Damn, I should hire myself out a blog-post-title thinker-upper. Train in Vain! A hip musical reference and a dead-on summary of the story I’m here to tell! Man, I’m good.
Sonny continues to talk about going to Florida, about going to the hotel, about going on the airplane. He rolls out his beloved backpack-on-wheels and says, “Let’s pack!” The boy is excited. Great, right? Who could ask for anything more? Well, hold the phone there.
He’s also been talking, once again, about going on the train, and this past weekend I decided to take him for another ride on Metro North. Last time, it didn’t go so well. Maybe this time would be better. After all, look at him — so excited! So enthusiastic! He even asked to bring his backpack-on-wheels with him, as if he, too, understands that this is a dry run for the much tougher challenge of the airplane.
We walked to the train station. He dragged his backpack-with-wheels happily up the long, twisty practical joke of a handicapped ramp. We got to the platform. We sat down on the bench. And he announced, “I don’t want to go on the train!”
“Yes, Sonny. We’re going on the train.”
“I don’t want to go on the train,” he said, and began to cry.
AND SO! We stood back up, and walked away. We were about to cross the street to start home, when Sonny said: “I want to go on the train!”
AND SO! We turned around and went back to the train platform and sat down on the bench, and probably you have guessed the next step in this ongoing comedy skit. “I don’t want to go on the train!” Sonny said.
I didn’t argue. We stood up and left, and when Sonny once again changed his mind, I didn’t listen. I told him we would try again next week, but we were going home now. At that point he didn’t want to drag his backpack anymore and asked me to hold it.
And we will try again next week, but then I’ll have a secret weapon: Worried about how Sonny will react to the airplane, we got him a prescription for Xanax. Our doctor told us we need to try it out on him before the big day, because on a small percentage of kids it has the opposite of its advertised calming effect — it makes them hyper and nuts. So next weekend, I’ll slip him the minimum dosage, and we’ll try the train one more time. Will we actually board the train and ride it? Place your bets now.