Worms Verses Xbox

Worms Verses Xbox
It’s a Bear
Finding shapes (duck)
Fixing the chipper
Peeling the spuds



Grandchild 3 and 4 came last Thursday, it was their mum and dad’s fifth wedding anniversary, so they came for the day and a sleepover. Mum also got a promotion at work for when nursery opens again in September and she had to go in for a while to meet with Ofsted. So the boys arrived early and as soon as mum had gone came the question “can we play on our phones Nanneee? all smiley smiley,” have you had breakfast I ask? “can we go go on the Xbox please naanneee?,” Sure” says I nonchalantly, (just so you know, they are not really going to be allowed to play on any type of gadgets at 8.30 am in the morning), I carry on moving casually towards the garden door and I tell them “I’m just going to be digging in the dirt though this morning,” and I take them out to the garden so they know just where to find me. “Oh wow look at that worm” says I, “I found a heap of worms like him right here yesterday, do you think I will find more today?”. The eldest sidles up to stand beside me surveying the dark brown earth, where I am in the process of digging up our potato crop, The black and blue buckets for sorting top from potato, the spade, fork and trowels are all still positioned expectantly from yesterday, the metal catching the suns morning light and sending glinting flashes our way, the wood of the tools beckon with the whole earthiness calling for the hand to guide them in their purpose, “well would you like me to help you find some?” he asks,” that sure would be great” I answer, and for the next three hours we talk about the different worms, the ones I have in the wormery and the earth worms he and his brother are finding, they pick them up fondly and cradle them lovingly in the palms of their hands, the younger boy gleefully pulls at the disappearing ends of soft fat worms before they can escape back into the soil being lifted and turned by brother. When pale fleshed potatoes appear there is a mad scramble to see who can pick them up first and shoot them into the bucket. Sometimes I believe we protect our young ones too much from potential dangers, GC3 is eight years old, little one three, I hesitate for a single second to let the grandchildren in on today’s tasks, its harder to decide when children are to be handed back, we want to hand them back all clean and shipshape and say to our selves we did a good job we kept them safe and sound, but did we add colour and depth to their experience of the world, did we have an adventure or sow seeds of inspiration. So GC3 had instruction on how to wield a fork safely so no toes or fingers would be lost,  GC4 learnt how to root out with a pointy trowel stubborn weeds and find deeper spuds that were hiding away, and both found to their delight whole families of worms. The boys wanted to know about the make up of the compost bin and the cycles of life, birth, death, decay and re emergence. They wanted to know everything all day long about how the brussels grow from the tiny pips they see now to the Christmas dinner table specimens they remembered from last year, they tasted straight from the bush blackberries, some juicy sweet, some not so and still tart, we laughed at our funny faces the tart ones gave us. After lunch we washed and sorted the spuds to size and then youngest helped to peel the tougher skins off of some of them and we put them through the chipper with the help of Granddad. We made skinny and fat chips, blanched them, dried them and bagged them for the freezer. We nearly threw the chipper away last season when the back spine broke on it, but with our different way of seeing GD found a way to secure it to a board and with some well placed bolts it is operating and functioning good as ever before. Later GD did some carving with GC3 while youngest helped me to strip basil leaves ready for freezing, we have a weekly home-made pizza night in our house I will be using the basil for, I so love the basil and so do the boys now, they smelt the difference between the basil and the mint we grow by the spuds, felt the difference of the hairy leaves on the courgettes plants and how they itch the skin, it was a wonderful busy day and it went by all too quickly. After dinner we all helped to get the sheets, pillows and blankets ready on the futon they were to be sleeping on. The boys found my yoga and meditation props in the room, so we had a happy hour trying out the meditation stool and zafu cushion, we blew bubbles for breath work and feathers too, passed a toy ladybug between our feet which were now fragrant petals raised in the air, they pretended to be scuttling spiders walking around on up turned hands and bent knees, they tried out my foam roller and light ankle weights, they had a great game with those, I was having kittens as GD told them to run up and down the stairs in them. After warm bubbly baths and teeth brushing we read ‘Elephant Dance’ a lovely story about a grandfather’s visit from India and ‘We All Went on Safari’ a counting journey through Tanzania. Then to finish off cuddles under a blankets on the sofa to watch’ treasure planet’, little one was asleep in seconds and C5 had to be sought out of his room to carry GC4 up to bed as GD and me are not so strong as we used to be at running sleeping children up the stairs. After the film we set GC3 up next to his brother on the futon bed and gave him a camping lantern for his light and found his haematite sleeping stone to hold. GC3 has been having lots of nightmares these past six months and the stone helps to quieten him ready for sleep. After a full and busy day GC3 was heard to be mumbling softly as he went off sleep “I will have to tell mummy and daddy no phone games today they will be so pleased with me”.

Both boys slept through the night with no bad dreams.

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