I'd like to begin this post with an apology to my two children for having cynical uncool parents who generally don't enjoy attending special kids' events other than for reasons of fueling our sarcasm and studying the media's influence on society from a distance. We know it simply makes you happy to ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, or probably any train for that matter. I would also like to say that I think the wooden Thomas railway toys are excellent toys. My son plays with his train set every day, in a very focused and imaginative way. I don't think it matters to him whether it is specifically Thomas the Tank Engine gear, but he does like having a set of characters he can get to know and collect.
We spent the morning at an outing called Day Out With Thomas. Bucketfulls of budding little engineers (most decked out in their finest Thomaswear) and their parents were bussed in to a train museum to meet Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, to ride the rails with that cheeky little blue engine, and presumably purchase Thomas merchandise to further fuel their media-hyped obsession with the Empire of Really Useful Marketing Engines. A lot of little boys and girls love trains. (They also love dirt, but I haven't yet seen the emergence of a kids' Festival of Filth, where they sell T-Shirts smeared with mud, and Junior can get his picture taken with the fun-loving Sir Sandbox Turd.) All sarcasm aside, Joshua did enjoy himself. I'm glad we went, because seeing all the train related stuff was interesting. We decided we would like to come back to the Railway Museum on another Day Without Thomas, and explore some more. And yes, we did contribute to the cause and buy Joshua a souvenir... a wooden train whistle. With Thomas on it. *Sigh*.