I Need a Hero?

Do I really need a hero? It is a question I’ve found myself asking quite a lot recently. I blame Thomas the Tank Engine. Let me explain.

T is prone to obsession. I’m well aware that he gets that from me but it is bloody annoying. It means that only his current favourite will do and it drives me to distraction. I end up searching the house endlessly when he has absentmindedly put this month’s pride and joy down somewhere random and lost it.

imageRight now, all he wants is his Hiro. Hiro is one of the Thomas the Tank trains but you’d be forgiven for not knowing who the hell he is, even if you have had a small boy at some point in recent years. He is one of the pretty obscure ones. He is a dull and unassuming black and, as far as I can tell, there is nothing particularly special about him. I’ve never seen him in a single TV episode, or noticed him featuring in any of the books. Hiro is clearly an also ran, no matter which way you cut it.

But in this house, he is an idol. He is adored and carried everywhere. He is stared at lovingly and pushed gently back and forth in bed, as T drifts off to sleep. T has very little time for other kids his own age so Hiro is basically the boy’s best friend.

The weird thing about Hiro is that I have literally no idea where he came from. He just appeared one day in the train box, smiling his enigmatic smile. He isn’t a toy we’ve bought or been given and he is a different type of train to the ones that fit our track, so he is a total misfit. I’m guessing a friend’s kid left him here at a play date or he was mistakenly sent home from nursery in T’s bag. However he got here, he was welcomed with open arms and, now that he is flavour of the month, he is going nowhere anytime soon.

I think the love affair started because Hiro has an on switch and could chug along on his own, at least until T decided to put him in the bath that is. He doesn’t chug anywhere now, natch, but the obsession had already taken hold and T doesn’t seem to care. Hiro is still deeply loved.

Hiro gets lost roughly 25 times a day. He is usually stuffed down behind a cushion or under a sofa and only takes a short while to find but, until he turns up, T bombs around the house yelling “I need Hiro! I need Hiro!” He doesn’t go on to say that he’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight, sadly. But my brain does. I’ve had bloody Bonnie Tyler as an ear worm for weeks now.

imageAll this yelling for Hiro (and Bonnie’s endless wailing inside my head) has got me pondering the vast quantity of heroes in our house. It is literally stuffed full of them. We have a superhero box packed with the buggers. It contains approximately 8 Spidermen alone, H having been very into Spidey a few years ago. One of them is large and makes little Spidey quips and web noises every time someone so much as breaths on the box. It can be a little unnerving, hearing the web-slinger chatting to himself from a darkened playroom at midnight.

And then there is Superman. Now, he is a tad too big for the box. My husband ordered a Superman for H a few years ago, around the time that Man of Steel came out. I’m pretty sure that T was after a little one that he could hold in his grubby little mitt but my husband made the classic mistake with online ordering and didn’t check the dimensions.

Well, Superman arrived and he was literally bigger than the youngest two kids. I’m not joking. The Man of Steel was over 3 feet high. Utterly useless for playing with basically and only good for tripping over with alarming regularity. H was delighted. I was a bit less so.

This was around two and a half years ago and I’ve been unable to palm old Superman off on anyone yet. Which is odd. I mean, who doesn’t want a weird half-life-size Henry Cavill in full hero garb, right? He is literally never played with but when I recently floated the idea of sending him off to a charity shop, both the older two had a fit. So, here he stays, in our too small house, taking up precious space and not even saving anyone or using his laser vision or anything. Twat.

So, what with all this yelling of “I need Hiro” from T and all these hordes of superheroes in my house, to be tripped over and trodden on painfully, I find that I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need a hero really. No matter how much Bonnie wails about it in my head, I think we are pretty much sorted for heroes/hiros in this house.

In fact, if Bonnie is still as keen on heroes as she was back in the 80s, she is welcome to pop over and take a few home with her. I wonder if she fancies adopting a midget Superman while she is here…..



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