Could This Be the Next Container Gardening Craze?Katie Allison
J was lucky enough to be invited to join her lifelong bestie pal N’s family in their travel to a foreign beach locale, and I hear from N’s mama via text that the girls are (not surprisingly!) having an absolute blast.
And as for E, after a sleepover at the cousins’ house last night, he left with Aunt Betsy and her three young’uns very early this morning for a few days in Our Nation’s Capitol. (FYI, E informs me that his #1 sightseeing goal while he’s in the DC area is to eat a meal at the Original Five Guys Burgers location).
Here’s E on the roadtrip with the cousins today, being ridiculous and jolly.
Later in the week, I am taking some time off so that E, cousin M, and E’s pal L and I can head down to Atlanta to see an NBA basketball game (Is it redundant to say, “NBA basketball game?” I’m thinking that it is…Oh, and sometime I will share the story of me desperately calling John Cave Osborne the other day to try to get him help me figure out how one even buys tickets for an NBA basketball game, and how I should pick seats that were desirable… But I digress…), as well as do some other fun ATL stuff before Spring Break is over for the kids.
So as you can see, both J and E totally scored on Spring Break fun this year.
However, their 4- and 1-year-old little sisters – C and G – are stuck here back at the ranch without even any older siblings or cousins to play with. So tonight after work, I decided that they and I would do a fun little “Spring Break Staycation” project together and plant some flowers in our yard.
Both little girls were very excited as I set out a trowel, watering can, and several packets of “cottage garden seed mix” that I had picked up in the checkout line at our friendly, neighborhood Diane Arbus Walgreens. I showed the girls how we would dig little holes where they wanted the flowers to grow, and with my help, they would empty out a few teensy flower seeds at a time, drop them in their appointed hole, cover them back up, and then water them with the watering can.
Sounds like an excellent system, right?
Well, we got started, and at first, 21-month-old Danger Baby remained interested in what we were doing. But soon, she began wandering all over our (fenced) yard, kind of doing her own thing, while four-year-old C and I kept planting and watering seeds. After a minute or two, I realized that Danger Baby was being far too quiet, and that I did not see her in my peripheral vision. I turned around to see where she was, and discovered her sitting in the grass, just a few feet away. She had all six or seven seed packets in her lap, and a huge grin on her face. The seed packets were all damp and crumpled and …OH NOOOOOEEEES!!!
She had used her mouthful of tiny chompers to tear each packet open, and she had a telltale ring of brown dirt around her mouth…or so I thought. When I looked a little more closely, I realized that it wasn’t DIRT encircling her lips, those were flower seeds. And as I inspected each empty packet, and looked all around her on the ground, and then forced her to show me her sticky hands, followed by forcibly prying her stubborn, seed encrusted mouth open to see what was in there, it became abundantly clear that she had sucked down seven FULL packets of flower seeds, leaving none to waste.
Yes, Danger Baby had inhaled a garden’s worth of ready-to-grow seeds.
While G herself seemed nonplussed, C began wailing, “MY SISTER ATE OUR PROJECT!!!” And I was frantically scanning the damp, crumpled seed packets to find out whether any of the varieties included could be poisonous. I realized that I had no idea whether any of them were, so I googled Poison Control on my iPhone and dialed them up. I then spent the next 15 minutes on the phone with them while out in our yard, reading off the flower species G had just ingested like jujubes. After we finished the list, the Poison Control lady told me that I could relax. None of the seeds were poisonous.
I was obviously glad to hear that, but there was another question I knew I needed to ask her, but realizing how bizarre it would sound, I hesitated.
“Yes?” the patient woman asked. “Is there some other type of seed we should look up?”
“Ummm, well, no,” I stammered. “But, well, I know this may seem like a weird question, but heck, if anyone would know the answer, it’s Poison Control. So, ummm, I’m just wondering whether there’s any chance of any of the seeds, you know, uh, growing.”
“Growing where?” she asked.
“Well, you know, like, growing in my kid’s belly. Or intestines. Or anywhere, really. Could the seeds, you know, take root or something? I know that sounds dumb, but I….”
She interrupted me, sounding incredulous as she asked, “Ma’am, are you asking me whether your daughter could become some sort of human container garden? “
Well, I guess that WAS what I was asking, but hearing her put it that way made me realize it was an even stupider question that I’d realized.
“Oh heavens no,” I fake chortled. “I was just, ummm. Okay, thanks. Bye!”
And I hung up.
I looked over to see Danger Baby slurping dirty water trickling from the outdoor faucet, and I rushed over to snatch her away from it. I realize that the odds of her sprouting flowers from her ears or belly button in the weeks ahead may be low, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to push my luck by letting her WATER herself…
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