KIERAN HOWARD: A rainy day with Thomas has made Louie's life complete
Louie's life is complete. He's met Thomas the Tank Engine in the flesh.
His lifelong goals have been achieved.
Mine have too, to be honest.
Anything else the boy accomplishes in the years to come will just be a bonus.
He met his railway idol at the Day Out With Thomas event at Mid Hants Railway’s Watercress Line.
Sadly, we chose possibly the wettest day of the year for our little train enthusiast to meet the famous steam locomotive.
The tickets were booked in advance, though, so we had no choice but to persevere and see the job through.
As we awoke that morning, I made a defiant speech to the rest of the Howard household.
It was the stubborn announcement that we, in this country, all make on showery days such as those.
‘We’re British and this is what we do. This monsoon won’t beat us’.
Louie appeared completely unfazed by the persistent and relentless rainfall anyway.
I’m pretty sure he’d have gone in his shorts and T-shirt if he’d been given half a chance.
Kids just don’t seem bothered about getting drenched to the point of drowning, quite like adults do.
What age do we start moaning about the weather?
I think I officially began whingeing about it in my mid-20s.
Despite putting a positive spin on the deluge before commencing our journey, I became less enthused as the day wore on.
At various points I wondered if we should have just simply stayed indoors.
We could have achieved the same results by jumping in the bath fully clothed and watching an episode of Thomas as we did so.
For Louie, though, the heavy downpours just seemed to enhance his experience. He was happy, so we were happy.
He even remained adamant that he wanted to take a ride on the miniature railway.
A lack of roof overhead and a train which was fast becoming a boat was not going to dissuade him, even if it slightly deterred us.
Thankfully, the stoic British spirit continued beforehand as the driver whipped out his squeegee and wiped our seats dry, so it was all good.
We then hid in a marquee for Rusty and Vern’s Magic Show.
Louie watched on while eating chopped olives.
He’s a very sophisticated two-year-old like that.
Of course, his overall highlight was a trip on Thomas.
It was our favourite moment too, largely because of the roof.
NO, THIS WASN’T A FILM PREMIERE ...
I’m convinced Louie believes the recent 4D scan of his baby brother was just a movie.
If that’s the case, then he’s got a real shock coming his way in June.
I think he just thought it was a premiere screening of a new film at a local, but quite small, cinema.
There was a rather large monitor in the room, lots of moving images and some comfy seats, so I could forgive him any confusion.
There wasn’t any popcorn, though, so I’m hoping he’ll soon realise this was real life and definitely not fiction.
The ‘meet and greet’ took place at First View Imaging on Kerrie’s birthday.
It was the perfect way to mark the occasion, although Louie didn’t seem quite so fussed with the experience.
It was his first introduction to his younger sibling, but his interest during the 40-minute scan lasted a matter of seconds.
It was just enough time for him to recognise a baby on the screen, before returning to the reception toys which he’d craftily sneaked into the appointment room.
Don’t worry, we just about managed to reclaim the trucks and cars and return them to staff prior to our departure.
No theft took place during the making of this 4D scan.
While there, we were relieved to have it confirmed that we’re still expecting another boy.
The sonograpgher said she’s often had to announce a different gender to what had previously been revealed.
Now, that would have been a real plot twist.