Toddler Survival Tips 101

There are little signs that spring is really sprung and in fact, there may yet be a summer. Every so often we have had a glorious day and you can feel the heat building. Little Paddler and I have busy mornings getting ready and out the house to Mass before we do any jobs in town. She is teasing me with the notion that she may have given up her daytime nap but really she is not ready and while mornings are fine, the afternoons can get hairy. I find keeping busy with short projects really helps but that involves me being organised (which is a project in itself). But one day last week, we got all the jobs done early and even had lunch at a respectable time. The weather was glorious and I was feeling enthusiastic. On went the wellies and the coats and out in to the garden we trooped with the kittens and guard dog following.

purple sprouting broccoli in its heyday
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Little Paddler and I had a great afternoon. We spent it out in the garden, pulling weeds and clearing out the last of the vegetables. I have managed to procure some well-rotted dung this year from a local farmer. This load looks more promising than what I got last year which is even now still too raw really to plant into. I am patiently waiting on a neighbour to draw it down whenever he has a chance. But much like ourselves, he is busy with others constantly pulling at him. I lost track of time and the Little Paddler got hungry. What’s a hungry toddler to do out in the garden but search out her own grub. I found her chowing down on the last of the purple sprouting broccoli. My heart swelled with pride. Or as the Little Paddler says, My belly is full of joy.

tomatoes and aubergines beginning to make a showing (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

While I waited for the dung to be delivered, I finally began sowing seeds. Little Paddler was most helpful. Or at least that’s what she would tell you. I was feeling very organised (if a little late in the gardening calendar – but better late than never I say). I had my seed trays laid out and filled with compost. I had labels at the ready – a novel approach for me I must admit. And I was ready the sowing instructions fastidiously instead of lobbing them in and hoping for the best. Some seeds needed a light covering of compost, some a deeper covering, some none at all, some needed 24 hours soaking in water and others we could get started with straight away. I tried explaining to the Little Paddler what we were going to be doing. She was all set. She wanted seeds in hand and threw them wherever she felt like it and then promptly got a plant label (wooden coffee stirrer) and proceeded to stir the whole lot around. Arrgghhh!!!

cauliflower seeds are thriving
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

I tried to slow her down. I tried to guide her hand. I tried to hide her stick. I tried to limit her to the free packets of seeds, or seeds of vegetables or flowers I wasn’t too attached to. I need not have bothered. She seems to be on to something. Her cauliflowers and mallow seeds were the first to appear and are going strong. The broad beans are making a strong showing and even the basil survived. Maybe I should let her do all the sowings in future. Between foraging herself and sowing seeds, I don’t think she’ll go hungry.

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