yesterday...one of those just old enough to be in need of earnest entertainment while the adults talk.
Granny and I stayed inside with the young man while the old men disappeared to the shed to find timber to mend something. The shed is not safe for small visitors.
All she had for him to play with was the bunch of car and house keys. He was bored with the keys. Five or six months ago they might have been enough but now he wants more.
"He's got something in the car but it's broken - some horrible plastic thing."
"Hold on, I'll get the blocks. He can play with those."
"Yes. He will like those."
I brought out the large box of wooden blocks that we keep for just such occasions and opened it. I took out the archway block and put it on the table and we drove the keys through as if they were a car.
A few minutes later he was on the floor. There were blocks on the floor too, all over the floor. He was pushing them around, piling one on another and pushing it off again. He was standing them upright and pushing them over. He was pushing the pillars through the archway and making noises to himself.
Blocks were banged together and banged against the box. They climbed the chair his grandmother was sitting on.
He was perfectly content for nearly half an hour. I made tea for the adults. He was not interested in milk or a biscuit. He was busy.
His grandfather, a good carpenter, was watching by then.
"All it takes is a bit of wood," he said."
I was surprised he had not thought of it before. My father has made many sets. We had a set. All his grandchildren had a set - and now his great-grandchildren. The blocks are castles, houses, garages, princesses, dragons, fire engines, a garden, the beach, a cricket game, a boat and a plane - complete with passengers.
Yes, all it takes is a bit of wood. All children should have a bit of wood.