Thursday, 2 May 2013


Aowl came to play on Tuesday. Aowl is my one-year old granddaughter. She's two next month.

This one has named herself. This is very typical. Aowl has a highly developed sense of self - a self she expresses firmly and with great delight.

For the first time this year, it was warm enough to play in the garden.

Jean Piaget, the great 20th century psychologist, who was instrumental in my formation as a grandmother, famously said, 'Play is the work of children.' I feel like going off on one about the neglect of brain-growing, real, physical, and imaginative play, in the experience of the modern child, but I won't, because this is about me and Aowl.

'Water peese granma,' Is the first command, accompanied by the presentation of a large bucket.

We water the ground. Aowl hasn't taken to watering the flowers yet, besides, she has a definite aim in mind. She makes a large puddle, then we have to jump in it. We both squeal with delight, me rather guiltily, as we both get soaked, and I'm old enough to know better.

Fortunately, a one-year old has a fairly short attention span, so we soon move on to playing games that involve throwing ourselves down onto the ground. I taught her 'Ring A Ring A Roses' to bring some structure into this particular activity.

I get away with about a dozen landings, noting, ruefully, that Aowl is up and ready for another round about ten times quicker than I am!

Fortunately, the toy-box beckons. This large, serviceable plastic tub is full of stuff. Soft toys, balls, books, dolls's house, tea set, flashcards, comics, wooden blocks... Over-stuffed with stuff to be truthful.

So I am made tea, regaled with a tinny version of the alphabet song, encouraged to count to ten... ' One, two, five, seven, three TEN!' and presented with a felt-pen to remove the top so that scribbling can be done.

At least I'm sitting down for this session.

Next, a walk. Look, touch, smell ... The wild area has a tiny pond, surrounded by a low wall and a bed of nettles. Aowl avoids them. We check out the robin's nest, and name together all the flowers. We pick daisies.

A lovely afternoon soon passes. I don't know about Aowl, but I certainly slept well that night.

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