Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. Anon
Well I'm not planting tomatoes yet, only just starting out with a few blooms to see if I still have 'the green thumb'. Thanks to the memories of my Grandparents they grew their own food in their yard. They also had a plantation which required a truck and several helpers. No space is too small to grow food, as my Grandfather once shouted when someone complained about his Custard Apple Tree being grown in the front yard.
As a teenager, I was in charge of my mother's garden after I whinged about her planting layout. Of course that meant trips to the Library for research and Friday nights watching Burke's Backyard. Even when I moved out of the family home, I still grew potted plants on the balcony or in my apartment. Until a former flatmate drowned them all while I was overseas. So yes, before I started my own family I used to be an avid gardener. Then my priorities changed, as they do.
Now that Tauren has settled down from the Annus Terribilis which started just after his First Birthday to last month, I know I can add another task to my day. Gardening has so many positives: eating your own produce, purifying the air, discovery for children and of course therapeutic. I don't know what happened to my baby boy to make our last year so 'challenging'. I asked myself, Was it because he was a Premature baby? Is it from me or Leo? Why Tauren and not Aries? Since Tauren started speaking clearly a new word everyday, he's become the boy I knew was always there. One day we were laughing and sleeping regular hours then Poof!
The reality is, I honestly thought Tauren would turn out a cheerful outgoing child just like his older brother Aries. Earlier this year when I was sick and exhausted, Leo took two days off from work to look after the boys. By lunchtime, Leo finally understood so much of why my day wasn't all coffees and nap time. You see, Tauren skipped most of his nap time. The last twelve months it was 6hours-Nap-6hours-Sleep. Then it was 8hours-Nap-8hours-Sleep. Suddenly, it was 12hours Awake and 12 hours Sleep... and not all of the Nap and Sleep was soundly. I had to cancel salon appointments, miss out on Church services, family outings, lunch or dinner, sometimes both. I tried to 'wait it out' and even though there were times when I silently prayed for a planeload of patience I knew I wasn't alone. I lost so much sleep trying to keep up with Tauren, trying to manage our home and spend time with Leo and Aries too that I finally decided to take my GP's advice seriously this time.
Being a stay-at-home-parent was both our decision. We wanted a second child and of course I had plans to utilise childcare and work part-time, even studying online from home. Well, when this all happened, none of the other stuff mattered. Stay-at-home-parenting is not cruisy or a luxury. When I read Parenting websites where parents complain about which age is the worst to experience 'The Terribles' I honestly want to slap them and say 'The Terribles doesn't just happen when a child is Two or Three. Try from age One!' I've stopped visiting one or two of those sites and try to remember, my child achieved his milestones nonetheless. My reward is a little boy eager to dig into the dirt and help his Mummy grow some 'flower'.