Sunday, December 19, 2004


The Train Show

Today I took Porter to the annual train show at the nearby Marin Civic Center. Except for my crankiness over the irony of the "toys" not being for kids to touch, Porter had a great time. There were lots of trains for him to look at and sample layouts and even a play area for kids to actually play with toys (what a concept, kids playing with toys - how did they think of it?). I need to let go of this but I found it infuriating. Toy trains are first and foremost for kids to play with and all the geek dealers there had signs at their stands like "Do Not Touch," "Children Will Be Towed for Touching the Trains." or "Children Must Be Accompanied by an Adult." But then they had low tables with toy trains within most kids' reach. Do they not understand the concept of attractive nuisance? Half the people at the show were kids and their parents but except for the play area, it was fairly kid unfriendly. Luckily, the kids didn't seem to notice. Like last year, they had set up a massive train layout for the kids to watch. Unlike last year, they built it at least four feet above ground so most kids couldn't see it without help. What were they thinking? Undoubtedly they were thinking about their expensive, collectible, precious trains and for many of them the kids were a necessary evil they had to deal with. At least that's how it seemed to me. Porter also rode the mini-train around the parking lot they had set up for the kids (at least it kept them outside and away from the toys). I got Porter a "hat train," as he called it and he actually wore it most of the day, which is very unusual for him. Usually, he won't wear a hat more then a few seconds. Here he is playing in the kids area.

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