Who needs a psychologist when you have Thomas the Tank Engine?
When I picked up my two boys from school the other day, the littlest one had good news.
"Mum, mum, I won three dollars in the arts prize," he said. His little face was all lit up with joy.
It wasn't such a happy story from Bright Eyes.
"Why did he win something and I didn't?" hhe said, nearly crying. And that was it for the rest of the afternoon. We had tears, tantrums, fighting, accusing and vast amounts of blame thrown around the kitchen.
"It's all his fault!" He said. "I don't want a brother. He should be thrown in the bin!"
Things got so bad that eventually Bright eyes was sent to calm down upstairs. It took a lot of time and he was still not right even by the end of the evening.
Nothing I said to him seemed to work until finally I hit on good old Thomas and Friends to be my illustration.
"What would Thomas say if Percy won a race?" I asked. "Would he be angry with him?"
"No. He would be happy. Because Percy is faster," he said.
"What is Thomas better at?" I said.
"He is stronger. He can haul more coaches and trucks," he answered.
I talked about how Percy and Thomas are different – each of them are good at different things and they are both special. And then I asked him a good question: "what would the fat controller say if he saw Percy and Thomas fighting about winning a race?"
He thought for a moment. "I think he would say to stop fighting because they are causing confusion and delay."
There have been days where I have cursed Rev W Awdry and his invention of trains with faces, but this was not one of those days. Thomas and Percy have helped keep the peace ever since.