Even though children think that Mommies and Daddies enjoy ruling with an iron fist, and being mean "just because," most of us will agree that it's not our favorite part of the job. What's much much better?
Surprises! Really, really great surprises.
Last week my friend Lee and I created an extraordinarily fun day for Kyle and his best buddy William. For the two of them, just the fact that we were hanging out together would inspire squeals of joy, but it didn't stop there. Wednesday morning, after getting all the big sisters on the bus, we hopped in the car and headed to Hartford. They didn't know why, but when Kyle got dressed, I put out his Thomas t-shirt, and told him that was his second clue (the first had been that William was coming too).
"Are we going to Day Out with Thomas again? If we are, that would be a good surprise."
Kyle's love affair with Thomas is ending. He still loves the books and still watches it on TV, but ever since we took apart his last big track, he hasn't rebuilt another one, and hasn't played much (and the reason that I took apart the last sprawling railway is because he hadn't been playing with it). So, when I saw that Thomas and Friends Live! -- the Circus Comes to Town was going to be in a nearby town, I had asked my husband about going while the interest was still there. He reluctantly agreed that we could go, but as I was looking into details, I saw that they had a 10:30am showing on a Wednesday: a perfect reason for a Boys'
We got to the venue, and they were pretty excited by the parking garage and the wide open spaces in the sports arena, and the hockey mural (above). Then they saw the "Thomas and Friends" sign and went crazy.
The show was good. When Amanda was about 2, I thought it would be delightful to see Sesame Street, Live! I was wrong. Seriously, has anyone ever had a two-year-old enjoy one of these experiences?? There were sets of grandparents and parents, a 4 to 1 ratio, and one young toddler trying to take in the show, and it didn't seem to be working for them either.
But our two four-year-old guys loved it. Even their moms thought it was pretty cute. So if you have a Thomas fan in your family, I'd recommend this particular event. When I asked Kyle afterwards if he liked that or Day Out with Thomas better, he said that he liked the show. I agree, although perhaps for a younger fan, the Day Out would still be tops.
But the fun didn't end there -- oh no. We had decided to take them for a special lunch. Living in a smaller town, we do not have any fast food places with the big play area, but I knew that we'd pass by one on our way home from the event, so I plead on the boys' behalf to go there instead of somewhere that we might enjoy more. It was a little late for a preschool lunch by the time we got there, so it wasn't too crowded, so we were able to talk while they played.
When William was telling his sisters about the day, did he speak of the once-in-a-lifetime big show? No, he said, "We went to McDonald's!" However, he was awed by the show, and kept asking his mom, "Is Thomas real?" (in contrast to movies, we assumed).
It truly was a great day.