Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Speaking of Thomas..."

I'm going to pull a Duncan. Well, kind of. We'll be talking about something, topics from school or other items of interest when he'll say, "Speaking of Frederick Douglass (or insert other recently covered topic), can I play Minecraft?" I ask him what does Minecraft have to do with Frederick Douglass. "Nothing." I ask him if he's built an Underground Railroad in Minecraft (because that would be awesome!) "Nope." So, I explain to him that usually when people say, "Speaking of Frederick Douglass..." that usually means they're going to say something else related to Frederick Douglass. Or how that topic reminded him of something similar. Not sure that it's sinking in just yet. So, in that frame of mind (and the fact that I wasn't just discussing Thomas), "Speaking of Thomas...."

We were somewhat strict with Evan. He had definite boundaries and rules. And we took those recommendations of two hours or less screen time very seriously. Evan didn't even watch TV until he was 18 months old. Most of his friends were Elmo fans by then. So, we started with a little Sesame Street and added other shows on Public Television. But never more than that two hours. Then I got pregnant with Duncan and put on bed rest at 32 weeks.

The Thomas movies that Grandma had given Evan for his birthday suddenly became a Thing. I didn't like them at first. Why didn't their mouths move when they talked? Are they communicating by telepathy? Why in the world would they send a sentient machine to scrap, even if he was no longer useful. It seemed so cruel! And what was with that music?! But the stories were cute and not beating you over the head educational (shows can be educational and entertaining, ya know!) We started having special Mommy and Evan Thomas time. I began to learn all of the train names along with Evan. After Duncan came we bought some of the movies on DVD. When we were visiting the grandparents, we got him his very first set of plastic tracks and a couple of engines. I think he may have already had a Thomas by then. Usually at Grandma and Grandpa's house, Evan would wait for permission to leave his room in the morning. But the morning after he got that set, he was up with the sun pushing his little engines around the track. He was over the moon! In October I secretly went and purchased a used set of wooden tracks and buildings and a train table. I was so excited to give Evan his first wooden train set for Christmas! But it was not to be. He never got to play with any of it. It still breaks my heart. I did pull the set out of the garage several months later for Duncan. And then when Miranda came along, I had another Thomas fan. Of course, now the show is a cartoon instead of a train set. The engines mouths move when they speak (which now strikes me as odd!) And the stories are terrible. It's like they fired the writers when they spent all that money on the graphics. Miranda is even growing out of Thomas now, but I told her how much Evan loved Thomas and trains. I think he would have loved playing trains with his little brother and sister!

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