My kids are 4 years apart. Upon learning this, people sometimes remark how easy it must be to have such a big gap. It may be because I am not a super-parent, but I haven’t found it especially easy. Sure, the older one is able to zip up his jacket, pee in a loo, and fetch me things when I need him to, but the emotional stuff (which I have found one of the hardest things in parenting) is tough. The other morning, I asked him to tidy away the pens he was using because his younger brother was using them to redecorate the bedroom… this was after I suggested that putting together a large puzzle while his brother was awake was perhaps not a recipe for fun… this was after he decided he would put the pieces of his dismantled (by younger brother) Lego creation up. He came to me crying, “there’s nothing for me to play with that S. won’t play with or ruin!” And it dawned on me why I spend so many of my waking hours outside. Outside is the great democratic space. Walking miles with my kids is an easier choice than sorting out indoor entertainment and emotions for them. We are all happy outside. We can all participate outside. However, life requires bouts of indoors so I was pleased to remember the activity that kept L. occupied for hours when he was younger. Dried beans on a sheet with a variety of pouring+burying objects. Both kids (and other kids) have loved playing side by side with the peas the last couple of weeks and the clean-up time is short. Huzzah! I, myself, like to stand on a layer of chickpeas and slide my feet around, giving my feet a massage.
More raspberries, y’all! My autumn fruiting ones are lovely and enormous. I appreciated them even more, simply because, being that apricot colour, the kids didn’t realise that they were ripe… so I got the first few handfuls. Ha!
Next year: no tomatoes. I grew tomatoes this year for the first time in Aberdeen. They required too much work. They were gross. I did not even get pissed off when I saw a magpie pecking through the plastic of the green house to eat one. Please quote these last three sentences back at me when I say to you next Spring, “oh, but there is nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato ripened in the hot, hot sun and I am about to grow some”. Tell me that is true–there is nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato ripened in the hot, hot sun–and tell me that I should go on holiday to Spain.