Never Had I Ever: Thomas the Tank Engine Edition

I don’t know how it happened.

I don’t even know how it started.

Was it the set of books from Uncle Paul? Was it something at day care? Was it just in the air somehow?

I don’t know how it happened, but our Leo is an absolute Thomas the Tank Engine devotee.


The kid is obsessed. All his shirts are Thomas shirts. All his toys are Thomas toys. All his screen time is Thomas screen time (unless it’s Chuggington, which is just another way to watch sentient cartoon trains get into trouble). All of his expressions are Thomas (or occasionally Chuggington) expressions:

“Fizzling fireboxes!”

“Big bumpers!”

“Wheel turn by wheel turn!”

“Confusion and delay.”

Never had I ever expected that my child would be able to identify so many engines by name. (Pro Tip:So, so, so many.)

Never had I ever expected that I, too, would know so many engines by name. And personality. And storyline.

Never had I ever expected that, for one whole year and counting, my kid would absolutely insist on a Thomas shirt every. Single. Day. (He makes an exception for Sundays.)


I don’t have any deep wisdom or big revelation on this front. But as I watch Leo jump up and down with delight while he watches a TV show that, frankly, I find pretty weird, I remember what one of my deeply wise seminary professors taught us: “You are always and only responsible for your own behavior.”

We are, of course, responsible for our children. We’re responsible for raising them, loving them, caring for them, teaching them, protecting them. But we are not responsible for the intensity of their love for Weird Trains with Faces and Personalities.

It’s not our fault, parents of Thomas fans. It’s not our fault. But as we did with Zoe before him , we are embracing Leo’s Thomas love. Because as alarming as I find it when Thomas’ eyes spin round and round on his creepy train face, Leo’s pure joy is worth it.

What weird or wonderful things did you love as a child? Or, what weird or wonderful things have your children loved?


1 Comment

Filed under Movies and TV, Never Had I Ever, Your Moment of Leo

One response to “Never Had I Ever: Thomas the Tank Engine Edition

  1. Pingback: The Gift of Getting Stuck | Never Done It That Way Before

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