It is nothing shy of a miracle that any plants are growing at all.
October 13, 2010

Wow, so somebody probably should have warned me that there is a huge, gigantic, enormous, whopping problem with gardening with a toddler.  Namely: GARDENING WITH A TODDLER.


With the onions she keeps trying to pull up prematurely.

A couple weeks ago, I decided that it was high time we began planting the vegetable garden.  Donald and I had agreed to wait until he installed the sprinklers and raked out some rows, but, well, how to put this…I just couldn’t wait.  You know how some people can’t wait for the weekend?  And other people can’t wait for the winter holidays?  And a few deranged people can’t wait until men in tights run around a field and call it the Superbowl?

It was like that.  A powerful all-consuming itch.

And unlike the Superbowl, I actually had the power to rearrange our planting schedule entirely.  So one morning, I got up and started soaking spinach seeds and told Charlotte that today was the today.  Today was the day we were going to plant a garden.

So I put my kid in her rubber boots and went to work.

In retrospect, I probably should have known that it would not – COULD NOT – be as simple as shoving a few seeds in holes.  Toddlers are, in my experience, pint-size tyrannical poop-flingers.  Literally: poop-flingers.  Sometimes a certain toddler in my life, and I’m not naming names because that might be embarrassing, actually reaches into their diaper and pulls out their poop and presents it to me.  Like a gift.  And if I’m not quick enough on the uptake, if I hesitate for even a moment to say EWWWW!, said toddler might actually flop said poop onto the ground in disgust.  So toddlers are poop-flingers.

And nobody should ever expect anything to go smoothly when in the presence of a poop-flinger.  That’s just a fact of life.

So we went to work planting seeds, and pretty much what happened is this: every time that I stuck a seed in the ground, my kid followed behind my back and dug up the seeds and then applauded herself when she handed the fruits of my labor to me.  Like: geez, Momma, you keep dropping these little buggers in the earth.  Good thing you have me around to pick them up for you.

Yeah, poop-flinger.  GOOD THING.


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  1. By on October 13, 2010

    I was wondering how you were going to get this all done. I just plant stuff when Daddy is around to distract my Charlotte.

    We’re at harvest time in my neck of the woods, and that goes OK. I hand her a red pepper or an onion and she’s happy to carry those around. She also likes when I pick stuff and hand it to her to put in the bag. But she also wants to help me pick tomatoes! Green ones! Why wait for them to get ripe??

    We also notice that she likes to help pick weeds, which is OK when you’re weeding around bushes, but not so OK when you’re weeding around, you know, spinach seedlings.

    To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a weed-picking toddler, everything looks like a weed.

  2. By erin on October 13, 2010

    Hah!  I am so glad it isn’t just me who has an annoying, I mean HELPER, toddler.  Hannah seems to think my tomato plant is just a giant bush of BALLS!  BALL!  MAMA!  BALL!  She plucks the green ones off the plant and brings them to me.  It’s a wonder I have any tomatoes at all.

    (The cutest part of it is, I told her that the tomato plant is NO-NO, because I don’t want her accidentally eating the leaves either.  So now, she brings me the small hard green tomatoes, frowns, and says, “No-no!  No-no!“)

  3. By christy on October 13, 2010

    omg i cant wait to garden with a toddler next summer! LOVE THIS POST!!

  4. By Tracy Roberts on October 13, 2010

    just be glad she wasnt like me as toddler, I took it out of the diaper and…............ ATE IT!

  5. By on October 13, 2010

    At least she is cute in those rubber boots!  I can’t find another upside at the moment, but hey!  Being cute is a pretty good upside, right?

  6. By Sarah Christensen on October 13, 2010

    Tracy - THAT IS SO GROSS!!!  EWW!!!

  7. By on October 13, 2010

    Hahaha! When our garden was producing strawberries and raspberries, Jude would pluck them off before they were ripe. I kept trying to convince him that they would taste sooo much better if he just waited a few more days… But no.

  8. By Bethany on October 14, 2010

    the boots just kill me!


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