The Mad Conductor

by mssinglemama on September 24, 2008

I think an intervention may be in order, either that or an exorcism.


Benjamin has been possessed by Thomas the Train. Or maybe he’s sold his soul to Sir Topham Hat. Regardless, I don’t see much of him anymore.

If he does come downstairs it’s to ask me if he can watch, “Mickey’s Crack House.”

But I can’t complain… for the first time in 2.7 years Benjamin is occupying himself for hours on end. Which means I get some long overdue time to just chill out.

So how long do you think his Thomas obsession last? What are your little boys and girls possessed with? And what are the activities you think feed their brain the most?


I’m definitely encouraging the Mickey’s Crack House reference, but he thought of it first. Makes sense. Those guys are definitely tripping on something.

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September 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura September 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm

my 4 1/2 year old girl is obsessed with Thomas too. It started about 6 months ago and has increased daily. She will happily spend hours engrossed in the tracks and her engines and the DVD’s too. Her birthday is not till March but she has already asked for a Thomas party lol
Yup I think he’s going to be around for a while! I only wish theThomas stuff weren’t so expensive. I save by buying the cheaper tracks but all the engines have to be Thomas.


singleworkingmommy September 24, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Laura–check craigslist! I scored a train table, bunch of tracks, train station, fire station, helipad, and a whole bunch of different Thomas (and Brio) trains for about $55!

MSM–Son likes Thomas too, but he won’t play for hours. In fact, if the kid is ever away for more than a few minutes, I know he is probably just stealing time for himself to do the doo.

As for brain feeders, I’m loving the Doug and Melissa toys (although I think Thomas and setting up those tracks, etc. is great activity for them), and he likes them too, so I think I might stock up for Christmas. You can get them on the cheap at TJ Maxx!


jonb September 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm

slim is into trains too, but he got a kick out of kicking them and stomping them. quite disturbing. he is still glued to mommy. if he is away or quite for an extended amount of time, grab the fire extenguisher, vaccuum, or plunger to get “pie pie” out of the toilet.


J-Fo September 24, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I have a 2 1/2 year old puzzle nerd. Serious, huge puzzle nerd. She’s graduated to the 25-piecers and can do the ones we have so quickly that I’m seriously considering starting to time her (secretly).


mssinglemama September 24, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Laura – yes, check Craigslist of Garage Sales – I got his table with the tracks and the trains at a garage sale for $75.00! Awesome luck.

SWM – Just spit up my water. You are hilarious. Benjamin does the same thing – if he disappears he’s doing the doo – I LOVE it.

Jon B – Benjamin freaks if the trains fall off of the tracks. I just hear him screaming up there and ignore him. Boy needs to learn how to deal.

J-Fo – That’s awesome… and absolutely amazing. I should definitely get some puzzles. But may be a while for Ben. Women are smarter than men from the get go.


jenn September 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

My daughter just turned two, but right now she’s obsessed with Elmo. She will freak out if she sees him. She’s still glued to my side though. Maybe even more than usual. She’s also going through a stage (hope it’s a stage) where she’s scared of EVERYTHING.


T September 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

My girls just love to play… everything!! They will occupy each other with whatever they can. Thankfully for Mommy! They love to dress up and pretend. They love to sing. They love to play Barbies. They love to play babies. I think they’re just possessed with each other and… I’m happy about that. You can’t beat sisterhood!


Laura September 24, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Kiara lives for her dolls and she has hundreds! She closes her door and spends hours playing school or being mom or whatever!!

Cameron, unfortunately, is like his dad and much prefers laying down watching tv – ALL THE TIME! We actually have to physically move him away!!!!


Susan September 25, 2008 at 5:37 am

My son, who is about 3 and a half, is obsessed with Cars (Disney/Pixar). That obsession started when he turned about a year old – maybe a year and a half. I can recite the movie to you.

He is just starting a new obsession – with Curious George. Ugh. That being said, he also likes Thomas (the toys, not the show) and ALL things Playhouse Disney.

It really is great when they entertain themselves, isn’t it?


