Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gardening with a Child

My oldest child is a sponge who soaks up knowledge, and occasional dirty words with amazing ease. Since we have decided to have a garden this year, he has been helping me. Typical afternoon with the 4 year old, starting seeds.

I pour water into the handy little seed starter kit I bought at Home Depot. The child giggles and notes that the "nutrient pellets" look like dog turds. I teach him how deep to poke his finger into the dirt for each type of seed. More giggling at "poking poo poo". The child sticks his finger all the way to the bottom and looks around for approval. Then we fill in that deep hole and try again. Tell the child how many seeds can go in each hole. Wait approximately 5 minutes for him to painstakingly count out 3 teensy little seeds and drop them one by one in the hole, while he tells them how they will grow and grow and give us food, and he might actually eat it. Stop child from dumping the rest of the pack of seeds into the next cell because now he is bored with planting seeds. Child wanders off to play. I plant more seeds.

Later, I need to prep some dirt for transplanting plants. I pour a bag of composted manure and a bag of topsoil together in my garden cart. I begin to mix. My spawn sees a big pile of dirt and comes to assist. Giggles when I tell him I have cow poo poo in the cart. He helps me mix the dirt, then freaks out because he has poo poo on him, just as the baby is waking up and wanting a bottle.

Change and feed the baby. Instruct dirty older child to wash hands. Child comes out of bathroom with muddy hands. Question older child: did you use soap? Child replies: no ma'am. My response: go back into the bathroom, stand on your stool. wash your hands and arms all the way up to your elbow and use soap. Child runs to bathroom. Splashing sounds resume. Child comes out of the bathroom with forearms and hands dripping bubbles. My response: go rinse your hands and arms and dry them off. Child complies. All acts of the child take place with him talking non-stop, asking at least 3 questions a minute. I do not finish planting seeds. I also do not really care. I will get to plant more seeds with him "on the next day".


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