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Train table terror

Posted 12-27-2012 at 08:42 PM by Ally
For Christmas I bought my almost 2 yr old son a train table. Buying this thing was an adventure in itself. This box is so freaking massive and heavy. I was pleasantly surprised by how many strangers offered to help me as they saw me struggling with getting this box to the cash and then getting it into my car. It stayed in my car until Christmas eve when I knew I'd have to wrap it. Luckily my dad was in town and helped me lug this freakish box into my house.

When my brother in law saw what I had bought my son, he offered to help me build it. I thanked him and breathed a big sigh of relief. This thing came with a gazillion pieces and looked like it needed actual tools to assemble it.

However, knowing my brother in law, I realized today that the likelihood of actually getting him here in the next month to build this thing would be a task in itself. He always seems so helpful but never really follows through.

So today I was staring at this box in my living room. Even looking at it causes me anxiety at this point. My daughter walks by and I say "How are we going to get this train table together?". I was shocked at her answer. She said, "Mommy....building things is a man's job. Girls aren't strong enough to do things like that". OMG WTF?!?!?!? Is this MY daughter? I have failed as a mother if she believes this. You have to understand...I have inherited my mom's strongwilled "I can do anything" attitude. Sometimes this can be interpreted as self pride or stubbornness.

Anyways, this comment by my daughter sparked a fire under my ass. Now I HAVE to build this thing and PROVE to her that a "meek and mild" woman can build SOMETHING. This train table has now become a symbol of my feminist beliefs. This train table HAD to be built. NOW.

With a Rocky theme song going on in my head, I set to work. I open the massive box and see many wooden boards and 3 smaller boxes labelled A, B, and C. Oh fuck. I open the boxes and they are filled with the gazillion things I need to build this Mount Everest of construction.

I go down in my basement and search frantically for my pitiful tool kit that my dad bought me when I moved into my place after the separation. I have only used this thing a few times. I find it (thankfully it is bright orange) and go back upstairs.

As I'm building the base of the table, I have to paint the scene for you. I have a toddler who is very curious about everything I do. If I'm emptying the dishwasher, he is in there like a dirty shirt. So as I'm building and hoping he stays out of the way, he finds the styrofoam pads that came in the box. He starts ripping them apart and making a HECK of a mess. I look at him and think about stopping him but then realize that it's keeping him occupied and decide that the mess is worth the bought time. The room is snowing with styrofoam balls at this point, even in my hair and all over my son, I have cardboard EVERYWHERE, plastic wrap and bubble wrap strewn about the room but who CARES. I'm getting things DONE.

The base of the table is done within 30 minutes. I'm proud of my work and so are my kids. My toddler climbs right on top and sits on it with a big smile. Now the hard part. The tracks and many miscellaneous pieces.

Three hours later with many breaks to pay attention to my toddler, the train table is built. I got my daughter to help me, hoping to empower her in some way too. I take pictures of it and post them on Facebook.

As my son giggles with laugther pushing his trains around the table, I turn to my daughter and say "See? Building things has nothing to do with being a boy or a girl. You are much stronger than you think you are". She smiles and says "You did a great job, Mom." I corrected her and said "No, WE did a great job".
Total Comments 9


DomesticDiva's Avatar
Awwww you are an AMAZING mother!!!!...A great lesson you passed onto her...And styrofoam mess or not, it's menories to treasure of how you guys did that together as a family! <3
Posted 12-27-2012 at 09:56 PM by DomesticDiva DomesticDiva is offline
hijiller's Avatar
Wow, I am in awe..great blog!
Posted 12-27-2012 at 10:31 PM by hijiller hijiller is offline
gabrielle22's Avatar
I'm hella impressed. ^5 for both the moxy and the lesson.
Posted 12-28-2012 at 05:27 AM by gabrielle22 gabrielle22 is offline
make that times 2 for being impressed.. wowza.. go girl!
Posted 12-28-2012 at 08:44 AM by mgirl2011 mgirl2011 is offline
SunnyD's Avatar
Totally cool... I love those moments
Posted 12-28-2012 at 09:40 AM by SunnyD SunnyD is offline
Shawn's Avatar
I bought that same table for mine about 3 years ago ... yeah ... talk about massive and heavy. Great blog Ally ... completely showing your kids how strong and determined their mother is with simply doing things that need to be done. I imagine this moment will stick with your daughter for her entire life and make her want to be just like you .... and thats a very good thing.
Posted 12-28-2012 at 02:18 PM by Shawn Shawn is offline
msu's Avatar
Bravo, Bravo, BRAVO!!!! I KNEW you could do it!!
Posted 12-28-2012 at 04:52 PM by msu msu is offline
katydid's Avatar
Great moment of inspiration for you Ally. When you did for you and your kids what needed to be done on your own (and with them helping you~ even the styrofoam maniac ) That had to be the best feeling EVER. And, one more "How can I...." moment flushed down the toilet!
Posted 12-30-2012 at 12:22 PM by katydid katydid is offline
Great blog.. shows your strength and determination..very admirable and I bet you made it a very special Christmas..
Posted 06-10-2018 at 09:45 PM by justinreyes justinreyes is offline
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