4.27.2004

Garden Reverie, and Then a Rant

Had 45 minutes between picking up Elise for Leelo's Tuesday facilitated playgroup, and taking her back home again. Decided to spend it in my garden.

Mostly, my garden is a fairly moth-eaten looking place. It's too big, and my attention span is too short. Right now, though, it's Spring. We're coming off the rainy season, and there hasn't been enough prolonged heat and dryness to turn everything to brown kindling. The deer aren't that hungry yet. It looks kind of nice. Maybe I'll post pictures, later.

One of my favorite corners is the small herb garden, full of several different kinds and low-lying colors of thyme, sage, miniature lavender, fennel, and chamomile. You need only kneel on the wooly thyme and sweep your arms around to be wafted away on a heavenly cloud of scent. If you don't have allergies, that is.

Also decided to try to grow bronze fennel and sweet marjoram from seed. I haven't been able to find the fennel seedlings--my local nursery buddy says it's because silly Sunsset Magazine recently ran an article on colored fennels. We'll see how it goes. I don't consider myself to have a black thumb any longer--it's more khaki-colored now--so I figure I've got a 50% chance of success.

All this gardening mellowness was a welcome contrast to yesterday's park playdate hell. Leelo was a wild boy, which means I had to run around after him the whole time and didn't have many opportunities to chat with my friends.

The main problem was that a baby playgroup was taking place in the sand/water area. All Leelo wanted to do was jump and splash in the puddles--and if any babies got in his way, he was more than happy to give them a hip-check. I kept trying to redirect him to the play structures, but he kept sneaking around and running back to the water. Finally, I yelled at him and told him that the water was all done, and stayed glued to him as he climbed and swung and otherwise did standard little boy play. As long as he could see me, he didn't try to escape. Then the babies all left. Phew. I asked him if he wanted to play in the water, and he said "Play in the water?" and sped off to the puddles without waiting for a reply. And had a good old time. Still, exhausting.

I have also completely had it with moms who take their kids to the park only to ignore them. Partly this is because I am jealous--I never, ever get to take my eyes off Leelo--but also because, well gosh, I think that parenting involves a certain level of responsibility.

For instance, if you know that your little girl tends to beat on other children when she's tired and cranky, it is not okay for you to bring her to the park and then, after she beats on children who may or may not be mine, explain that your child is doing so because she is tired and cranky. Take her the fuck home! I know you wanted to see your friends, but sometimes you have to shuffle your priorities, and your wants take a backseat.

And don't even think I am talking about sacrificing one's identity on the altar of motherhood. That kind of martyrdom does no one any good. I am talking about mothers completely ignoring their children's needs when they conflict with their own. You can always see your friends later, but your daughter needs to go home and chill out, right now. Or, perhaps you can arrange yourself so that you can see your daughter while you are talking to your friends. M'kay?

Also, the next time Ms. O'Hara lets her boys bring PVC-pipe "swords" to the park, I am having a word with her.

It just isn't much fun for me to go to the park any more. Sigh.

Iz was my sunny spot for the afternoon. She had a marvelous time despite being smacked around. She particularly enjoyed being a worker on Eliz's sand construction/demolition crew. Then, when we got home, she pointed out to me that our potted hydrangea is finally sporting tiny flower buds. That got me to smile.

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