Yesterday Jake, Nate and Rebecca were playing together outside. Max was not with them because he had a prolonged squawk/tantrum and had subsequently fallen asleep. At one point I went by them and noticed that Rebecca had a paper grocery bag with branches from the shrubs we have along the driveway. Now I don’t like these particular bushes and I am in the process of eliminating them, but I also don’t like random acts of destruction in and around the house. So I mentioned in passing that I do not like leaves and branches to be removed from plants, but in this case it was alright that she did it to these particular bushes. They wanted to know why and I explained that I didn’t like these bushes. I then went on my merry way to the great indoors.
A while later Jake came inside to ask me where we keep the extra grocery bags. I was just starting to make dinner so I distractedly told him to look in the garage. He then bustled off and I could hear him find my stash of bags (he never does anything quietly). Then it struck me, why do they need paper bags? Oh well, they are entertaining themselves and how much harm can they come to with paper bags. I continued puttering about the kitchen.
Jake then comes inside again. He is acting as the idea man and/or the emissary. This time he asks me, politely to turn on the hose. At this point I decided that maybe I should go outside and see what on earth is going on. When I came out of the house through the garage I found the three of them busily stripping the leaves off of the aforementioned bushes. Each of them had a full bag of leaves and branches.
“Why are you doing this?!” I cried out. I was stunned at the sight of the naked branches poking out randomly from the bush. They hadn’t denuded any one particular area, just random spots all over the bush. It looked positively mangy.
“You said we could” was Jake and Nate’s reply. Rebecca mutely stood there with her big brown eyes wide open and pleading. She was clutching her bag.
They had me. I never should have told them that I didn’t like the bush. I should know by now not to say anything in passing. It always comes back to haunt me.
The damage already done, I asked them why they needed the hose.
“We need to wash these.” Jake and Nate then pointed to their bags. Rebecca remained silent.
According to Jake they were playing farmers market. They had just harvested their crops and they now wanted to wash and bag it.
This made perfect sense to me. When I get our veggies from the farmers market I bring it home in a paper grocery bag. Amy, our grower, washes our market share and places it in a bag.
Now knowing the whole story I told my three little farmers to use the wading pool to wash their produce and leave the bush alone. Jake carefully placed his bag in the wagon and pulled it over. Meanwhile, Nate and Rebecca trooped over to the pool dragging their bags. Nate then fetched the watering can and filled it up from the wading pool. He then proceeded to pour its contents into the bag.
“Whoa! Don’t do that, you’ll ruin the bag.”
At this point I was still under the delusion that I would be getting the bags back.
I then explained that the bags are made of paper and that they will fall apart if you get them wet. It would be better to put the leaves from the bag into the pool and not the pool into the bag with leaves. They were still not happy. So I went into the garage and rooted about. There had to be something in there that would work.
Eureka! I had a large plastic tray with holes in it. I tossed it out of the garage towards the wading pool.
Jake pounced on it and declared it to be just the thing. He loaded it up with his leaves and dunked the whole mess in the pool.
I stayed and watched for a bit.
To dry the leaves they got a ratty old towel from the deck box. They would careful blot their freshly washed leaves dry with a very, very grubby towel. Honestly, the leaves were cleaner before they washed them.
When it was Nate’s turn, he explained to me that it was very important to wash the leaves; it made for a “more better flavor.”
Here is Nate dunking and then draining his leaves:
Washing the crops
They had great fun and all of the bags got soaked.