Kelly September 25, 2008 at 6:08 am

My now 12 year old LOVED Thomas. He got into it at about age 3 and stayed there until he was 7 (when he discovered Transformers). I have to admit, by age 5 had I set up those tracks one more time, I was gonna tie myself to them.

Though I did give all his train sets away, I still have a few VHS movies and two comforter sets If you want them.


SingleCustodialDad September 25, 2008 at 7:12 am

My 4 yr old can’t get enough of the Geotraxx and Geoair train/plane sets. The set takes up so much floor space that I’ve dedicated one room as the “train room”.

The good thing about it is that the tracks snap together and are quite durable. He has learned to arrange the tracks himself to change layouts. Plus he is learning logistics by having 3 or 4 remote control trains running at the same time. It’s a joy to watch him run around making sure the trains are running smoothly and not about to crash into each other at crosstracks.

For watching TV, I don’t think anything beats the Leap Frog DVD collection. It really helped with learning his alphabets and now he is learning addition and subtraction with help of the Math Circus series.


debra September 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

It was a sad day when I packed up the Thomas track and trains the first time. My son played with them from his first birthday when he got the table and a small set until he was about 5. I packed them up, only to have him ask for them back about 3 months later, but they only got used sporadically the second time. Now we’re using the train table as a leggo table (he’s now 7), which works great, because he and his friends can work side by side, and the edges keep all the pieces off the floor.

His current obsessions are Leggos, anything Star Wars (including the great Leggo sets), and reading comic books….hey, I figure he’s reading, right?! : )


mama llama September 25, 2008 at 8:19 am

We are big into Lego blocks. My 7 year old and 4 year old can play at peace with them! There are also bristle blocks, which they seem to have grown out of, and they have grown into K’Nex…I got a good deal on Amazon a few weeks back with those.

I allow very, very limited computer time–so much so that they know darned well it is a PRIVILEGE and not a RIGHT. Only, and are allowed right now without my direct supervision. It is teaching them basic on the computer, like how to point and click a mouse, and be entertaining and educational at the same time.

Good luck! Be well, MSM!


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goin-crazy September 25, 2008 at 9:48 am

My daughter…babies. We have babies everywhere! And clothes and high chairs and strollers and diaper bags (which she calls purses) and car seats and any other baby thing you can imagine.

My son…wrestlers. He loves to play with his wrestling guys. He is also into any super heros (Hulk, Spiderman, Batman) and Transformers.


Leslie September 25, 2008 at 10:50 am

Mine liked Thomas, but my 2 year old nephew is obsessed! It’s all he wants to play with or watch. I guess it beats some of the other horribly annoying shows out there haha I was so thrilled when the VCR died and we didn’t have to watch our Disney Sing Along videos anymore.

Leap Frog stuff is fantastic, the LeapPad and now the Leapster have both gotten so much use. I’m a mean mommy and don’t want any “gaming systems” for my 7 year old right now so he makes the most of the Leapster and hasn’t missed out a bit. He’s so into Legos and cars. It’s ridiculous, he’s got a huge Rubbermaid tote of cars.


littlemansmom September 25, 2008 at 10:56 am

Littleman never did get into Thomas…..hmmmm…but now, as an 8 yr old, he loves his webkinz…he is quite dedicated to making sure he has time every day (just about) to pop in and check on his animals, making sure they are fed and in good health…mind you he’s not allowed to spend too much time on there, so he manages to get it all done in about 1/2 hour…quite cute really.

As for other obsessions….it is literally a great big pain in the $#& trying to get the kid inside. He’s out there collecting bugs, climbing trees, playing with the dog, bouncing the ball off of the house, digging in the dirt, and whatever else he does out there…his obsession is with nature…


lm29 September 25, 2008 at 11:41 am

My little 4 yr old girl will talk on her pretend cell for ever. She paces around the house (just like Mommy) and says things like “Are you kidding me?? Of course you can come over!” and then she recaps the calls – usually with one of the princesses she is obsessed with- to me while I do work around the house.

I love listening to her creativity!

B is just practicing his genius — I am jealous of the time you are getting! Ha!


singleparentdad September 25, 2008 at 12:51 pm

That’s cute. I bought Max a table to feed his habit, he had an obsession with it for a good time, and he still plays with it from time-to-time.

