As Mtoto gets older, he’s developing his capacity to play games. He struggles to get to grips with card and board games but he’s developing some ability to play physical games, such as throwing or kicking a ball and best of all, Hide and Seek.
I stayed at home this morning to work on a voluntary project while Mtoto and L went off to the Ludotheque (toy library). After lunch we set off together to Parc Stagni in Chene Bougeries. Parc Stagni is a beautiful and tranquil place, set away from the main road and 12 tram route. There are many evergreen trees, which provide a pleasant backdrop for the deciduous trees whose leaves change colour and fall in autumn. This was our first visit for a couple of months and after the heavy rainfall we were the only users of the park this afternoon. The park is home to one of Geneva’s disc golf courses, with five large baskets dotted around the park providing capacity for a 12-hole course. I used to play disc golf many years ago but gave up after realising that I really hated the sport. It was amusing to find a course here but I was glad that no one was playing today!
After Mtoto had tried out every single one of the apparatus in the park, we played Hide and Seek among the trees. Mtoto is in a very enjoyable stage of playing Hide and Seek where he cannot contain his excitement when we play. “Pappa, I’m hiding in the tree cave” he shouts at the top of his voice as I come to look for him. He shrieks with laughter and joy and comes to hug me when I announce that I have found him. Another time, I tried to hide him while L was looking for us. I told him to be quiet but the joy was too great and he let out an incredible whoop of excitement as L came to look for us. When it’s Mtoto’s turn to look for us he watches as we hide and he counts to five out loud, then shouts as loud as he can: “Ready or not, here I come”. And he comes running over. It’s impossible not to smile and enjoy his approach. When we play Hide and Seek at home we tend to play across two bedrooms and the bathroom. Mtoto always shouts out which room he’s in when he’s hiding. I have tried to deceive him by hiding under the bedcovers and when he calls “Pappa, where are you?” I answer “I’m hiding in the cupboard”. But I can’t keep up the pretense as I can’t stop laughing. Hide and Seek with a toddler is a lot of fun!
After finishing with Hide and Seek we were off to engage with some of the public art in the park. There’s a lot of art on display in Geneva and this park is no exception. Mtoto loved hugging the statue of a cat and playing peekabo games with L in a sliced up rock. He also found a large stick in it, much to his delight, though he made sure to return it before we left the park. Finally we were off to another park down the hill, where Mtoto rode down the big slide on the hill several times and I had an enjoyable time watching birds.
Walking between the two parks I saw my first Green Woodpecker and Song Thrush of the year, my 52nd and 53rd birds of 2015. But the real highlights were to come back in Parc Stagni while we were walking Mtoto for his Quiet Time. First of all we had the pleasure of watching a Kingfisher for a couple of minutes at the tiny marsh and pond area in the park.
Then a moment after it had gone, a Hawfinch dropped by.
Today I dropped out of my marathon training schedule for the first time. Yesterday my knees were feeling a little tender and I don’t want to risk aggravating them. I did some stretches instead and enjoyed the walks around and between the parks.