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Happy Father's Day!

Ok, I'm a day late. But I was busy having a wonderful time with my family...looking at trains, playing in the yard, eating my favorite pasta takeout. (Except for the notable dad-fail of having not refilled the diaper bag and only having one diaper. Who will get changed?! Stay tuned.) I hope all the dads out there had a wonderful celebration.

We got up and drove about an hour to McHenry County where the Illinois Railway Museum is located. Same place we rode on Thomas The Tank Engine last summer for Cole's birthday. But this time we were there to see the permanent collection away from the crowds. It's the largest railroad history museum in the US with numerous engines, coaches, trolleys, historic buildings, signals, etc..

We were one of the first cars in the parking lot and ended up having about an hour to kill before any trains starting running. During which, all Cole could talk about was "I want to ride the train." Okay. This one seems easy enough. It's why we're here. You love trains. We've been promising you a ride for months. Here we go!

We toured one of the large barns that houses historic passenger cars, played on the playground, and then it was time for the staff to pull the first of the running specimens out of storage. People flocked to the platform and we waited to board. I think what threw Cole off was that this was an electric which meant it could quietly idle--then spring to life with a scary rumble. As we discussed on the way home, a lot of his sensitivities depend on not just the situation but his level of comfort in terms of hunger/naps. He handled the loud diesel and horn much better when not tired. He loves the Metra diesels rumbling by our neighborhood. But we were now in the 11am hour and this ride on the train was coming at a delicate time.

As it turned out, the moment his mom picked in up to put him on the train step he changed his mind that he didn't want to go. We got as far as sitting down trying to assure him that the ride would be awesome, but he wasn't settling down. The train was full and people were still waiting to get on, and it just didn't seem fair to force them to sit through a 40 min ride with a screaming toddler so we offered our seats to someone else and climbed off. It was supposed to be a fun day, why force it?

Gradually, he calmed down as we toured more train barns. We walked car-by-car through the electric trolley building with Cole stopping at each sign asking what the train was. "What's this train?" I mean, my kid is the one who wants to know it all. Explain it. But by the time we got to the back of the property where the huge barn of giant steam locomotives was, he was bleary and hungry and we all found a quiet picnic spot by the trolley tracks to have a peanut butter sandwich.

Leda happily waved at each trolley that went by and Cole tolerated the idyllic lunch...until a horn spoiled him finally taking a few bites. He was done and just wanted to go home and told us as much. That was where we were probably headed anyway. There was another train each hour including a more familiar diesel that he would have been more comfortable with. Now he was so worked up that the best thing was a nap to reset though.

The ride home was uneventful and both kids wanted to spend about 2 hours playing in the yard before even going inside when we arrived home. We brought snack out to the patio and the afternoon was sunny and hot so we let them turn the water faucet on to soak themselves, fully clothed, from head to toe.

Oh, and as we left the museum and got in the car, we did the "squish" test and determined it would be Leda who got the one diaper. Cole was changed right before we left home so he wasn't as bad!

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