Dot writes: a snapshot of a lovely session playing with my boys in the garden, illustrating what makes them happy at one year and nearly three:

Hugh was playing looking for treasure. He had a plastic telescope and a piece of a plastic with a sucker on (from his steering-wheel toy) that he pretended was a metal detector. I had to follow him round the garden holding a small green spade while he searched for the treasure. We pretended that the rocker was a boat, on which we were sailing to Pirate Island, and that Frank was the frightening Frankie-monster. This meant Frank could join in the game, because while he couldn’t understand the treasure part he is always up for a spot of grabbing and giggling. After a bit, however, Frank got the spade off me and wandered off with it. He toddled purposefully to the passage at the side of the house, stretched up to the big old black bin that lives there, and plopped the spade inside. I looked in, and there were all the other spades and rakes from the sandpit and also the big brewer’s spoon that went missing a couple of days ago, all sitting in three inches of dirty rainwater. Frank had been making his own little stash of treasure. Presumably he was planning to grow a bit taller so he could one day get it out again.


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