My blog of 2012: Ode to Thomas and Friends
As I’m sitting down to write my thoughts down on my two little toddlers, I can’t help but to get choked up and get caught up with regrets. I miss my two infant boys, terribly. All the times I was upset at them, or all the time I pushed them to be more independent and to leave me alone, I wish I could have just slowed it down and accepted it all. I wish I could have taken more naps with them while gently cradling their soft baby skin, but instead I was on the computer. Regret over all those pictures taken with a camera phone, because I was too lazy to grab a real camera. Countless opportunities to see them in a little song and dance performances, but I was out having lunch with clients and co-workers. I can’t redo any of these things because kids are older. I now realize, we are at a closing of a chapter where my two little toddlers are no longer toddlers, they are boys. This is an irreversible milestone; there is nothing I can do to relive the previous pages of their lives, and it hurts. Thomas & friends represent everything I miss about my two babies.
‘Thomas and friends’ go beyond rank of toys, it takes on a rank as a family or a friend. I was really disappointed when, for the first time, my boys didn’t want any Thomas&friends item for Christmas…It was sad because they are not babies anymore, and I’m not mentally ready to let it go yet. Out of all the things I’ve done with the boys, T&F(Thomas & Friends) has the most amount of hours logged, with some of the best memories. Only daddy is able to build the ‘Big Big Bridge’ like nobody else can. Only daddy can build the awesome cool ramps that make trains fly with paper wings taped on its back. These toys have given me so much and I am not going to let these friends to die off like this, I need to send these little choo-choos off with a very honorable discharge, with a medal of honor if you will.
Pic#1 is the first train we ever purchased; it’s what I secretly carry in my work bag. My wife and kids think I threw this in the trash along with bunch of other toys, because I was upset over their toys being all-over the living room. Most of their first set of trains are in terrible condition because they do get smashed quite often. I wanted to salvage little Thomas to serve as a compressed memory of their babyhood. Every time I hold this toy in my hand, I get flooded with baby memories. I’ve shed some tears just thinking back to when they were so tiny and just babbling. I reminisce about their struggle during tummy time or when they took their very first step. I think about the moment when my oldest made his journey from my hands to the nearest sofa. He was happy as a clam, squealing and laughing while pounding the sofa seat, all in the little yellow striped onesie outfit w/ big diaper bottom. All these wonderful memories captured inside a little beat-up train toy…
Pic #2 is a picture of my boys’ 1st starter underwear when they graduated from pull-ups. My oldest boy had it first, and then it was handed down to the wee-bear who is now 4.5yr old. My wife and I can’t stop laughing when the wee bear runs around with this battered undie on, with all its tears and holes. We call him the ‘Incredible Wee Hulk’ because that’s what happens to Bruce Banner’s clothing when he turns into the Hulk. This undie is finally getting retired this year because it is one cycle away from losing its functionality per outlined in this write-up.
‘Can underwear outlast a marriage?‘
Sadly this will go in my treasure box that consist of their first beige colored baseball cap with little bear ears, and their first pair of shoes (size of my thumb!) Gosh they were so cute wearing that stuff. I’m proud of my boys because they are following my footstep of appreciating everything, recycling, and using items until it’s beyond repair, like their paper thin undies.
Here is a list of all my favorite Thomas & Friends characters and what they accomplished for me:
***Warning: List may contain possible adult language***
- Thomas ‘the cheeky one’: He is the little engine that could. There is a lot to like about this guy because he is little, compassionate, follows orders, and loves helping friends out. If there is a perfect role model outside of mommy and daddy, it’s definitely this little #1 engine.
- Gordon ‘rumbles down the line’: Big powerful steam engine with pretty big ego. He is a great character for my kids to imagine what it would be like to be bigger but also teaches them it’s not nice to walk around with big ego.
- Lady: She is the only female train character we have. As you can tell from the first picture, my boys are extremely rough with their toys. Lady was brought in to establish some order and calmness with their play style. I SPECIFICALLY told them to be gentle with Lady, because it is a girl. Needless to say, it’s the only T&F toy that is in excellent condition with all her colors.
- Spencer: He is fast, shiny, looks cool, but is very arrogant. He is another one that served its purpose by teaching my boys to separate out the good and the bad. Appreciating someone’s beauty and power is good, but arrogance is bad. Concept of arrogance is very difficult to teach, but having Spencer around was a great help. Thanks Spencer.
- Percy ‘pulls the mail on time’: my my my…I wanted to save the baddest little engine for last. This little green character sent me in a full panic mode! Normally he is meek, gentle, and is Thomas’ best friend. He truly teaches how one friend should treat another. Here is a little story on how I got acquainted with little Percy. I came home from work and I asked my little wee-bear, “What do you want on your birthday?” To that he replied, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”. Now with more seriousness I asked again, to which he replied with, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”. I panicked because this is the kind of stuff that lands deadbeat dad in jail! I called for emergency meeting with my wife and told her this had to get resolved ASAP! I didn’t care for her explanation about the “r difficulty” and a toy character named ‘Percy’; I wasn’t going to jail over this. We practiced countless hours with the letter “r”.
I look at my boys now and can’t believe how big and independent they have become. They inflict a lot of damage when they jump into our bed now. There is nothing scarier in the morning than opening your eyes to a wild toddler, airborne and barely missing the family jewel upon landing. I’ll yell at them, I’ll scold them, but I know with 100% certainty that I will miss these morning attacks. When they were babies, all I wanted was for them to grow up quickly so they would be more independent. Now that they are independent, I want my babies back. What is going on? I miss them terribly. I know you can argue that I can still do these things with them, but it’s not the same.
I don’t usually have morbid thoughts, but with all the tragic deaths in the news and worrying about my wife and two kids, it’s hard not to. If I get into a fatal car accident tomorrow, or some lunatic fires a fatal blow, I plan on using the last remaining breath to hold the Thomas train(picture #1) with my right hand and place my left hand, with the wedding band touching little Thomas, close against my heart. I can’t think of a better way to make the best of the given situation than that. I would be at peace…
This music video sums up everything and I think it’s the perfect music to close the chapter on a group of very special friends, Thomas and friends. They will all be missed and will always have a spot in this dad’s heart. Here is Thomas & Friends with Josh Groban: