I was outside puttering around. You can't really call it gardening. I like flowers, but I like Monet and Annie Lamott too, and I'm neither an impressionist painter nor a hilarious philosopher/novelist. Still, we have a yard, and I occasionally (usually about this time of year) feel moved to do a little something constructive in it. It's not a strong enough urge to get all the grass and weeds pulled, and it's long gone by July, but in springtime I'll just pause to pull one dandelion, and the next thing you know, an hour has passed and whatever I happened to be wearing (usually something one wouldn't want stained with mud, since I wasn't actually planning on gardening) is stained with mud.
|An iris and a clover/moss yard.|
The kids and the neighbor girl invented a game they could play with my while I faux-gardened. They would sneak around the house and try to get close to me. If I saw one of them, I called out, "I see Linden!" or whomever, and that kid had to freeze. Another kid could unfreeze them, but if I saw all three kids at once (which happened about 98% of the time, because strategy is not their strong suit), I counted to 10 while they hid again. Since my gardening pattern is to pull weeds until I get bored (about 52 seconds) and then wander off to another place until a different weedfest caught my eye, my movements were unpredictable enough to make it challenging. They thought it was great fun, and basically all I had to do was yell out names from time to time. They didn't even notice when I came inside, and kept chasing each other around the house for another ten minutes, shrieking every time they thought they saw me.
So basically, I got to faux-parent while I faux-gardened. This is what is called a win-win, people.
Win-win is an annoying piece of jargon, but if you think about it, the saying about killing two birds with one stone is rather disturbing.