Today was a perfect spring day in April. Sunny, breezy, in the 50's. Especially nice after the downpour we had this past weekend.
E has been looking forward to gardening all winter, so I decided that during the babies' morning nap we would go outside and get a start on cleaning up the flower beds in preparation for planting. I got all the tools ready-- shears, spade, trash bag, bubbles, and toy car (the kind the kids can ride in). Then I brought the kids out. For the first ten minutes, as I hacked away at the old iris stalks and ivy that was covering my front garden bed, E and Peter happily(?) took turns riding the car up and down the sidewalk. Although, when it was Peter's turn, he couldn't quite get the hang of propelling himself forward, so E pushed him until a crack in the sidewalk stopped them, and then she left him to his own devices to come "help" me. Peter sat in the car beeping the little horn saying "Turn this way, turn that way, turn this way...". Meanwhile I had moved on to digging out the rocks that border the garden and relaying them. E put on her gloves and started to dig with me. She was entranced with the worms and dug around in the soft dirt to find them. " Look at this one Mommy- he's fat, is he?... Aww, here's a baby...There's a other one, and a other one... Wow there are a lot of worms!!" We also turned over a rock that was covering up a salamander, disturbing his winter hibernation. We made sure we buried it in a safe corner "Mommy, that sawaman said,'Where did my rock go?'. But now he's sweeping again, right?"
It was about now that our peaceful, happy morning turned a corner. Ellie then took a break from digging to go over to Peter who had discovered the bubbles. "Moommy!"
" I want to blow bubbles too"
"There are two wands, a blue one and a red one. Get the red one and use it."
30 seconds later...
"No, Peter, No. You are spilling it!"
Peter, was indeed, indadvertantly dumping all the bubbles onto the sidewalk as he blew the bubbles. So I took the bottle from him and let E hold it.
30 seconds later...
"Peter you blow the bubbles and I'll pop them." Bubble bottle was again given back to Peter.
30 seconds later...
"There aren't any bubbles left! Peter spilled them all!"
"Oh well, that's too bad. There are more in the house for next time."
By this time I was pretty much done with the border. E helped me replace the last rocks and we moved up to the back yard where I started seeding and fertilizing the grass. E and Peter played with a tennis ball they found, although this quickly deteriorated as well. "Peter, stand over there. Over there! Now throw the ball back to me! Peter, throw the ball! Mommy, Peter isn't sharing the ball" I told her that they had to work it out, and that she couldn't be too bossy. The next thing I knew, E had disappeared. Peter and I went to search for her.
"E, where are you?" Silence."E, you need to answer Mommy when I call."
"I'm over here" We found her on the side of the house clutching the ball to herself. When she saw Peter she said, "NOO! I want to be by myself, and play by myself". I decided to leave her alone, and gave Peter something else to do, "Come on, you can help me sweep". Of course E heard that and came back around the side. The next thing I heard was crying on the porch steps.
"Mommy, I don't want to play with the ball anymore. I want to help sweep! I put the ball on the porch. I don't want it." I explained that right now Peter has the broom, she can have a turn when he is done. She was still unhappy, but fortunately, for her, Peter soon abandoned the broom and E ran to pick it up. The next couple of minutes were spent sweeping up, and although I would have liked to clean out some more beds, it was clear that the children were hungry and irritible (or at least E), and the babies were due to wake up any minute. So I cleaned up all the supplies and we headed indoors to lunch and t.v. Thus ended our first spring day in the garden.