“Choo choo!” My son said as he noticed the passenger cars parked on the tracks.
He perked up the moment we pulled into the Heber Valley Railroad train station.
My daughter bounced in her seat, excited for impending Christmas carols and hot chocolate grandma promised would be on board.
I hardly shut the car door when Big T tried to take off across the street to the train. We went on a train ride over the summer, but he’d gladly ride one daily. In Texas, we get to see them, but in Utah, it’s becoming a tradition to ride one. That’s thanks to Grandma, who always gets us the hook-up.
Before we got aboard I asked Big T if he had to go potty but it was no surprise he refused. He is doing fantastic with potty training. We can go out to play at the park, grocery shop, and take a long drive and he’ll tell me when he needs to go. We were out of town last week and I had a decision to make: Bring diapers, training pants, or underwear?
I imagined potty nightmare after potty nightmare. Peeing on Santa’s lap, down the aisle of a train, pooping under three layers of snow protection. No thank you. Training pants for the win.
Shortly after we found our seats the elves brought us cookies and hot coco. Big T loved the cookies, his sister declined. But Lil’ J gulped the hot chocolate he didn’t want to take part in. It was so amusing watching these two take in the same experience so differently. They’re becoming their own little people with big personalities so quickly.
Lil’ J piped up for the songs, danced in the aisle, answered questions in the microphone and showed off her gymnastics talent.
Big T just sat back and soaked it all in. He took a prime spot by the window, practically glued his nose to it, and watched the scenery the whole time.
About halfway through the trip we stopped to meet Santa and the engine moved to pull us back the other direction. In that 15-or-so minutes we were stopped he seemed to snap out of his trance and notice what was going on around him. Then he got impatient and asked me to make the train go again.
Before he lost his mind, I was able to try to snap a few pictures of his adorable face. Then once we started again he was back at the window.
You’d think in an exciting situation like this a potty accident would be practically inevitable, but he did really well. I think we’re to the point where we can start to go with underwear during the day (aside from during naps). But man, Seventh Generation Free and Clear Training Pants sure come in handy for outings like these. They’re lighter than the average training pants, natural hypoallergenic, and have tear-away side panels. Great for this awkward but pleasant in-between stage where you don’t need diapers but aren’t brave enough to risk underwear.
The kids walked off the train will warm bellies, donning their gifts from Santa–A beautiful bell just like the one in the book. I’m not sure if this is a tradition we’ll carry on every year (I hope it is!) but it’s a memory I’ll cherish forever.
If you get a chance to take your little ones out for a North Pole Express experience I’d highly recommend it. Don’t forget your camera, a wide-angle lens (to capture more of the scene from up close), blankets in case there’s no heat, and good training pants for your excited little potty trainers!
Have you ever been on a train ride? What fun Christmas traditions do you have?
A big thanks to Seventh Generation for sponsoring this story. I’m partnering with them as I share my imperfect life and ways I’m trying to improve it with you. If being more conscious of natural cleaning products, dish soap, and eco-friendly diapers are on your list of priorities, head here for more information. As always, all opinions are my own.