How to Garden With Kids

by Chris Jordan

How to Garden With Kids

When our fantasy collides with real life

1) Go to nursery and pick out heirloom tomato plants. Because heirlooms must be better, right? Surely they have survived this long because of their juicy goodness.

2) Bring plants home and unload them onto front porch.

3) Leave them sitting there until the following weekend, because buying them at the nursery was enough gardening for you.

4) The next weekend, go buy some gardening gloves.

5) Leave plants on front porch.

6) The following weekend, put on gloves and go out to plant the tomatoes. Discover a couple of shriveled-up green stems.

7) Go back to nursery and buy more heirloom tomatoes. Come home and decide to plant them right away.

8) Find a nice sunny spot for the plants and put them in the ground.

9) Feel very proud and gardener-like. Decide this might be the hobby for you after all.

10) Vow to water them every day, in keeping with your new gardener identity.

11) Two weeks later, realize that you have forgotten all about the plants.

12) Pull out hose and turn it on as quietly as possible.

13) Supersonic, batlike hearing enables kids to hear the hose, and they come running.

14) Children beg to use the hose and promise to water the plants nicely.

15) Acquiesce against better judgment.

16) Once plants are floating in a pool of muddy water, tell children to stop watering them.

17) Wrestle hose from child and get a faceful of water. Contemplate “accidentally” squirting child in the face.

18) Remember that the neighbors are probably watching. Turn off hose and discover children splashing in the mud.

19) Briefly consider bringing them inside to clean them off. Remember that it is only noon. And that you’ve already cleaned the bathtub this week.

20) Spray children off with hose in spite of their protests.

21) Remembering neighbors, say loudly, “Oh, I thought you WANTED ME TO SQUIRT YOU! I’m so sorry, OH PRECIOUS LIGHTS OF MY LIFE!”

22) Put hose away again. Discover wet children rolling in dirt.

23) Question will to live.

24) Successfully ignore them for 3.2 seconds. When they decide they’ve had enough of being outside, hose the children off.

25) Forget about the neighbors and yell, “If you’d STOP COVERING YOURSELVES IN MUD!…”

26) Leave hose lying across the driveway for husband to run over when he comes home from work.

27) Repeat this scenario semiweekly until the plants finally die.

28) Buy some super-delicious tomatoes already grown by someone else who has no children, or more patience, or both.

29) Vow to remember that you are not a gardener.

30) Until next year, when the spring air renders you amnesiac.

31) And you find yourself buying several flats of some vegetable plants, wondering how hard it could possibly be to take care of them…

Chris Jordan blogs as Notes From the Trenches on The Parenting Post at This essay is taken from one of her posts.