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Home » 9to5to9, Boots' story

Thomas here!

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published May 13, 2007, thehive.modbee.com   

Little Guy had a brief dalliance with Lighting McQueen. He trifled with Woody, from “Toy Story,” but eventually wanted to be just friends.

He’s moved on to his first full-blown obsession.

It’s Thomas the Tank Engine. And it’s making me understand why my sister – the one with four kids -- hates Barney.

First word out of Little Guy’s mouth in the morning – “Thomas.” First words out of his mouth when we get home – “watch Thomas.” Last word out of his mouth before bed – “read Thomas.” At least he’s still excited about reading. I worried about that a few weeks ago, when I started letting him openly watch TV.

He has a toy Thomas that can’t be more than a few yards away at any point in time.  Technically, it’s not his toy, but Big doesn’t mess with Little Guy on this issue. Sometimes, Little Guy will sit “reading” his Thomas book with the engine tucked under the other arm.

He knows the names of the trains – at least, in his baby-talk way, he does. Gordon is Goron, Percy is Pecy, Donald is Donal. He can tell Thomas and Edward apart – actually learned that before I did.

He feeds Thomas dinner – turns out trains love roasted rosemary potatoes. Who knew? He even went so far the other night as to share his Smarties with Thomas – that’s the Big Guy-safe, peanut-free M&M equivalent.

And if Little Guy is sharing chocolate, the relationship is serious. If Thomas had fingers, we’d be shopping for a ring.

I’ve never seen anything like this. Big Guy went through an Elmo phase when he was about this age, but it was nothing this intense, and it lasted only about six months. He could survive if Elmo was’t around. Little Guy has to be put on suicide watch if Thomas disappears. He'll roam through the house semi-panicked, moaning,   Thomas, here. Thomas, here. 

I’m finding out that Thomas tends to trigger obsessive behavior. The director at our day care told me Friday that many boys have been so into him that they’ve carried Thomas toys to school. For more than a year.

At least it’s an active obsession – as long as he’s reading and playing, I’m not worried. I’d be a little concerned, though, if his involvement was limited to passively consuming DVDs. Especially given Thomas’ checkered cinematic history.

The original Thomas narrator: Ring Starr. “Thomas in the Sky with Diamonds”?

His replacement: George Carlin. “Thomas and the Seven Dirty Words”?

The next narrator: Alec Baldwin. “Thomas, You Ungrateful Pig”?

We took the guys to Woodland today, for the Sacramento River Train’s “Day Out With Thomas," and I was half afraid he’d wail for us to hitch the Really Useful Engine to the car and bring it home.

It look him a while to warm up – I guess it’s intimidating when you’re used to being bigger than Thomas but suddenly Thomas is dwarfing you – but he was all smiles while we were on the train. And he loved all the other games, toys and activities.

I think I can use our excursion as a tax write-off,  as part of their father's higher education. He was chatting with another dad in the gift shop and asked him if his kid was Thomas-obsessed. Oh, yes, the other dad said. His whole room is Thomas, and that’s all he wants to wear. How old was the other kid, I asked. Four, dad said.

I have a feeling the train’s not leaving the station for us for at least that long.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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