And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, March 04, 2011

My Belly Button Is NOT A Toy, and other craziness involved in Parenting Sprouts...

This morning, Little Sprout was begging for attention in her usual single-minded fashion. As she arched back over the arm of the couch, I couldn't resist the temptation to tickle her belly. She straightened up with a scream, and (shaking her finger in my face) told me with utmost seriousness that her belly button is NOT a toy.


Little Sprout has also been obsessed with death. I am not sure what started it. I think it was when she asked Grandpa Barefoot about his dad, and was told that he had died almost 12 years ago. Then we had Grandma Jo's funeral, and just the other day one of the fish in our tank got sucked into the water filter and died. So now every single thing out of her mouth is asking about death. What happens, when will they be back, what dies and what doesn't. I guess I am lucky, in that death is something I have (through years of working with the elderly) become quite comfortable with. So her questions don't hurt me, or make me uncomfortable. They just get irritating. I have finally (after many times trying to explain it different ways) decided to just leave it at "you'll understand when you're older".

I do have to admit that I am slightly enchanted with her theory that everyone comes back to us in the spring, though. Especially when I think of it in relation to my grandfather. He loved to garden, and if ever there would be a time that he would come to visit and watch what we are doing, it would be when we are out with our hands in the dirt.

In other Sprout news, Big Sprout has (once again) shocked my socks right off my little barefoot feet and convinced me that she is too good to be true. When she was preparing to leave for conservation camp with school, she came home one day obviously agitated. She started talking to me about how the kids in her class were angry that "lights out" at camp would be 10pm. Several of these kids are allowed to stay up till 11pm or later, and they were outraged at the thought of being treated "like a little kid".

Somewhere in the middle of her long, involved rant, I realised that Big Sprout has had the same (8pm) bedtime for... well, forever. Feeling a little bad that I hadn't realised she was getting older, I offered negotiations on her bedtime, saying she could probably stay up later if she wanted.

Well. Big Sprout turned on me with fire in her eyes. She informed me in no uncertain terms that she LIKES her early bedtime, she needs it to get up early and be well rested for school, and that (in her opinion) staying up late has a DIRECT RELATIONSHIP to the poor grades of the kids who have later bedtimes.

Excuse me? Is this coming from a 12 year old girl... for real? I looooove it! Big Sprout often comes out with these very mature statements, and every time I am left wondering what I did right with her... goodness knows, whatever I did hasn't been transferred to Little Sprout, who has a sense of entitlement a mile wide.

And that's all I have to say about that....


webb said...

First, congratulations on Big Sprout. She has learned one of the tough lessons in being an adult - setting her own boundaries. Good job, Mom!

Secondly, I'm kinda with Little Sprout, too. When someone I love dies, I plant a shrub or tree in their memory. Then every spring as the plant comes back, it more than just seeing an old friend again. It's also a time to reconnect with a loved one.

I've always believed that you can't garden at all if you don't have faith in new beginnings and resurrection. Maybe Little Sprout will be a gardener!

barefoot gardener said...

Webb- I am sure Little Sprout will, though I thought the same thing about Big Sprout at this age, and she has gone more the hunter-gatherer route....

Y'know, one of my old bosses had a "memorial garden" for family and especially beloved clients that had passed on. I have often thought of doing the same.