We are the proud caretakers of one Brio train table. My sister Suzan is the rightful owner, but seeing as how her boys are now 16 and 13, well, they're just not playing with trains so much anymore.
She was actually kind enough to loan us the table and a bin full of tracks and trains when Elena was 2. We assembled the table in the living room of our old house, which essentially took up 1/3 of the entire room. We liked to pretend that it was really an ultra-modern coffee table doubling as a train table, but we weren't fooling anyone. And for all the effort and decorating sacrifice on my part, Elena was never that into trains. She much preferred to climb on the train table and use it as a stage. Or as a display area for snacks and Polly Pockets. It wasn't long before the train table made its way back into the attic.
Now we have another toddler in the house, this one of the boy persuasion. A few weeks ago Mike hauled the table down from the attic once more. Even more impressive? We didn't manage to lose the screws that hold the thing together in the move. Eli loves the trains (as if you couldn't tell from the photo). There is nary a Polly or a performance anywhere on the table this time around. Eli and Elena do agree that it still doubles nicely as an over-sized snack tray.
Again, I'm making a decorating sacrifice for the train table. We have a little more room to spread out in this house, but the only place to put the thing is in the sitting room. It was once a lovely little room, the first space you saw when you entered our home. It had a bookshelf, our piano, a comfy leather chair and ottoman. Now? The train table. The comfy chair has been replaced by a ratty card table that holds a large puzzle Elena and I have been working on together. There's also a large Cozy Coupe parked in the corner (also known as the Death Trap), and some miscellaneous toys scattered about. Nope, it's no longer a Sitting Room, it's a Playing Room. And that's okay for now. Even if the room was perfectly decorated, our guests wouldn't be able to get halfway through that room without figuring out this was a house with children in it.
Someday these children will be all grown up. I will have all the time in the world to decorate my house just so.
I might even get crazy and put out a train table. But probably not in the sitting room. And probably not this particular table. It goes back to my sister for her grandbabies. Thanks, sis.