Little gosling has had a love story with construction sites around our home since the beginning of lockdown, back in March. For many weeks, we religiously observed all that was happening and the progress made on our daily walks. This could take up to an hour and sometimes, more. Oftentimes, our walks were prompted exactly by his desire to see one thing or another on the construction site. Mostly, it was the excavator (the “efekelu”, as he calls it) :)))). Thus kept us quite busy during lockdown. Out of three, we’re now down to only one active construction site.
Just around the corner from our place and right in front of our local supermarket, there were works to widen and replace parts of the sidewalk. An excavator was busy there for many days. Little gosling impatiently ran towards the site and could spend more than an hour watching the excavator move around and the workers replacing the stones and all the action. He was fascinated by the different scoops the excavator changed throughout the day; they all lied around the road. Although we kept a safe distance, when the excavator started moving, little gosling would hide behind me or pull me away saying “bebe scared” or asking “pick up bebe”. It was so comforting knowing he felt safe in my arms… I kept reassuring him ew were safe at that distance and he was safe in mommy’s arms and explained the importance of not going too close. Sometimes a blue dump truck would come by to drop more equipment and material and load debris. And we’d watch and watch the excavator unload and load again. Aaaand, once we were lucky enough to even catch the cement mixer (“cemen mixter”) on the site. Little gosling was soo so so excited :)))). Weeks after the works concluded, he still talked about the excavator and cement mixer adn was looking around, hoping to catch a glimpse of them.
Further down the road, on another construction site which saw little action during lockdown, he saw his first crane truck. It had come to pick up the two big green containers that housed the staff offices. We spent 45 minutes watching it in action, hooking, loading and securing the two containers on the huge platform of a big truck. He was so excited to go back home to daddy and tell him what he had seen (“crane truck pick up g(r)een containe(r)s loaded t(r)uck!). That was three months ago and we still talk about it!
Finally, there were works ongoing to recondition the tracks, alleys and green space in one of our favourite parks. There was a big excavator and a small one on the site. We only saw them resting as we went to the park after working hours and that was always a source of disappointment. He spent a long time clinging to the fence around the excavators observing them and talking about them. He didn’t want to lose sight of them, so we always stayed close to them in the park. And we always made sure to say “goodbye excavator” when leaving the park.
All this led to a resurgence of his interest for “Goodnight, goodnight construction site”. That is one book that always features on our core reading list. We also read “Little excavator” and spent an enormous amount of time with the building site page in one of our search and find books. Sometimes, we did them all at once: little gosling showing me the rigs in the search and find books (by now, he knows all the little details) and mommy reading “Goodnight, goodnight construction site”.
His grandparents (construction engineers) were more than happy to indulge his passion with a toy excavator (sent all the way from Romania to Belgium during lockdown), all complete with a screwdriver (“șubeliță” from the Romanian “șurubelniță”) to dismantle and put it back together. He was thrilled! He takes it to the park and the sand pit and he is the only one who can play with it or touch it. There is no sharing the excavator, although he can agree to share the dump truck. Grannies were so convinced by the success of the excavator that they had the rest of the rigs sent over: dump truck, steam roller, cement mixer and bulldozer :P.
I wonder how this fascination will further develop… He plays with crane trucks and dump trucks at school and excitedly tells us about it. We’re always on the lookout for cement mixers on the street aaaand on our first trip to the beach this summer, the excavator joined us :). Of course!