Y’all, I don’t know how this happened. I promise, I only feed my 4-year-old son brown foods, as they’re the only ones he eats. Though, for some reason, he has no problem eating a rainbow’s worth of candy. Somehow, even with the continual carb-train that passes from crumby fingers to mouth, my son has an obsession with all things fruits and vegetables.
I’m convinced it all began a year ago with Lois Ehlert’s Eating the Alphabet picture book. I blame my parents, really. My husband and I were happily celebrating my 30th birthday and his doctorate graduation with an Alaskan cruise. We didn’t know what was seeping into our son’s psyche as my parents read this produce-inspired ABC book to him over and over and… Ah, to have the long-suffering patience of a grandparent!
Well, after an elongated romp through a U.S. presidential education, George has returned to his love of all things vitamin-y and good for your body. Except, of course, he won’t eat any of them.
While he spends a lot of his free time Crayola-ing versions of Ms. Ehlert’s book, he also has a selection of companion tomes, his favorites being Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet and Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet. Now, frankly, I love these board books too. They’re colorful and entertaining, and they also teach about trees, birds, bugs, etc. I don’t know who Mrs. Peanuckle is, but bless her.
Now, my son is convinced he’s going to be a farmer when he grows up. He doesn’t particularly like to get his hands dirty. And he won’t eat anything that grows in the ground. He keeps asking if farmers eat what they grow. Yes, yes they do.
“Well, I’m just going to grow food for other people,” he says thoughtfully.
“Or you could try a tiny bite of strawberry now and discover it’s your most favorite food in the world, son,” his mother responds with a mountain of patience.
Well, his green-thumbed obsession has rubbed off on me. Maybe it’s because we just moved to South Carolina and I don’t have a full social calendar yet. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a dog and, for some reason, I feel like I need more living things to care for. Maybe it’s because the weather is gorgeous and we’re experiencing an actual spring for the first time in our lives (yeah, thanks for nothing, Florida!)
Therefore, we now have a garden of sorts.
We don’t have produce from A to Z, as my 4-year-old keeps dreaming. I keep blaming the freshly laid sod and the fact that farming is a full-time job.
“Mama already has a full-time job, son. I keep you and your sister alive and well. Oh, and I sometimes toss in a load of laundry.”
In the six weeks since we’ve arrived, we’ve adopted a fig tree, two cherry trees, a tomato plant, two strawberry plants, and a raised bed full of herbs. That last one was officially my idea, as I like to cook and it’s been a longtime dream of mine to have herbs sprouting out by kitchen door.
I took the kids to a U-pick strawberry farm, thinking it’d do George some good to see an actual farm. He was unimpressed that the farmer only grew strawberries, as he plans to grow all food for all people. (Aren’t little kids precious?) While Olivia turned into a 2-year-old, berry-picking machine (she almost filled her bucket more quickly than I did), George picked about four strawberries and wasn’t about to put one in his mouth. He didn’t even like the strawberry ice cream! Boggles the mind, truly.
I have the feeling all of the excitement will wane as summer hits South Carolina, but until then, I will keep trying to get George to lick a strawberry…especially one that grew off his very own strawberry plant!
Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott – Yes, I saw the movies previews for this decidedly YA romance, but I couldn’t resist a lighter read as we head into summer. Then again, it’s about two teens who have cystic fibrosis, so maybe it’s not quite as summer-read-y as expected?