One morning shortly before Hal’s third birthday, I pulled a pair of “Thomas and Friends” underwear out of his drawer and handed it to him saying, “Here Hal, you want to wear your Thomas underwear?”
Without waiting for a response, I left the room to take care of something else. I returned to find him standing in the same spot, carefully studying the underwear.
“Mommy, this is not Thomas underwear.”
I looked at the red train and understood what he meant, since Thomas is, of course, a blue train. I hadn’t meant that the train on the underwear was Thomas, just that it was part of his Thomas set of underwear, but I knew there was no point in attempting to explain that.
“Oh, well, you are right that that is not Thomas. Do you know who it is?”
Hal sounded more than a little disappointed in his dense mother when he replied, “Yes. This is James. You do not get to wear big boy underwear. You need to wear your own underwear.”