One morning my son woke up as Thomas the Train.
What does Thomas do when he first wakes up in his shed from a long night of resting his axels? Well, he wakes the rest of the island, of course. He chuffed loudly down the hallway blowing his whistle to warn off any unsuspecting cows from the tracks.
With his drowsy passengers now in tow, he raced downstairs where I immediately shunted him into the bathroom so he could drain his waste water. Once all his dirty water had been released, we were able to puff more comfortably to the next stop. The kitchen.
What does Thomas the Train eat for breakfast? Coal. Obviously. So, I whipped up some coal-shaped pancakes. Luckily, a lump of coal was a shape I could just about manage.
Next, we changed his paintwork. First we had to peel off the paintwork he wore last night and replace it with new shiny paintwork, that I dug unceremoniously from the bottom of a laundry basket since I’d failed to fold the laundry yet again.
Once freshly painted, it was time to start working. Most of Thomas’s jobs involved moving freight from one part of the house to another. There were stuffed animals to be transported to the zoo, little brothers to shunt around in their walker, and dogs to chase from the tracks. These were very important tasks that were to be treated with absolute care. Move the wrong pillow from the sofa to the arm chair and all Hell breaks loose. Trust me.
Eventually, it became clear to me that the evil genius of this game is that it is infinite. At which time I suggested that we board the transport ship to the mainland. We were running out of coal on the Island of Sodor and the natives were becoming restless.
Where does one buy coal these days, you ask? A coal mine, silly (which is nothing like a grocery store, of course). Thomas coupled up to one of the special coal mine trolleys and biffed and bashed it through the store. Thomas explained to me that it was very important for me to blow my whistle loudly before turning any corners or crossing any tracks. You never know where those cows (or someone Mommy might know!) could be lurking.
For lunch, we made coal nuggets and served them with cheese briquettes and apple lumps. Yeah, I was really struggling at this point in the day.
Then, it was time for one of Thomas’s favorite games which he calls Chuff Around. A simple game, it has only one rule. You must never stop. Finally, Sir Topham Hatt, one of my many Sodor personas, had to sit down. He has a bit of a weight problem, so he tires easily.
Fueled by fresh coal, Thomas puffed so hard he crashed into a troublesome truck that had been left haphazardly in the middle of the track. He was ok, but had to be lifted back onto the tracks and taken to the Steamworks for repairs. This was so much fun that Thomas felt the need to recreate the accident over and over so that he could be patched up each time.
Eventually, I ran out of bandaids, and Thomas ran out of coal so we had to take a break to restock his firebox. At this point in the day, I was struggling to think of any more food that could be shaped like lumps of coal. So we had pizza, because everybody likes pizza. Even Thomas the Train.
At the end of the day, it was time to head to the wash down, where we scrubed his undercarriage and washed his funnel. Afterward, Thomas finally came to rest in his sheds for the night, but not before saying goodnight to every engine on Sodor.
That doesn’t sound so bad, you say? Cute, right? This went on for a month…