Last Friday I took Gleek with me to Home Depot where we discovered that she is attracted to all manner of tools. She particularly loved the gardening aisle and was of the opinion that we should buy half of the tools found there. Since I am also attracted to gardening tools, keeping things to a minimum was a battle. Gleek came home with a spade. It is a half-sized shovel perfect for a petite 10 year old to stick in the ground and stomp deeper. She demonstrated this capability in my lawn. Then I made up some brand new rules about what the spade is allowed to do and where. Gleek tried digging in the overgrown garden bed, but it was hard work because the ground was all dry. Then the fireworks began and the shovel languished.
Yesterday evening the weather was perfect. Howard meandered outside. Kiki and Gleek joined him. I declared outside time and chased a pair of boys away from their electronic devices. We all wandered and sat in the yard. Occasionally one of us would undertake a task such as re-hanging the swings so that they could be used. Gleek carried her spade, hopeful that something would need dug up. I pointed her at the weedy and pollen-covered sandbox. She carefully scraped all the pollen and grass off the top. Then she dug the inside edges so the sand was piled in the middle. When I pointed out that the grass was starting to grow over the wooden edges, she took her shovel and dug the grass all around the outside edges. Weeding in sand was satisfying because she could shake the plants and all the sand would fall out leaving a detailed root system to be examined. She did a great job. If she keeps this up, I’ll take her to Home Depot and buy her even more tools.