Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gardening 101

I've been trying to grow tomatos and an herb garden. So far it is going well. I'm also trying to landscape after the removal of our rotting red deck. To do so, I have all sorts of good garden tools, a shovel, gloves and a garden hose. I've been moving dirt, plucking weeds and smoothing surfaces over old post holes. Gardening and landscaping are great hobbies, and best of all you can do them with two small children in attendance and helping. There are just a couple simple rules one must follow.

Rule #1: Do not try and get your two year old to help you use fertilizer sticks. She will invariably eat them, or lick her fingers. This is bad. fertilizer is not made to be eaten.

Rule #2: Plant twice as many of any plant as you want to harvest. My daughter eats my tomatos. She does not, however wait for them to either ripen or make their way in the house. She just plucks them green and pops them into her mouth.

Rule #3: Do not disturb a wasps nest while the two year old is outside and the baby is in the sling on your chest. If you do manage to do so, be wearing shoes, and remember you can run holding two children. I have cuts on my feet from grass and rocks, but in true Mother form, neither child was stung.

Rule #4: Deer, rabbits and small children do not respect your desire to see any plant live to adult hood. Either build a fence or just give up now.

Rule #5: Do not leave the garden hose screwed into the tap. Let me explain. Yesterday, whilst merrily digging away, my back turned to the yard as i worked on the house border, I was the recipient of a scream inducing freezing cold jet of water all over my back. In my infinite stupidity, I assumed the two year old did not know how to turn a garden tap, spray the hose nozzle, and was not brave enough to reach under the thorny rose branches to turn on the water.

Evidently, she understands how to operate a garden hose, tap, nozzle, and to do all of it without Mom seeing her. She also is not afraid of thorny bushes.

The greatest part about being soaking wet, is you don't mind getting splashed when you throw the too smart, too sneaky little stinker in the pool.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Three Great Achievements.

Cora accomplished three things worth bragging about yesterday. First, she managed to figure out how to get on, pee in and dismount the big girl potty without her potty seat or Moms help. Combined with her ability to hold it in and pee in the potty, I'm almost completely done with stage one of potty training.

Second, she finally discovered how to undo the child safety locks on the TV stand. Putzing around on a chair, her inquisitive little fingers pushed and it popped. Once a child learns that, how do you keep them out of the cleaning supplies and DVD's? I'm thinking fear of Mom and threats to the Blanky.

Third, she learned that by looking excessively culpable and proud of herself at the same time she could avoid Mom throwing a fit about her second accomplishment. Seeing your child say, without words, I'm guilty as all get out, but I finally figured it out is rather amusing.

I laughed. The fear of Mom doesn't work. I'm so screwed.

Daddys Birthday

I took the two children to the store this last week to get birthday presents for their father. Nyobi slept through the entire episode. Cora was an active shopper though. First she wanted to get her daddy a beautiful neon blue swimsuit. Unfortunately it was a womans swimsuit in a size four. I think that one of our aunts is a size four.

We put it back.

Then she wanted to get him a cute outfit that would fit her Aunt Chelsea who is eleven. I explained to her that daddy didn't like cute skirts. She said "For me, Mommy." I explained that it was time to think of daddy, not her, and that the outfit wouldn't fit her.

We put it back.

She then chose the most entertaining item she could find; a pool noodle. As she put it in the cart I had images of smashed picture frames, glasses and knocked over food. My tomato plants were suddenly flattened. I put the noodle back and went to the food section of the store.

Cora found the juice that daddy and she both like. She found the snack cakes that she and daddy both like, and she topped it off with some balloons. "Daddy likes." she told me. Tossing them into the cart. "For daddy."

That would be why she took one out of the pack before she wrapped them up. Perhaps Cora is wiser than I am when it comes to birthday shopping. The best gifts are ones you can enjoy together.

Either that or she learned I left things in the cart if she said "For Daddy" rather than "I want". I wouldn't put it past her to make that distinction.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The non-body fluid dangers of potty training.

I put the two year old on the potty. She peed. I showered her with impressed praise.

I put the two year old on the potty again. She peed again. She returned to the living room with panties and shorts. They were still dry. I was very proud of her, and my voice, filled with praise soared. "Good job! Way to go girl! I'm so happy for you!"

Coras face glowed. She bounced. We clapped for her. She turned to Dad. He mustered up a bit of praise himself, and topped it off with a sweaty hug. Potty training involves the repetition of this cycle and an Atlas like effort NOT to be disappointed or upset at the little oopses along the way.

"Did you mow just the front?" I asked my husband. He was outside only through one potty cycle, and it did not seem like a lot of time passed.

"No the whole yard." he said.

Preprogrammed, my mouth burst fourth with the loving adoration only a parent desperate to rid themselves of one set of diapers can muster. "Good Job! Oh, I'm SOOOO happy..."

Cora recognizing the sounds began clapping for her Dad. He turned his head slowly from her to me. "You're weird." he said.

I've just stumbled upon one of the dangers of potty training. My mouth thinks its a cheerleader squad for the world. I will be worried when it starts using pompoms.