As parents, we all want our children to live in a world without fear, surrounded by fresh air and friends. But we gave up on that idea the day we accidentally froze the Earth and climbed aboard this train. Most of us are just grateful that we no longer have to cut off our limbs to feed ourselves. Yet, we are still allowed to have big dreams for our train babies.
With nearly a thousand train cars and ax-wielding security teams guarding most of them, the prospect of choosing the right one can be overwhelming. But with proper planning, patience, and the ability to construct a battering ram, even you and your family can explore all this train has to offer.
DO SEE YOUR TRAIN BABY AS MORE
THAN JUST A SOURCE OF NUTRITION
If there’s anything we learned from the days when we still ate our young, it’s that every child has his or her own particular flavor. Parents get trapped into a mindset of thinking the Front Car is the best car. But what if your kid hates Art Deco and doesn’t like silk pajamas? Take advantage of all the train has to offer. One’s budding botanist might be most at home in the Greenhouse Car, while a more sensitive child will be better suited for the EDM Party Car. The individual strengths of your child, your education philosophy, and the will of the Sacred Engine will all contribute to your choice.
DON’T TRY TO OVERTHROW
A HIERARCHICAL SYSTEM
ARBITRARILY CREATED BY
A RECLUSIVE TRAIN NUT
ALL BY YOURSELF
If you attempt to go it alone, you won’t even make it past the Aquarium Car. You must network. Invite other parents to your bunk for some protein blocks to discuss options. Maybe one of you knows how to override the train’s security gates, while another is better suited to slaughtering masked guards. The more you pool your collective strengths, the more likely your child won’t end up living underneath Mr. Wilford’s floorboards.
DO TALK TO THE LONE TEACHER
RESPONSIBLE FOR EDUCATING
THE WHOLE OF HUMANITY
Getting some one-on-one time with her can be tricky, but it’s a must. And if you’ve managed to make it past the Water Car and fight off a counter-insurgency, you’ve already done the hard part. Have pointed questions prepared. Does she focus her curriculum more on the biography of Mr. Wilford or the value of the Sacred Engine? At what age should children be expected to count the Frozen Seven? Understanding her expectations will help you prepare your child for their future. But if she offers you something called a “New Year’s Egg,” get the fuck out of there. That bitch knows her way around a machine gun.
DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD
I’m not speaking metaphorically here; I’m talking about your actual head. There are just too many ways to get decapitated on this train.
DO REMEMBER THAT EVEN THOUGH
YOU LIVE IN A SHANTYTOWN
CRAMMED ONTO A TRAIN CAR, YOU
STILL NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
Old World people had an expression, “Put your oxygen mask on first.” Although there haven’t been any functional masks on the train since the Revolt of the Seven, there is still wisdom in this saying. You can get so caught up in planning your child’s future, you forget about your own happiness. Take some time doing something you love. Imagine taking a shower. Unwind with a block of uncut Chronole. Take a little more time to stop and smell the protein blocks, and worry a little less about how they’re made. Because, seriously, you don’t want to know.
DON’T LISTEN TO THE
Minister Mason likes to tell us that she’s a hat and we’re a shoe, but if you shoot enough holes in anything, even a sock can become a fingerless glove. And chances are you don’t have all your fingers. Don’t get into your head if you have your share of false starts, disappointments, and a pretty substantial body count by the end of this. No one said that securing a future where your child gets to wear primary colors would be easy.
If you follow these tips and stay persistent, your train baby could be lounging in the Sauna Car by the next time we cross the Yekaterina Bridge. Above all else, this process requires you to keep going and find the Sacred Engine that lives inside of you. Look in the mirror, or whatever reflective surface you can access, and remind yourself that The Engine is eternal, the Engine is forever, and that if you ever stop, we’ll all freeze and die.