We also have this place

It’s brilliant.

And you know a guy who built his own house about 15 miles away 😉


Kim September 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I encourage you all to enjoy your little ones’ respective obsessions with toys (esp. the educational ones) and nature. My son is 18, a college freshman, and plays video games all night long (hopefully not *every* night). He’s too far away for me to keep tabs on him…which is probably a good thing for both of us. My daughter is 14 and is addicted to texting; her cell phone is her “crack.” It hardly ever leaves her hands. (Same goes for my son. They sleep with their phones under their pillows.) I long for the days when they were young and innocent and their little sponge brains soaked up all the new info they could. I’m still trying to teach them social graces: when it’s appropriate (or not) to use cell phones, etc. Sigh…it’s never-ending. They just don’t get it. Let this be a warning to you parents of young-uns. :o)


Emily September 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm

My son just turned 3, and is definitely Thomas obsessed. For the hard to find characters we count on Michael’s because they run coupons in the Sunday paper and on-line for 40% and 50% off any one item. Also, Target has a really cute set of Thomas bathtub squirters that make it much easier to leave the train set for bath time! Now we just need an Annie and Clarabel set for the tub to match (son’s idea!)


mssinglemama September 25, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Kim just freaked me out. But THANK YOU for that wake up call.

Single Parent Dad – you are amazing. Very strategic move!

Emily – definitely going to find those coupons. And the squirters – we had them but now they’re all yucky – must get more.

Conclusion … KIDS ROCK and so do their toys, even if the toys are smoking crack. : )

XOXO to all of you!


Laura September 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Thanks swm & msm for the Thomas buying tips – I’m already scouring craigslist! : )


pisceshanna September 26, 2008 at 9:58 am

LB loves Thomas too, but I think its due to the fact that we have a running steam engine in our quaint mountain town, so you can hear the whistle blowin’ all day long. She probably believes Thomas really lives in her town, which is why she gets so excited.


CME September 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

My son is 5 and he still LOVES Thomas. Started at about 2. He also squeals and screams when the engines fall off the tracks. he likes to connecting all of the engines together to create a gigantic train and then gets pissed when they fall over. he will have no parts of trying to make the train smaller. it’s insanity.


Heather September 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Aubrey is OBSESSED with her babies! Baby has to have her bottles (which we MUST keep in the fridge), baby needs paci, she needs frequent diaper changes, she needs to be fed, baby has to potty-train, one of her babies bathes with her every night and has to go through the entire pre-bed ritual (bath, dry off, brush teeth, new diaper, jammies, story, cuddle, kiss, and bed). I feel like I have two kids to keep up with sometimes!!!! Oh, and I have a second car seat in my car b/c I’m a nanny, so baby needs to be strapped in the carseat if my charge isn’t with us. Aubrey’s 2nd b-day party was a few weeks ago, and the second present she opened was a stroller for her baby. She refused to open another present, she just wanted to push her stroller around for the remainder of the party.
Crazy kids!

Mine is still stuck on Mommy pretty badly, but I think it’s getting better.

I second the puzzles, it’s amazing to see them “get” a new puzzle for the first time. Blocks, legos, all of those “open-ended” toys are good for brain food.


Carolina September 28, 2008 at 9:42 am

My boys are crazy about Thomas… I’m constantly stepping on tracks or engines. My 4 yr old freaks out when his 2 yr old brother breaks up his tracks. It’s been about a year now with this thomas thing, and we’re still going strong lol


LTP September 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Don’t worry….as the mother of two boys, I have been through the Thomas phase. I was happy when he got over those engines with attitudes!! (they are a cranky bunch!!) Believe me, you’ll be begging for Thomas once he gets into his Pokemon stage….oh lord help us all. : )


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April September 30, 2008 at 8:51 am

Well, my kids are ancient compared to most of the parents on here 🙂 My oldest was heavy into the Elmo, and my youngest loved Dora. For both of them, the phase lasted much longer than I expected – I’d say 2-3 years. Their attention span gets shorter, though. Sylvia is already over Hannah Montana (*doing the happy dance*)


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