Earlier this evening, I made (another) necklace. Soren did, too. He loves necklaces and beads and I always start out telling him not to touch anything, but after a while I figure why not. (I should skip the “don’t touch nothin’”1 phase altogether, because what’s the point and it makes him (rightly) believe I’ll give in if he’s persistent.) I had no idea he could put a bunch of beads on a string, but he can.
My necklace was inspired by these little berries (we refer to them as “tree things,” because “berries” are something you eat and we don’t want anyone getting any ideas about eating things that grow in the yard and aren’t food, although even that has to be confusing because we grow food to eat in the yard, too) Soren picks from a bush in the yard. I’m not sure about it, but I’ll post a picture soon.
Our garden is a little behind schedule, if gardens have schedules. Nothing we started from seeds indoors worked (I’m never doing this again — from now on, we’re either getting plants or directly sowing seeds in the ground; you never get anywhere starting seeds indoors when you have 100 cats). We have some peppers that are close to ready, one yellow squash (sadly, the zucchini plant we bought isn’t a zucchini plant at all — we’re not sure what it is, maybe acorn squash), and the occasional cherry tomato (although I’m not really a tomato person, I love leetle tomatoes named for fruit: cherry, pear, grape). The non-problem problem is that Soren also loves leetle tomatoes named for fruit.
We’re working on educating him that it’s never, ever a good idea to pick baby green tomatoes before they’re ready. He tried this a few times. Despite being told they’re not ready, he’d pluck a baby green tomato from the plant, look at it, and then pop it into his mouth, where it would stay for a while before reappearing and being tossed into the garden. Now he presses his nose against the figurative window of the garden, waiting for the tomatoes to be ready. Every day, he goes out to see if any “matoes” are ready. If they’re “kinda orange,” he says “Matoes ready?!” No, not yet. They have to be red. The other day there were two red cherry tomatoes on the plant, right next to each other. “Matoes ready!!” They sure might be, but you have to wait for daddy. (Ben is more of a tomato person than I am.) The second Ben got home it was all “Matoes ready! Matoes ready!” Later, Ben picked the two tomatoes and they cheersed and ate them.
I suspected gardens teach kids good things, and I guess for once I was right. Responsibility (Soren helps water and is learning “good plant/bad plant,” which is a precursor to effective weeding), patience (oh man that’s a hard one with toddlers), and an appreciation for fresh produce. It’s kind of cool.
1. Without fail, “Don’t touch nothin’” makes me think of one of the greatest songs of all time. As does “You a cutie still,” which comes up in life more than you’d think. I’m songy lately, aren’t I?