Friday, November 17, 2006

Re-post: The obvious limitations of a 2 year-old's brain - Apr 05

From Saturday, April 23, 2005

We've had a really good day today. The weather has been lovely, and we had doors and windows open and pottered about. Did the big weekly shop a day early and bought lots of vegetable seeds (£17 worth!). We also happened on a lucky bargain veg trolley and bought punnits of mushrooms for 10p each and spinach for 25p a bag. We also bought pastry and mozzarella cheese and made spinach and mozzarella pasties when we got home.

Lyddie sat on the table and we rolled out the pastry together, wooden pins bumping together. We thought this was very funny. She liked sprinkling flour on the pastry and wanted to cut shapes, as she had when we made biscuits the other day. "No, we're making pasties today, we just need big squares," I said, and cut some, to show her. "Now you need to paint milk around the edges to make it stick."

But she couldn't get the concept of 'round the edges' at all. She just wanted to paint the pastry squares all over with milk, and more milk and still more milk. "Round the edges," I said, showing her with another piece.

"Yes, round the edges," said Lyddie happily, slopping milk into the centre of the square.

"Look," said I, thinking: this is a simple concept, surely. "Here is the edge, and here is the middle. We only need to paint milk around the edge. "

"Yes, we only need to paint milk around the edge," echoed my little cherub, splodging milk into the centre again.

There are times when a person is forced to admit the obvious limitations of a two year-old's brain.

Soon after came another such time, when we were planting seeds. She was right into this, understanding the concept that when we push the seeds into the soil, cover them up and water them every day, they will grow into plants like the pictures on the packets and we will be able to eat them. "Yummy tomatoes and peppers and rashides, good plan Mummy, let's plant those." (She can't say radishes.)

So we managed fine, putting soil into the little pots, then I tipped some radish seeds onto the table in front of her and we did very well putting a few in each pot, pushing them in, covering them over and watering them. Then tomatoes, same again. No problem. Next the peppers. I had an idea that it would be best to just have one seed to every pot - mainly because, at £1.98 per 75 seeds, I didn't want to do too much thinning of these. So again, simple concept: One per pot. "Just one seed for every pot this time, Lyddie."

"Yes, one seed per pot," said Lyddie cheerfully, and put about 6 seeds in the first pot. I started to detect the pattern, but ever the optimist, picked up one seed to show her.

"Look, here's one seed, see? One. There it goes, right in the middle of the pot and we cover it up with soil. There. Only one per pot, with the peppers. They need more space."

"Yes, they need more space."

"OK, so just one this time.... no, no that's too many.. we only need one... Right. You put about ten in there. You know what one looks like!"

"Yes, dust one this time," said Lyddie, grabbing another handful.

I gave up. What the heck, it's only money. They're only seeds. She was so cheerful and loving the job so much I didn't have the heart to stop her.

The seeds are doing well anyway: 6 hours later and she hasn't dug them up yet. She started to, to show someone the seeds she'd planted, but I managed to persuade her not to. I hope they manage to grow into plants, against all odds here in toddler house.

The garage is like a greenhouse with the new roof: it'll be ideal for tomatoes and peppers this summer. They'll have to stay in the house on the windowsills until the end of June when we move the dining room over, then the tomatoes and peppers will move into the new garden room for the summer as well.

I'm on a roll: I've just worked out how to afford the loo rolls, nappies, washing up liquid, washing powder, coffee and extra potting compost we forgot to buy today. There's just enough money left for all of that, the overdraft interest, the mortgage payment, the water rates and enough fuel to get us around tomorrow. Just enough and not a penny more. That'll do for me.

posted by Gill at 10:34 PM 6 comments

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