Today a kindly elderly relative informed me that he had purchased the below collection for my boys:
Thomas the Tank Engine. Sixty-eight books. Sixty…Eight… that’s right people – that equates to one book a week for a year and four months. I admit it, my heart sank. Because lets face it, who’s going to be stuck reading these ‘treasures’? Not the hubster that’s for sure – he hates them as much as I do and he’s hardly ever around for bedtime anyway (the kids are too frenetic for daytime stories).
Obviously I am a girl so I have never had to think too much about steam trains or any other form of transport for that matter until now. I now know more than I would care to admit about shunting, sidings, and what can go wrong if you’re a bit of pompous twot and don’t learn quicksmart to have a bit of humility (either trial by bull on the line or a super humiliating dressing down from some officious chubby official).
As I would have quite liked a girl (no offence boys!) I picked out fairly neutral decorations and toys when JJ was first born – avoiding all the blues and cars and superheroes and fire engines. OK so this hasn’t lasted – I’m pretty sure ‘bus’ was his first word and I still excitedly point out approaching buses now, even when I’m on my own in the car *rolls eyes madly*.
However, some sanity has to prevail and I’m thrilled that my Mum has held onto plenty of the childhood books which my sister and I used to enjoy (not that I envisage either child ever becoming engrossed in the doings of Milly Molly Mandy). Nowadays when we’re staying the night at Grandma’s we all snuggle up on the bed together for a nostalgic foray into the world of Topsy and Tim complete with 21st century toddler-baffling references to pea-souper fogs and red telephone boxes:
Or a charming reminder of those wonderful Ladybird “Well-Loved Tales” that seem to have a completely timeless quality to them:
The volumes above are all tales which JJ adores and, as I’m never going to be able to force him into my old pinafore dresses or impose my Tiny Tears on either of them, I guess I’ll have to be happy with gender neutrality and accept the fact that even “Well loved Tales” are not going to get a look in if they involve any kind of romantic element (scratch Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella* and Snow White and Rose Red – all of which I love! Sob!). Hi ho, hi ho…
What about you? Have you re-discovered any much loved and almost forgotten childhood favourites? This has got to be one good reason for having children surely?!
*JJ at the panto “Cinderella” during Prince Charming and Cinderella’s brief flirtation at the ball: “Can we please go home now Mummy?”…