Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Better in theory

My good friend over at Peace, Love & Guacamole recently wrote a post with her list of things that she likes better in theory than in reality and asked for readers' lists.

Here are my few items:

1. Converse All-Stars - I would dearly love to wear a pair of Chuck T's, and there's a pair of apple green ones at Nordstrom that I covet, but they make my already long feet look even longer. I'll have to be content with buying them for my kids (if they let me).

2. Margaritas - I know this heresy to say, especially here in Texas, but margaritas never taste as good as I think they will. The first three sips are ok, but then the drink goes downhill from there.

3. Gardening with my kids - I know, I know, all the parenting "experts" say we're supposed to involve our kids in gardening to teach them about plants and bugs and worms and nature. But really, it never works that way. I had a good reminder of it when we cleaned out the swamp two weeks ago. The big girls were very interested for the first 30 minutes or so, but they quickly lost interest and ran off to play with friends, leaving me to do all the work.

Last week, I let Campbell "help" me with turning two garden beds in the front of the house and with putting in the new plants. Instead of a nice bonding time in the beautiful outdoors, it turned into an exercise in patience on my part.

This is how our morning went.

C: Mommom, what you doing?
Me: I'm turning over the dirt so that I can put new plants in.
C: Why?
M: Because turning the dirt over brings up the nice rich dirt underneath that's good for plants.
C: Mommom, why did you take that plant out?
M: Because it's dead. It's not going to grow any more so I'm making room for new plants.
C: Why did it die?
M: Because all plants die eventually. It's just the way the world works.
C: Oh.

C: Mommom, can I help you dig holes?
M: Yes, here's the shovel. You can dig the next hole right here.
C: But I want to dig it over here.
M: No, that won't work because there's already a plant right there, and they can't be too close to each other.
C: Why?
M: Because they need room to grow and be healthy. Can you please dig the hole right here?
C: No. I want to dig it over there next to that plant.
M: I've already told you, you can't dig there.
(repeat for each plant)

C: Can I pull this plant out? I think it's dead.
M: No, don't pull it out. It's one of the new plants.
C: But I already pulleded it out. I want to plant it over here.
M: Campbell, it's not good to pull the plants back out again. It hurts their roots.
C: It's OK. I putted it back.
(Plant is found stuck in the dirt upside-down)

M: Campbell! Come see the worm I found.
C: It's dirty.
M: Yes. Worms live in the dirt. They even eat dirt. Worms are good for gardens becase they eat dirt.
C: Next time I want a clean one.

C: Look mommom! I filled my shoes with dirt.
M: Campbell, please don't do that. Empty your sneakers out right now.
C: Why?
M: Because I said so.
C: Why?

By the end of the hour outside, I had managed to get most of my plants in, but my nerves were frazzled by my son's zillion questions and "help." I decided to save the rest of the project for the next day when he was at school.

And if I ever get ambitious enough to actually put in a vegetable garden, I'll make sure to do it when the big three are spending the night at their grandmother's house.


Wendi said...

I second you on the Chuck Taylors. I always have to remind myself that I'm 42 and can't pull them off anymore.

Alexandra said...

Yes to the gardening with kids. Sounds better than it works out to be...

Unknown said...

My dad told me the other day he used to give us each a quarter and send us to the convenience store for candy so he could garden in peace. And here I thought he was being a nice daddy...

adrienne breaux said...

Yes about the converse! I want them too but they just don't look right on me at all. I guess I'll just never have cute, petite girl feet. And man, gardening with kids sounds crazy. I'm staying with a dog at a house right now, and the neighbors who have two young kids were outside, and I could overhear what they were saying from time to time, and most of what I could here was "Roman stop eating the flowers. Roman don't eat that plant. Roman get the dirt out of your mouth please!" It was nuts.

Amy said...

I'm sorry; did you somehow end up with my child for your gardening endeavor? Because I remember having those same conversations last week.

I had to laugh. I mean, really: some of the exact same questionquestionquestions.

I try to let mine help me with one, short, discrete task. Like planting a dozen bulbs, or a row of peas. It's better that way all around. Beyond that, gardening is mommy's alone time!

B in Austin said...

"Next time I want a clean one." Priceless.

Joan said...

TOTALLY agree with you about gardening with the kids!

I think the problem with margaritas is the ones in restaurants are usually made with that horrible neon green mix. My husband's recipe is just tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec and apple juice. It's very tasty, goes down easy (sometimes too easy!), and we've decided it qualifies as a FDA serving of fruit!

Marinka said...

I think maybe the second margarita will taste a lot better!