Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

The Pain of Neglect August 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 3:15 pm

I began the summer with high hopes for my garden.  I wasn’t pregnant or campaigning, and I had just purchased brand new seeper hoses to replace the dismal failures of the previous two years.

Alas and alack, the new hoses were just as bad as the old ones.  Soon I found myself hand watering every day.  It really wasn’t that big of a deal, and my garden was thriving.  My cute tomato plants were LOADED with precious little green tomatoes.

Then July came.  And I wasn’t home very often.  I started sending the boys out to water the garden.

The tomato plants stopped growing.

August came, and I went away for another week.  In my absence, I forgot to tell Daniel to water the garden.  But as soon as we arrived home, I sent Josh out to do it.

I was busy.

A few days passed, and I was still busy.  Josh was still watering the garden.

And then, one bright, shiny morning, I decided that I had better wander out to the back yard to check out the garden.


It was horrible.  There were weeds – giant weeds – everywhere.  My beautiful tomato plants were withered and yellow.  And my peppers – my poor, poor peppers.  I don’t even want to talk about the celery.

I was a bad, bad, gardener.

My repentance began that very moment.  I quickly turned on the hose and gave the garden a good drenching.  Then, I filled a spray bottle with super secret magic spray and went to work on the plants.  As I sprayed what was left of their leaves, I lovingly coaxed them back to life.  I tied drooping branches back up, pulled the weeds closest to their stems, and promised my sweet little tomatoes that I would not neglect them again.

I know what you’re thinking – “The plants can’t hear you, Jennifer.”  You’re wrong.  Plants totally grow better when they’re talked to.   And loved.  Seriously.  And for those of you who are vegetarians and think that plants don’t mind being eaten, think again.  Read this post.  It’s fascinating.  (Nothing against vegetarians, by the way.  I would totally be one if steak didn’t taste so good.)

Thus began an epic struggle of girl vs. weed.   Every morning since then, I have been in my garden, wallowing knee deep in mud and weeds as I attempt to restore order.  I praise the plants for their new growth and blossoms.  They smile at me.  I commiserate with the ones that were the most damaged, but are still bravely holding onto life.

Jakob has been very helpful in this whole endeavor.  Every morning he comes out with me and says awesome things like, “Wow, Mom, there are spiders EVERYWHERE!”

Not exactly what an arachnophobe wants to hear when she is up to her elbows in weeds.

Then he moves on to catching grasshoppers.  “Mom, is this the right size to feed to Sabrina?” he asks as he shoves a partially smashed grasshopper in my face.

And Sabrina, poor, bloated, overfed Sabrina.  The poor little (ginormous) thing has had grasshopper after grasshopper thrown at her this summer.  And she has obediently tried to eat them all.  She can’t resist them, really.  Freshly caught grasshoppers are just so much better than the highly processed crickets we have to purchase throughout the winter.  But sometimes, when I’m all alone in the kitchen, I can hear her calling from her little corner, “Please, for the love of all that is good and decent in the world, tell the kids to stop feeding me.”

I’ve tried, Sabrina.  Oh, how I’ve tried.

But the feedings continue.  Today, Jakob decided to shake things up and feed her a fly named Percy.  That’s right, we name our flies around here.

My point, and I do have one, is this:

All of that hard work is finally starting to pay off.




2 Responses to “The Pain of Neglect”

  1. Janae Says:

    Wait a second. All those tomatoes are from your garden?!!?! WHAT?! I never missed watering once, my plants look thriving and healthy, there is nary a weed. And I’ve only gotten FIVE tomatoes. I hate you. In an i-love-you sort of way.

  2. mommyoffive Says:

    Janae – Yup, all mine. Have you tried positive reinforcement? You need to praise the plants that are producing tomatoes. 😉

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