cupcakes + dinosaur train

Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train
Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train Movie – One Hour Special
Dinosaur Big City
premieres August 22 on PBS KIDS (check local listings)

My sweet Texan Lucas and Abigail are new to the Florida Market of Friendship and haven’t quite bonded with a set of friends, best or otherwise. Though, at this age (4 yrs.), so much of friendship comes down to proximity and… yo’ mama. Because it’s up to Mama to set up the one-on-one after-school alliances, so for now it’s less to do with the kid you actually like and more to do with which mom your mama can tolerate, or in her condemnatory words, “dare to even stomach.”

At this rate, I’m afraid, my sweet children will never have friends… because as far as mom on mom action, I’m experiencing a particularly parched season (you can write the word ‘dry’ on my skin).

But, alas, there’s hope: Dinosaur Train, the Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup of children’s programming. Marry an all-time obsession with Dinosaurs—Lucas can’t seem to learn enough about what each one eats, how many feet tall, how they kill their plant or prey—to an all-out train fetish—he can differentiate between a hopper car, boxcar, and Lorry (yes, that’s right fellow braggarts)—and you have the happily-ever-after couple of all couples. Or, as I like to say, “TV Crack without the formication.” Also, Abigail, my ruched tutu of a girl is quite the Dinosaur Train enthusiast. And by enthusiast, I mean fiend.

So, when asked if I’d like an advanced screening copy of the upcoming PBS KIDS Season 2 kickoff premiere of the Dinosaur Train movie, “Dinosaur Big City,” I resisted the urge to respond, “Does a Baryonyx eat sushi?”—because next I’d have to draft my suicide note—and replied simply:

“Oh, hell yes.”

Know why? Because this was their in. Yes, obviously kids make friends just by being themselves, blah blah, blah blah blah. But this was a “Give friend” opportunity! Common ground, something to talk about. Okay, maybe, just maybe, this was my in, an opportunity to invite total strangers into our home and heartswith a very specific end-time.

Oreo’s and McDangerous tend to bring people together. So, why not offer up a Dinosaur Train screening party to the neighborhood kids, as a “we have this in common” bribe token of friendship? You know I love me a theme party, and any excuse to cut tea sandwiches in the shapes of theropods and locomotives, and this mom-nerd is all in. Now, may I tempt you to a platter of dino claw clippings (break out the Bugles)? As for the cupcakes? Perhaps the marketing go-to of the day will be “Dino Dung” (with marbled frosting, of course).

Also, as a total aside, I love that the series is anchored in actual fact, bringing real history alive. What I want to know is, how is there no modern 90210 version of the Great Depression or WWII for “adults?” Greek Tragedy anyone?

Dinosaur Big City airs this coming Monday, August 22.

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