Saturday, June 7, 2008

how does your garden grow

It seems I have used this blog more often than not to tell the worst of the worst - a sort of blooper list of life with kids. So, despite the fact that Thea is still trying to put herself to sleep as I type (read: screaming her beautiful little head off), I contest that today was an all-around good day.
It didn't start that way, mind you. Thea's been having a very bad sleep record lately - 3 or 4 wakes a night. I also have a cold - the kind that is worst at night. So this morning, I was in a foul mood, contemplating what it would take to just stay in bed all day, despite the pervasive sunshine shining through the window.
But up I got as Thea's grumbles escalated from downstairs. I sat in the living room scowling at the day for a while, but after Matt left and Thea went back to sleep for the morning, something catapulted me out the door. Perhaps it was the sunlight after a week of rain and dark, or maybe it was that Liam was launching into another morning sitting on the floor with his favorite Beverly Cleary CD.
Anyway, once outside, I set to working on the greenhouse, which got truly thwacked this winter. Several of the roof panels were off and I thought one was actually missing, but it turned out it was there. The whole greenhouse had listed as well so it looked as though it might topple any time. I wasn't sure I was even going to do any gardening this year, and could hardly imagine I could fix everything up while juggling everything else. But something came over me, and I dove in.
Liam found a hammer and after I explained the difference between a nail and a screw, set about happily nailing into everything in sight - wood, the ground, whatever. I found the screw gun, got the panels on the roof, and attached them in a somewhat straight manner. I got them up only just when the screw gun's battery died, of course, and then Thea woke, but I was not dissuaded. I brought her and a blanket out and set them both in the sunny garden.
Thea has started sitting up fairly well this week, and so she sat, pulling up handfuls of dead grass and drooling on a fresh stick of rhubarb, while I wrestled with the roll of plastic that makes up the walls of my greenhouse. I actually find both the stapler and staples that fit it (extraordinary) and up goes the plastic. By the time that's almost done, Thea is wilting, so I put her in the backpack for a while and try to right the list a bit with cross braces. The off she goes to her swing chair, and I get both hands to work.
Liam has moved on to the hose, his favorite fire fighting fantasy, and a granola bar. I get the rest of the plastic up just as I run out of staples. Then we move inside, and I turn over the soil in the beds. It feels marvelous to work the soil with my hands. So funny that all these years later I am still so connected to the earth.
Thea slept for three hours, long enough to get the greenhouse ready, eat a pb&j with Liam in the sun, and catch a cat nap on the couch. More valuable than gold.
Then the three of us went to the local garden stores and bought some flowers and veggies.
Matt called to say he was on a fire and wouldn't be home until late, so I made pasta and sausage (my favorite - not one of his) and garlic bread and Liam actually cleared his plate. Thea drank water from a bottle for the first time, and I even got both kids in the tub before the night ended. Only upset of the day was when I insisted on using the shower head on Liam's hair ("It feels weird and scary, mom.")
But it was forgotten by bedtime, and after a couple of stories, all was mended.
So today was a good, good day.

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