Little D and His Sunflower

A boy and his seed growing is an important thing. It is also top secret information. The transportation and planting of sunflower seed is all hush-hush, on the QT and only certain personnel should know. The personnel cleared for such knowledge is: Mummy, Daddy, Little D and all of Little D's soft toys. We suspect there may have been a leak from one of the soft toys, we suspect the belligerent bulldog, as the seed seller has suddenly up sticks and vanished. Therefore, sharing this here may breach Little D's security and don't be surprised if somewhere along the line there is an official written complaint in coloured pencil with distinct drawings of the things he's going to do to us. We can expect: threats of ear tickling, belly button invasion with wet fingers, hands run under the cold tap to be applied at five in the morning to unsuspecting bare backsides snoring away, and, the slim, but distinct possibility of face licking. 

growing, gardening, sunflowers, gardening with children, life on pig row

Even the planting out of the sunflower was accompanied by gnashing of teeth and wails that other people may see it. That the sunflower was supposed to be smuggled back into school for a debriefing and life on a windowsill but there comes a time in a sunflower's life and in a small boy's life that he has to learn two words: root bound. We show Little D the struggling roots in the polystyrene cup that the seed came home in. Crafty spy technique making the seed look like a cup of cheap coffee, which it did resemble when he brought it out of class, freshly watered with no drainage hole it brimmed brown. Andrew showed him how to make a drainage hole with a pencil and several of his school friends followed suit by jamming their fingers through the bottom of the cups their Mummies were holding. The ensuing dripping flood ruined many a Mother's shoes, skirts and handbags. Andrew's name is mud in the school playground. Little D accepts that the poor roots are all choked up, and learns to tickle them, this appeals to his sense of humour but to appeal to his sense of pride it has to be planted in our new herb garden. So it can see across the valley to his school, and he can wave at it on sunny days. Yes, Little D has a two mile wave.

gardening with children, growing, life on pig row

There is a close inspection of the hole, dug by Andrew with a trowel because the pride of place for the sunflower is beside the gas meter and there are somethings that don't mix: a child with a digging implement and underground gas pipes. Little D approves the ground works, though there is an initial fear that the hole is too deep or maybe too wide, or not warm enough, which is more of a reflection of the fact that Little D was told to put his coat on, and didn't, but instead decided to wear Daddy's new crocodile gardening shoes. Andrew has size 11 feet, Little D is somewhat off that mark and he looks like a giant with shrinking problems when he dons them. He shuffles around the new hole, watches Andrew plant and firm the sunflower in, supervises the tying in of the sunflower to the cane and nearly topples into the fresh planting a mere twenty-six times. We blame the shoes. Little D blames the wind. The weather today is still.

gardening, growing, life on pig row, gardening with children

Then there is watering, this action alone nearly makes him fall out of the shoes and onto the plant another eight times, halfway through, exhausted by all the supervision and the weight of the small watering can he passes it over for it to be completed by his lackeys, us. He asks when the completion of his new sunflower house is earmarked for, he has sent out invitations to dignitaries to attend the unveiling, the Mayor of Pee-Pee land and the Lady of Poo House are confirmed. He laughs raucously and then stops, places a finger to his lips: Ssssh! As in, 'Sssh, you haven't seen me or this sunflower'. Goodness knows what he's going to do when it grows upwards and it can be seen by the ramblers. We suspect he will sell tickets and funnel all monies into a Lego army that he can command to annex the fridge.

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