Saturday, 1 August 2009

Building Roads and Driving Trains

Can life get more heavenly if you are male and under 5? All week the road outside our house has been being bulldozed, dug-up, squashed, stones added, flattened, tarmacked and smoothed. Gone are the disintegrating cobbles with their irritating potholes and dustpatches and in its place has appeared is a sleek, smooth road. Enormous machines have been working hard all week to complete their tasks.

We, on the other hand, have not been working hard at all. Instead we grabbed a sandwich and a couple of packs of Smokis and have spent large amounts of time in the afternoons camped out under a tree watching the action. Armed with a Richard Scary book that talks about making a road, we've watched the whole process from start to finish.

By the end of the week not only were we providing most of the workmen with coffees (I tried to give them a decent cup of tea but they were having none of it), but the boys had been invited up onto a few of the machines to have a go. They pressed buttons, they moved the steering wheel. They even got a decent go at the beeping the horn until I couldn't take it any longer. Needless to say, they were thrilled, absolutely eye poppingly, grin until your head might split in two thrilled. The chance to drive a real digger, help build a real road. What a treat.

Now they've finished I've had to come up with some new afternoon activities. So yesterday we shambled down to the train tracks to pick some blackberries and coincided with the arrival of the only train of the afternoon. Within minutes the engine driver had hopped down and the next thing I knew the boys were being shown how to drive the train. There are times that I love the less than strict enforcement of the health and safety laws here which gives little boys a chance to do stuff they could only dream of.

They've now decided that they would like to try being astronauts next so if I could just find where the local space programme is then we could go and have a go next week.


Dan said...

Sounds very cool.

Although I would stay away from operating theaters. There are some things that children probably shouldn't be allowed to "have a go" at.

Adam said...

This is one of the reasons I enjoy living in the Balkans - the much more relaxed attitude towards pretty much everything!

There is, of course, a need for some Health and Safety rules, however, I think the UK has gone H&S mad.

I especially like how you have freedom here to go and explore the fortresses, etc, without being limited too much - it's you who watches out for your own safety!

Mwa said...

Sounds wonderful. That really wouldn't happen over here any more.

My five year old was at the science museum in London looking at space stuff this week and loving it.

Rebel Mother said...

Yeah, I still wish I was five!

Tagged you for a Meme over at mine if your interested.

Love RMxx

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Dan - I don't know, there were quite a few medic students at university who I wouldn't want near an operating theatre!

Adam - very much more relaxed here!

Mwa - space is the new frontier in our household.

RM - me too. Thanks for the Meme x

zooarchaeologist said...

Gosh, Toddler boy would be so jealous, especially with his poorly foot. Perhaps I should contact Hertfordshire Highways...

Willow said...

Oh to be 5 years old again! The thrills!

congrats on POTD nomination.

Brian Miller said...

great big smiles...i have two boys myself and this made me think of all the fun days. they are out of town, so it was good to relish the memories until they get here tomorrow.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

ZA - Toddler boy would have loved it. Who needs Diggerland?

Willow - I agree, when do we lose the ability to be so delighted by such small things?

BM - Got to love boys! Hope they had a great time.

clareybabble said...

What are Smokis???

There's a house in our street being extended and S loves to watch what they're doing. I on the other hand am jealous that they are doubling the size of their house!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I SO agree with you on this. It's what we love about Albania too. Health & safety? What's that? Means we can make our own choices, ecsions abt things etc. Love that Richard scary book too, they're the best! The 'what do people do all day?' is an amazing socio-historical record now! Sorry been out of touch, still in UK with limited internet access etc, but I am reading when I can!