Spending time with our friends R and D in Italy is also an opportunity to catch up with their kids’ special phrases. Their youngest, T (now 2), is fully conversant with Thomas the Tank Engine stories, and these are the phrases we came back with from our October visit this year:
1) “Chicken in a school…” For use when sounding a note of caution. (Thomas the Tank Engine gets his deliveries wrong one day: the children are delivered to the farm, the chickens to the school etc.) Particularly useful for when grownups are continuing to talk for far too long at the dinner table, and you wish to gain attention.
2) “James happy again!” When you want to bring a happy ending to a situation. This is T’s own invention. It mostly relates to the character James the red engine in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories. Given that Dan also has a colleague, James, there is potential for expanding its use, particularly if bringing James hot chocolate.
3) “Cinders and ashes!” cried Thomas. When words fail, it’s good to know that Thomas the Tank Engine has given us an acceptable way out for expressing strong emotion.
4) “What’s that?” (repeat at 10 second intervals) Mainly used when reading a book together. T knows full well what it is: Thomas a Train, Bertie a Bus, Terence a Tractor etc. But you volunteered to read to him, after all – he has to let you feel included.
We’ll probably need to devote a separate post to all those great phrases we’ve picked up on previous visits – and from other kids we’ve met. But at least you can speak fluent Thomas the Tank Engine after reading this.