My almost two year old boy child has a serious fascination with trains. Gauging from the number of train toys available, it would seem this is not uncommon. Braeden's love for trains is clear genetic predisposition. Daddy loves trains. Grandpa loves trains. "CHOO-CHOO" was one of my boy's earliest words. Thomas the Tank Engine was one of his first favourite TV shows, toys, and book characters. He sees a pathway, a sidewalk, or even a tire track on dirt, and he is reminded of train tracks. "CHOO-CHOO!" he often exclaims. He is obsessed.
Quite to my surprise, it seems his early gravitation to trains is impacting his perception of the world around him.
My girl child has been taking a weekly art class downtown for the last eight weeks. During this time, on pleasant days, the boy and I have gone for walks. Outside. On sidewalks. During one such walk, we passed a large old building, in use by a local college. This building had several footpaths which weaved all around the lawn leading to different doorways to the building. He was ecstatic, just from seeing the 'tracks' all around. He hollered "CHOO-CHOO!" almost constantly until we were well past the property.
This week, it seemed the corollary between trains moving on tracks and people moving on sidewalks was taken a little too far. As we walked towards a busy intersection, a woman started walking towards us on OUR sidewalk. OUR track! Braeden informed me quickly of his concern. "Uh-ohhhh. Deh!" he said, pointing to the woman. As he thinks of train tracks when walking on a sidewalk, it didn't take long for things to sink in for me. Trains moving towards one another on the same track CRASH. They then, inevitably, derail. He clearly expected a disaster to ensue due to the fact that someone was walking towards us.
I assured him that we could keep walking, just walk around the person coming towards us, and we'd all be fine. He seemed skeptical, but kept walking, holding my hand securely.
The woman strolled by without incident.
Braeden let out a triumphant chuckle.