Precious moments in the garden

Here’s a little snapshot of the time I spent “working in the garden with the children” this morning:

First, to get to the garden at all, four pairs of pants, four shirts, eight socks, four coats, and eight boots have to be found and put on small squirming bodies. By the time I’m on the third kid, I’m grabbing daddy socks and pulling them up to their waists. Any sock will do. Finally, they’re all outside. Mission [gasp] accomplished.

“Ma’m, your energy supply has just experienced near total depletion.”

Yes, thank you, Jarvis.

Outside, I walk through the puppy gauntlet of drool, excited jumping, sharp nipping teeth, dog cables being wound around my legs, gushy landmines, etc. Why did we get two giant puppies??Why??

The kids are actually playing happily on the unidentified farm machine next to the garden, so I enter in peace and get the clippers out of the shed. I will now prune the raspberry bushes.

As soon as I reach the bushes the children notice that I have the coveted clippers. They begin scaling the 6-foot-tall fences en masse, already clamoring to have a turn clipping something. Anything.

I want to clip! Can I clip, Mom?

No, me! I was here first!

I asked first!! Mom, I asked first, right??

Sorry, kids, as you can see I’m doing some actual work and I need both sets of clippers to do the job. Why don’t you grab a rake or shovel instead? Better yet, you can be of real help and haul these spent canes to the burn pile.

That’s boring!

Well, eating fresh raspberries isn’t boring, and this is what it takes to get them.

One child grabs a twig and throws it toward the pile.

I helped, Mom, can I clip now??

How about a few more… Hey, other child, get out of the new raspberry shoots! If we stomp them they’ll die!

Smallest Child begins to yell because she’s stuck trying to climb over the fence. I rescue her and let her into the muddy garden. I have flashforwards of the mess I’m in for when we go inside.

[Clip, clip]

Mom, can I clip now with the big clippers?

No, I want to clip! I said first!

No, me!!

Let me get some of these big ones cut and then you guys can take turns with the big pair, ok? Patienc…

Now?? Can I do it now??

What about me?

Mom, I want the clippers!

Is it my turn yet?
Is it my turn yet?
Is it my turn yet?
Is it my turn yet?

[clip, clip] [groan]

Ew, Mom, there’s poop on my sleeve!

What? Yes, so there is. Wipe it in the grass over there, ok? Who let the dog into the garden?? Get him out, please!

[dog tramples through tender raspberry shoots]

I shoo the dog toward the gate. He senses that he’s about to be kicked out of Disneyland and runs the other way. The next time, I grab his collar. He falls on the ground and goes limp. He is too big to drag so I have to act nice and say high-pitched things to entice him to the opening. I am glad he doesn’t know English words.

I glance back and notice the two youngest have turned on the garden spigot and are soaking everything in a five-foot radius. The boy is filling up his sister’s mittens for her.

Turn that off!

They don’t even look at me, so I have to power-walk over there and deal with the wetness and the disobedience. I’m sure I look very menacing with sharp clippers in my hand. I don’t stab anyone, but I am not the soul of patience either.

I get the water off and deliver a lecture about never turning the hoses on without asking Mom first. Ever. Ever. Never.

Mom, I peed in my pants!

Yes, so you did.

Is it my turn to have the clippers yet??

I’m using them.

Oh wait, no I’m not. I’m dealing with trampling dogs, disobedient little ones, hose spray and pee.

Fine. Take turns with the big ones. But don’t cut anywhere near the green raspberry shoots.

I said don’t cut the green raspberry shoots! Please! Mommy needs you to go cut those weeds way over there in the opposite corner. Way, way over there.

[Clip, clip]

The dog crashes excitedly into the back of me, knocking me into the spiky raspberry canes. He got back into Disneyland!!

Who opened the gate again?!?

I give up! We’re going inside! Everyone, get out of the garden! Now!!

But I haven’t had a turn with the clippers yet!!

[children begin weeping and yelling]

We all head back to the house, defeated, where many boots (and jackets and jeans) caked with mud and poop are taken off and piled high.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Precious moments in the garden

  1. Hilary

    What, no photos to document these precious moments? Sorry (ducking and running…) Is it possible to say, “I’m so sorry” and laugh uproariously at the same time? Are these the same children who will rise up and call you blessed someday? Proverbs 31 never said anything about poop…

  2. Tavia

    On Marsha, thank you so much for this!! Sometimes that seems like my whole life, but it’s a lot funnier coming from you 😉 I’m sure the raspberries will be well worth it!! As will the children, when they are grown, and can clean themselves. And do the clipping for you.

  3. tami

    This is the perfect picture of what a mom’s day looks like over and overt again, many times through the day. Thank you for sharing the challenges of being a mom. Your a good mom Marsha!!!

  4. katie

    hahaha, way too familiar, and the very reason my garden has been abandoned the last 2 years. Except trade the dog poo for chicken poo. I always feel like I must “train” through these scenarios so that someday the kids know how to garden…and then I give up and whimper a bit….

  5. Anna

    Yes, reminiscent of many things I have tried to do. Trying to “get something done” with small children “helping” is like trying to juggle with both hands tied behind your back and your feet tied together.

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