Indoor gardening with a toddler: not for the faint of vacuum cleaner

It started with a spade. Happy Meal toys have gone seriously odd in the last twenty years, haven’t they?!

The spade came on a drizzly indoor day, with chips, as all spades should, and suddenly I was filled with an unstoppable desire to let Henry do some digging. We don’t have a garden, so we walked off to Tesco – during which I realised I’m now bump-compensating so much I walk with my butt stuck out further than Beyonce, slightly mortifying – and got some windowsill plants.

This is where I put in the disclaimer that I know absolutely nothing about gardening, and kill every plant I get. It is a gift. One day I’ll find a use for it. But we got a little bag of compost, a couple of red pepper plants and a packet of peapod seeds, then Beyonced our way home at a jog before it started raining in earnest. I do not think the poor souls queuing in cars down the Oxford Road were ready for that jelly, to be honest, but needs must.

I decided it didn’t matter too much if the plants never grew, as long as he got the idea. He did, if ‘getting the idea’ means ‘flinging soil on the end of a spade across the living room’

and ‘upturning the entire contents of the watering can onto the windowsill once he realised it had water in it’

and also ‘hassling the seeds until they were too shellshocked to do anything at all’

and finally ‘drinking the muddy soil-and-water directly off the plant tray’.

I have decided this makes him a nature lover.

By the way, indoor gardening on ripped-out Arts and Culture pages from The Week: the most middle-class thing I’ve ever done? Probably. (I couldn’t find any newspaper.)

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