Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kids These Days...

The back-sliding french glass door of the house is opened to air the kitchen in the morning and my two youngest children -  my four year old daughter and her toddling brother (nearly two) are off down the garden like a shot - in search of forage. Casting wily eyes to the house to ensure they're not being watched and to confirm we don't know what they're up to, they work fast.

They know exactly where to go. They try to appear as casual as a four and two year old can on a raid.

The nearly-two-year-old keeps his eyes fixed on the kitchen window for his mother's or my attention as he rapidly plucks blueberries off the bushes and shoves them into his mouth. From the same plants he also picks half-purple half green berries and small and hard all-green berries. Into his mouth they go indiscriminately. He chews and swallows fast - he might be caught at any second.

By this time his sister is at the raised strawberry bed, eyes similarly fixed to house windows as her delicate hands frisk the strawberry foliage on autopilot and come back with handfuls of big strawberries filled with big holes harbouring tiny slugs and many different mite sized insects -  and brown furry mould fuzz.

Into her mouth they all go.

Then our internal alarm clocks go off. We suddenly wonder "Why so quiet?" and "What are they up to?" and "Are they with you? No? Are they with you?" We look out the kitchen window. "Crap!"

We run down the garden path and hook our pinky fingers into their mouths to get the green berries and slugs out. "Spit it out... into Daddy's hand." 

Come on, you know the drill.

The next morning the two are sitting at the breakfast table.

I sprinkle washed and cleaned and wholesome blueberries and handfuls of cleaned and fur free strawberries over their breakfast cereal. The bowls are placed in front of them alongside their orange juice.

Our four year old daughter wrinkles her nose and prods her spoon reluctantly into the bowl. Her nearly-two-year-old brother is already picking out the berries and flinging them randomly over his shoulder onto the tiled kitchen floor. Our daughter puts on her whingiest and whiniest voice. 

- "But I don't like berries Daddy!"

Is Nature trying to tell us something?

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