Imagine my surprise. Me, being the punk rocker that I am, never set out to enjoy half the things that appeal to me as a parent. There are those things you know about before kids come along, even if in passing, and I was somewhat aware that there was such a thing as Thomas the Tank Engine.
Big Brother had an extended passing fancy with trains, probably starting when he was between two and three, like The Boy. The wooden track was purchased for him in the pre-Boy years, though Thomas had not entered the equation at this point. Trains in general were a delight for Big Brother, and one that took a back seat to other interests as he got older. I won't say that he lost interest in trains, he just got older, and his world got bigger.
Credit The Boy with discovering Thomas. I'm not quite sure how it happened. We came to posess two Thomas videos which may have been the start. Thomas is now a phenomenon in our house. Big Brother is almost as crazy about it as The Boy, but he is also into it differently.
Big Brother is slowly memorizing Thomas. We got a set of the original Rev. Awdry Thomas books for The Boy for Christmas, and we've been checking out and wearing out videos from the library. The Boy watches the videos and Big Brother ends up watching as well. Then Big Brother reads the books. Of the episodes we've seen of which we now have the original story in the book, he can tell you the subtle differences.
So I hear Thomas in the background, and sometimes I sit to watch with the boys. I've really grown to love the Thomas stories. How can you not love Ringo Starr and George Carlin reading about cheeky tank engines?
I love the story of the Thomas stories. A parent makes up stories for their child based on something the child loves. The characters take on a life of their own. Somehow these stories are written and published. Because they are good stories, they become somewhat classics. I rank Rev. Awdry with A. A. Milne. Sadly, due to the proliferation of Thomas, I fear that the original stories get somewhat lost, much like the original Winnie the Pooh stories. I dare not go into that rant just now.
I forget now where I was going with this. The Boy, as per usual, is sleeping with Bill and Ben, having added Percy for tonight. It's always Bill and Ben in the left hand, and sometimes someone else in the right. On a tangent, homeschooling edition, Bill, Ben and Percy are all 0-4-0 saddle tank engines. Big Brother has taken a different Thomas toy to bed, but I forget the name of this one. He is the tractor that loosens the big boulder that wreaks havoc on the island.