We celebrated Jamie's birthday (a bit late) in Waltham over the weekend. Dad bought him a wooden truck loaded with removable logs for a birthday present, got inspired to build him a crane to go with it, and built it. The crane has a control that lifts and lowers the boom, as well as a separate control that raises and lowers the hook. They were a little hard for Jamie to manipulate, though, so he just used his hands as controls. Worked out fine.
Jamie opened the present and crowed, "I love cranes!" For the rest of the visit, he played with almost nothing but the crane, the logs (which Dad had helpfully fitted with cup hooks so the crane could lift them) the logging truck and various dump trucks, loaders and other important accessories -- such as his wind-up bath toy frog, for whom we built a number of frog houses made of logs hauled into place with the crane.
(I had to sneak in this shot of Hobbes looking gorgeous and meditative, backlit by the rare winter sun.)
Jamie does still play with trains, too, naturally. It turns out that figuring out how to lay out train tracks that fit together right is oddly engrossing. Dad and I both spent quite a bit of time fussing with the tracks, placing the bridges and tunnels and trying to get the curves to fall into place just right. You can never get it quite perfect, though you could, doggone it, if only you had just ONE MORE straight piece . . .
Oh yes, and by the way, there's a lot of snow in Waltham.
Jamie seems to be discovering imaginary friends. At one point he brought me his soft blue blankie and told that the blankie is his friend -- his very very nice friend whose name is James Patrick MaGude (phonetic spelling on that last name.) James Patrick MaGude, according to Jamie, is mostly a baby except that he has a very big belly. His head is small, but his ears and nose are big. His only friend is Jamie. He has feet and toes, just like Jamie, he likes to do many of the same things that Jamie does, and he likes to eat strawberries and cottage cheese. However, he only plays with baby toys, such as baby trucks and baby cars. Aren't you glad you've been introduced?
Dad introduced Jamie to "Fly away, Jack! Fly away, Jill!" Jamie was transfixed, and certain he could figure out where Jack and Jill had gone, if only he looked in the right place.
It was a good visit.