There are trains rolling through our apartment now most of the time, and my plan to allow only minimal TV-watching (when I’m making dinner or just want to stare blankly out a window for fifteen minutes) has failed.
“Ohmas? Ohmas? Omhas?” Toddler mews, his voice escalating with each tiny question. Our TV sits on the mantle above the fireplace; when he wants his show, he stretches his body upward, as far as he can, grasping hopelessly toward buttons he cannot reach.
We’ve PVRd episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine off of Treehouse, and the anticipation in the lead-up to those first chords of the Thomas theme song nearly breaks him every time. Yesterday, I didn’t fast-forward through the final scene of Toopy & Binoo to start Thomas right away and Toddler wept, hurling himself to the floor and shaking, inconsolable.
I swore he’d never be allowed to watch the kind of children’s programming with associated merchandise.
I dug a pair of Thomas pajamas out of a bag of old kids’ clothes someone gave me because I thought he would like them; he sobbed when we had to take them off him in the morning, and would not release his grip on them when it was time to leave for daycare. He carted his Thomas pajamas along with him, bunched in his fists.
I bought a Thomas board book for him and he brings it with him everywhere, a little piece of Thomas that he can cling to. He is an addict. We have not told him that there is more than this, but it is only a matter of time before some grandparent introduces him to the toys and movies and this goddamn thing.
We’re not sure where this came from; he was interested in Thomas but they do not watch TV at daycare, and his cousins are all too old for this shit. Spouse thought it would be a good idea to see if Toddler would like the show, and now things have spiraled out of control.
Do we wait and see how this all plays out, or just accept our fate as the parents of a kid with a ravenous and potentially expensive need for his train fix? On the upside, we’ve been able to cram vegetables into his face when he’s distracted, so there’s that.