Getting the yard work done — with kiddo help

I’ll admit that sometimes I don’t know how best to entertain two lively little ones once naptime (or school) is over. Berry often wakes up grumpy and Duncan doesn’t always nap at pre-school, so he’s on the road to meltdown city some afternoons.

I’ll also admit that we tend to turn to the TV a bit too much. But, in mid-meltdown, as one child hands you the remote and the other grunts something about Little Einsteins, it’s easy to click it on and play something from the DVR just for some peace (and a chance to drink a cup of tea while it’s still warm).

Today, however, after only one episode of the intrepid foursome and their friend, Rocket, we went outside. Kevin was finishing painting the garage, and today was apparently the last nice day of the year. It’s already much colder now.

I don’t know what inspired me to climb into the back of the garage and grab the rakes. It certainly wasn’t Berry fussing and whining at the garden gate the moment I disappeared. Or maybe it was. In any case, I faithfully reappeared, as promised multiple times in the 45 seconds I was gone, and started raking.

I wasn’t allowed to rake alone. Of course not. Mummy was doing something. Let’s do it too! “Mummy, I want a rake,” Duncan demanded. After getting him to ask for it nicely (“Please may I have a rake, Mummy?”), I consented, gave the other one to Berry, too, and let them get to work.

They did quite nicely — for at least 4 minutes. Inevitably, of course, the pile of leaves was too tempting and had to be plundered. Berry was very entertained wading through it, leaving a trail of leaves in her wake. Duncan preferred throwing his leaves, scattering them across the garden. I dutifully piled them back up again. It was part of the fun (and exercise – I wonder how many points 25 minutes of leaf raking gets me?).

After a bit, I got some totes out of the garage that we normally use to catch rainwater (we have no gutters at the moment, due to the garage painting) and got the kids to fill them full of leaves. That also worked well for a few minutes, but once I’d emptied them into the compost pile they didn’t want to refill them again. Oh well, at that point, Kevin was just about done with painting, so he took over and I went inside to make Berry’s half-birthday cake and cook dinner.