyed enough of it (and AJ got distracted enough) that it could all be put away. But it's started again from the train table, heading towards the dining room table.

I tell you what...I may be biased, but this kid is crazy creative and crazy smart to have figured out how to do all these things.

He's done others too when I couldn't find my camera. My favorite was the one that went from the train table to the piano bench (across open air) and BACK - and was a stable structure! Still not quite sure how he managed that one!

He's only just barely 3! Heaven help us learn how to harness that energy and creativity for good!

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