For starters, those of you who wonder how I ever find time to read should have seen me this morning when I was trying to quickly finish my book before facing the laundry and the 250 feet of peas in the garden. That is how it happens, my dear Rhonda, that an 800 page book eventually gets read.
Anyhow, I was feeling guilty as I scurried into the laundry room to sort out the hampers that Alex had carried down for me. As I turned the corner, I stubbed my toe horribly and yelped with irritation. A close inspection revealed a neatly constructed trip wire running from the edge of the dryer into the boys’ bedroom. Booby traps of all varieties are my little boy’s faulty idea of fun practical jokes lately. Maybe it was the sight of my bleeding, torn toenail, or just maybe it had something to do with the look on my face, but Gregory was instantly penitent. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, Mama.” Of course not, but if you ever do that again, son, you will face some very loud music. I stewed and simmered a bit while I was sorting laundry. Maybe I should start a new chapter of M.A.D.D. I thought. You know, Mothers Against Dumb Deeds or something like that.
We have been spending quite a bit of time weeding the various plots around here. There was more than a little grumbling going on, so we pretended that we would starve this coming winter if we didn’t raise a successful garden. It was a fun game for the children and perked them up as they discussed survival strategies. I thought how it is that we cannot really imagine such a plight. Mainly we garden because we enjoy fresh food. By the time we buy all our supplies and the endless array of mulches and sprays and stakes and fences to keep out the deer, I am doubtful that our food is cheaper. If our corn fails because of the wetness of the soil, we are confident that we can buy some. We are daily loaded with benefits and how quickly we forget!
All that to say that we put in our daily weeding hour this forenoon before I picked the peas. I dislike picking them when they are wet and clammy, but then it was hot and I got a horrendous crick in my back. I resolve every year that I will not do this again. There is no more labor intensive vegetable and the yields are discouraging for all that work. And then the next year I go and plant them again because I absolutely love homegrown peas. You don’t need to pity me. I know what I am asking for when I order the seeds. It is a yearly lapse into irrationality. 🙄
About half way through the picking, I noticed that my littlest girl was missing and decided I should check on her. It is always better if she stays very close to Mama, and normally she does this on her own, chattering and breathing my air in her desire to be right where I am. I stepped into the living room and yelped for the second time in the day. There was a quart of bright red cherries scattered across the carpet with very deliberate footprints stomping through them and out the door. …Deep breath. Stay calm and deal with this M.A.D.D.ness in a constructive way… We had a little session where she admitted freely that she knew she was being naughty. Then we picked up the cherries and cleaned the carpet and that was that. All in a day’s work.
I do wonder though, what I ever did that my children think up these crazy ways to “be creative and explore their world” as the child development books say. What weird impulse made my child paint an enormous black smiley on the outside basement wall? I mean, it wasn’t like he thought he could hide it. I have a cousin who sweetly says that her children never seemed to do these sorts of things and I wonder what is wrong with mine in those times. I think it must be the mixture of trace amounts of Indian blood with quite a lot of old Adam. If you never have M.A.D.D. moments with your children, just please don’t tell me so that I will still like you.
I do need to say that the day ended well with us sitting on the deck shelling peas and brainstorming scenarios in which Gregory invented labor saving pea shellers and weed pickers, etc. etc. I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks and all was just fine. I like living in my own personal comic strip.