My Lawn’s Got Measles

I’d had merry plans to spend today out in the garden with the minxes, all day, regardless of the weather. But it’s hard to oust little girls outside when they’re crying in pain (Midi – tummy ache), threatening to be sick (Midi again), say that they’re too tired (Maxi) and it’s pouring down. Still, the lure of mud and water won after lunch and finally prised those minxes out of their nighties…

The Boss had finally caved-in to my demands and sourced some wooden planks to join up the funny triangle raised beds along the back wall of the garden into one long bed. He worked hard last night and joined one point to another. So this afternoon, as the surprisingly hot sun burned away the drizzle and fog, I tipped a bag of compost into the space. Maxi pouted at only being allowed to rake it – she complained that she much prefers to dig her hands in and get them dirty. Midi sulked at not being allowed to transfer the baking tray full of upended toilet-rolls full of over-grown courgette seedlings into the new bed. I let them up-end a packet each of salad seeds (and furtively tried to spread them out a bit myself) but they only bickered about who’d sown the most. Even allowing Midi to squash some white slugs didn’t cheer her up (Maxi’s love for all creatures; alive, dead and undead; wouldn’t permit her to join in the slug massacre). So what to do? Well, give in to their demands!

I found the old weeder tool loitering forlorn beside the stinky wheelie bins. The shed still held a dried-up bag of musty compost. Midi’s old trike had had its trailer put back on it (more stability for Mini), so I joined it all together: I gouged out the spiky weeds (common catsear, apparently) with the twisty tool thing; Midi took the clod of mud and weed off the tool, examining the tap root carefully, before depositing it in the trailer; Maxi dug into the bag of compost and filled in the hole with the dirt; both girls stamped on the little minx-mound till it was flat. Ish. Then me and Midi shuttled off every so often to dump the trailer in the brown composting bin. The kids loved it! And we all satisfied our craving for dirt. Well, all except Mini who slept throughout.

Pretty flower, but ouchy stem when mowed (Common Catsear: pic from Washington State Uni website. It doesn’t show the absolutely mahoosively long tap root that is far longer than the stems when in flower. Harrumph!)

Now, I don’t mind weeds. I love poppies, dandelions, daisies, buttercups and clover. Especially clover. I’m the kind of sad sap who walks through it in the evening before I mow the lawn calling, “Time now, ladies, drink up please!” to the bumblebees. Anyway, I generally leave weeds be. But there are some that lie flat in a big thick rosette that send up sharp stems that jag little bare minx feet. An hour of solid work lifted maybe 20 of the blighters. Our lawn looks like it has a bad case of brown measles, but it’ll feel so much nicer, now!

Stomach-ache: Midi’s been complaining of it for 4 weeks now, on and off. I’ve taken her to the GP’s twice, and don’t want to keep giving her little liver regular calpol. She’s been nauseous the past 2 days and napped before dinner too (very unlike Midi). Mini has been gulping calpol too thanks to her right lower rear molar hurting (though it’ll be a while till it surfaces, based on my scientific testing method using the Mark I Fingertip). And speaking of guzzling, Mini’s also been gulping her food – for some reason she’s stopped using her cutlery and is attempting to eat her food like a cat, with surprising success, but of course I have to overtly disapprove strongly – but isn’t suffering like her big sister. Actually, I’m surprised because she’s been eating more green strawberries (“stobs”, she calls them) than Midi. Me and The Boss reckon the green strawberries are possibly the reason for today’s belly-ache. Well, this was after we’d almost convinced ourselves that she’d been nibbling lawn toadstools or slug pellets. Anyway, I guess I’ll see how tomorrow goes – I may well be treading that well-worn path to the GP’s again.

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