We played a fabulous game today, Mtoto and me. All we needed was a sandpit and our imagination.
Following on from yesterday’s good day, this was another one. Different, but special too. We were up early doors and we played garage and telescopes (poster tubes) until it was time to go out for our playdate. Contrary to the impression I’ve given so far, this was set up with a female friend and her son. She had invited along another female friend with another son. The three boys have about 6 months between them and will be in the same school year. They played well together and at times, I dare say, they really played together rather than just along side each other, as Mtoto tends to do at present. We stayed there for about 3 hours, including lunch together and lots of Duplo train set, cars, books and the like.
The park we found the sandpit in, Place de jeux du parc des Franchises, was a new one on us. We found little for toddlers, just some swings and a sandpit, but boy, what a sandpit. It’s big, with two tables in and it merges with the grass banks. As there was just Mtoto and me, it was a lot of space to play in.
We started as we often do, playing with our sand cups and making mini-castles. We both built them, but Mtoto enjoys knocking them down more. Eventually he tired of this game and asked me to build a boat. I suggested a train instead and he agreed. After marking out an engine and two cars, we were away. To the casual observer, our train looks nothing like a train but with a little imagination you can see the edges, the seats and the funnel. Instead of the usual steering wheel that we use for a boat we had levers. We went on several journeys and then Mtoto asked for a bus. In the summer we mostly made boats, plus the occasional plane or car but this project grew and grew.
Within about three quarters of an hour as well as the train we had a bus, a helicopter, a Mouette (a Genevois public transport boat), a helicopter and a postman’s bike with post-filled trailer. We also had two ticket offices and a post office. Mtoto went to buy tickets and I was the ticket vendor, selling tickets (leaves, sticks and pine cones) that Mtoto asked for. As well as tickets for Geneva, London and Annecy, he also bought yes/no tickets, yes/yes tickets and a travel pass. At the post office he bought stamps. I was the vendor there too. At the post office he picked up a ticket (number 8), so he could be called to the kiosk when it was his turn. Thankfully I was serving customer number 6 when he arrived, so he didn’t have long to wait.
The imagination play was brilliant. Mtoto also drove most of the vehicles that he had tickets for and the journey only took a few seconds. I sat where requested, which included next to him, in another car, or at his favourite bus seat, across from the driver at the front. I also had the honour or driving the bus (the number 8 again) and the train. We were in the park for almost 2 hours before I called on Quiet Time and despite mild initial protests he was asleep in just a few minutes, no doubt dreaming of public transport adventures.
I walked to the playdate and back again, enjoying it without logging time or distance. It was at least 4 miles for the round trip, probably a bit longer.
I saw another wren today, this time in Parc des Delices, plus plenty of cormorants, swans, goosander, coots and pochard down by the lake but nothing new.
We found a painful bus stop in Geneva today.
On the way home I stopped off at Rue de St-Jean to take in the views. The apartments there are built on a hill and offer super views over Geneva.