Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas comes early

'The immediate is often the enemy of the ultimate.'
Indira Ghandi

That quote has nothing to do with new potatoes being early this year, which puts new potatoes as the surprise guest in this week's vege box. They are a month early but they don't know that and I don't care. Delicious.
Runner beans, it would seem, were aptly named and they have bolted away and are sending out tendrils looking for something to climb; however, they are in temporary digs and I can't have them strangling tomatoes. The timing is perfect to dig out new potatoes and
rehome them next door.

The other newcomer to the vegebox this week will only be making one appearance for quite some time. Silverbeet appeared amongst the asparagus and I pulled it out because it was already starting to go to seed. Mystery solved on both counts: can you see from the roots that it has grown from a slice of stem/root that was consigned to the compost bin, and then trucked over unharmed about 6 months later (remember the rule is leave compost for a year) and mulched around the asparagus. Come Spring, and water and away it grows, precariously, it hasn't enough root of its own. Makes a meal and none of the children are grateful.
Should I be surprised?

Good things come in threes and lettuce are on tap. These ones are coming up the rear as the first lot gets eaten. Add them to the box. It's looking up.

Nine years ago when Johnny was born I asked the midwife, Barbara, if she had any advice on parenting. She said she wished she had kept sight of the big picture more when she was dealing with things with her children, to keep them in perspective. She was talking about cherishing 'the ultimate' while coping with 'the immediate'.

Well about this time of year, I just want to clear out the house of everything (everybody else's things) and prepare for the influx of stuff at Christmas. Suddenly I can't find anything, nothing is where it belongs, every surface is cluttered and the driveway is lined with wetsuits, socks galore, balls and boogie boards, miscellaneous clothing, as if they've fallen out of the car and stayed there (probably have). Except that this year it occurs to me that I've spent the years picking up and putting away after the boys (or not) because it's quicker and easier (!) and now I've come a cropper because there is this huge discrepancy between the image I have of them capably running a home (the ultimate) and what I've done in the immediate to teach them or direct them to it. Let's not start on role modelling.

I'll troll through flylady and look in the archives for tips. Beyond that, any suggestions?

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  1. Hey I like that potato collage- it's like a postcard of self-sufficiency. It's making me hungry for new potatoes.
    About picking up: I do what you do, and have a quick tidy up myself. Simon does the opposite, and stands over the children directing them how and where to put things away, and he does it every single night so that it's part of their routine like brushing teeth and doing homework. They are now in the habit that their bedroom floor must be clear before they go to bed, and it's all his doing.

  2. Hi Miri - second time I might be lucky - I wrote a commen and then the internet timed out and I lost it. I've lsot my flowof words but I htink I said something along the lines of as the one of us with the more grown up kids that depsite my terrible neglectof any proper household training they have boh turned out to be self managing reasonalby tidy individuals who are more than capable of taking care of whatever environment they inhabit.I think it's more a case of what you can and cant live with and go with that. I love reading about your vegetables.!!!!!

  3. oops sorry about the spelling errors.I have a wonky keyboard which really does make me spell badly.

  4. well Miri, speaking from the point of view as the untidy one who drives the tidy one nuts, here's my advice:
    - accept that to keep tidy one happy, one must do things differently (accept need for change)
    - list what needs to change and problem solve how to pay someone else to do it for me
    - if job cannot be fobbed off, provide self with reward for doing stuff that don't enjoy and don't see need for
    -eventually need to clean up after self becomes habit out of sheer laziness to avoid the big cleanup, which is more painful

  5. Its fun to see pictures of your kids and try to figure out how many you have or if they are all yours or the neighbors. They all look flushed with the excitement of outdoors in both photos I've seen. I feel the same way, wanting to have a clear out before Christmas! Love the two quotes in this post, want to hold on to them.

    p.s. So happy about the painting!