Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wave Hello to Thomas!

To Max's utter delight, the Thomas DBD has entered our home. ('DBD' sounds so sweet it seems a shame to correct him, that also goes for numana (banana), grabble (gravel) and washing macheem) For Max, everything about the Thomas DBD is exciting. First there's the box, one of which actually sings out Thomas tunes. But even the ones that don't sing are spoken of with breathless joy: 'Look Daddy, who's that? It's Thomas! Thomas says 'peep peep'.' And the narration doesn't stop there...each episode begins with Thomas' arrival at Knapford Station: 'Who's that Mummy? It's Thomas! Is he going to stop?' (pause) 'He stopped, Mummy, he stopped!' Then there's the title shot where a boy with a bike looks down on the track from a bridge: 'It's the boy with the bike, Mummy. And there's a shed, Mummy'. And even though he has now watched most of the episodes at least 3 or 4 times, especially when we lost the remote and could only watch the first couple of episodes over and over again, he still looks at me as the story nears it's climax and gasps; 'What's going to happen, Mummy?' And before you know it, it's the credits - for Max another moment of awe: 'Look at the letters Mummy! Look at the letters....Letters are make words!' Of course, I'm swollen up with pride that he can identify that 'T' is for 'Thomas' (Ok, ok, I'm ignoring the fact that 'H' is also apparently for 'Thomas') But to tell the truth Thomas is doing my head in. We have the little figures, the track, the books, the backpack and now these endless dramatizations with their theme songs, jingles and Thomas going 'peep peep' and his endless quest to be a Really Useful Engine. The DBD normally goes on while I am washing Oliver in a bathtub on the kitchen table, conveniently keeping Max in one place while my hands are otherwise occupied. Sometimes I tell Max he can watch the DBD 'when Daddy gets home' which means Daddy is greeted with double the normal enthusiasm and a few minutes later I'll see my boys unwinding to 'Percy and the Signal' or 'Duck Takes Charge'. Somehow the DBD at the end of the day is like those TV screens at motorway service stations or sports bars, however much you try and turn away, your eyes are inevitably drawn towards them, like moths to the flame. Dom may be looking at his blackberry or opening some post while Diesel shunts the Troublesome Trucks but the episodes are still permeating his every pore. Earlier Dom had emptied the dishwasher for the 15th time, taken in the laundry from the clothes horse outside, given Max a bath and put him to bed with yet another story about Thomas being a Really Useful Engine. He leaned in for a kiss when we were finally downstairs together and said 'Haven't I been a Really Useful Husband?' I, being the Fat Controller, could confirm that indeed he had.

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