My children are obsessed. With Thomas the Tank Engine. I’m not sure how it started, but of all the characters out there, they love him the most. L is especially a fan. When he wakes up in the morning, the first thing he says is, “choo choooooo!” and he is kind of depressed that his Thomas slippers are now too small for him. So thinking that a Thomas obsession is better than a Pokemon one, I have gone along with it, and just as I am impressed that Sophie can walk into a shop with millions of toys and spot a miniscule Stitch figure among the lot, I have found that I am also capable of doing the same with Thomas. I know all of the engine names, their numbers, colours and character traits. I am like a trainspotter…
A while ago, while on a visit to B-kids, a local (ish) second-hand shop, the children and I spotted (no need for binoculars, we have the “gift”, remember?) some little trains from the Thomas series. They are metal, and very very heavy, a little scratched, but they are original Thomas and co. trains, and the children of course fell in love with them. We bought four of them for 300 yen each, which I thought was pretty steep, until I saw the prices of the new ones. Every morning, they are the first things that L takes out of the playroom, and every evening, they are the last things to be put away. So I went back today, with the intention of buying some more. I bought another four of the “best” ones (oh dear God), and abandoned the lesser known.
Then I went browsing for clothes. BIG mistake. I love that shop, because they have second hand “brand” clothes all categorised, most of them in great condition, some with the labels still attached, but at fairly low prices. I have bought clothes from Nishi Matsuya, a cheap shop, and they have lasted five minutes, and are not really all that cute, so don’t really mind paying the same or a little less for nearly new nicer stuff. But there are so many nice clothes for girls. Boys kind of get the bum deal on clothes, although I’m not sure why. They are just as cute as little girls to me, so deserve a bit of colour and pattern. So I left there with two dresses, a summer blouse and a lovely pair of trousers for H, and a shirt and trousers/shorts for L (sorry L, but hopefully the choo choos will make up for it).