So many of the delights of parenthood come from watching your little ones master new skills. Rolling over, sitting up, those first beautiful, tentative steps. As much as you may want to hang onto that squishy little possum they handed you on day one, seeing them mould and shape into real live humans with real live human superpowers, well, that's the stuff of life, yes?
Except when the newly acquired skill is the ability to hoist and shimmy out of one's cot, accompanied by growing - a) tall enough to reach the door handle or b) smart enough to find a piece of furniture to stand on to reach the door handle.
And all of a sudden, what was once a family who slept in till a reasonable hour, usually 7:30, often later, is now a family rising, en masse, when there's a 6 on the clock. And we are a grumpy bunch.
So what to do with revolting children, and a revolting mother, when the afternoon slump hits with full force? Gardening. We tried this little trick a couple of years ago, and while our seedlings were a great success, we were a bit lax on the follow-through and none of them made it into the garden. This year will be different.
To make the seedling pots, take a square of newspaper a bit wider than a plastic cup and roll it over the cup, tucking it up against the base firmly. Tie with a piece of string or kitchen twine (or cheat like I did last time and use sticky tape). Remove the plastic cup and repeat until you have as many as you need. Nestle them all together in a tray or box, then half fill with seed raising mix. Sprinkle in a seed or two (or 17), top up with a bit more soil, then water well.
If all goes to plan, once the seedlings are established, you can pop them, newspaper pot and all, straight into the garden. I'll keep you posted on our progress. We chose cherry tomato seeds because I have it on good authority that there isn't enough sun in an average summer around these parts for the bigger varieties. We planted some basil seeds as well. I'm dreaming of summer pesto. Tomato salad. Homemade mozzarella. Some sleep. And the sometimes delightful, almost always well-rested children who used to live here.