“No life is without difficulties. No garden is without weeds.”
When it comes to gardening in Florida (my home state), the biggest difficulty in my life is MOSQUITOS!
No matter where you live, struggles arise when trying to focus on working in your garden/flower bed/yard while watching a mobile and very curious nine month old.
The garden struggle
Here are some of the problems I have been dealing with lately:
In Florida, there are tons of mosquitos here for 3/4 of the year! At the same time, we all know the hot sun isn’t good for a baby’s skin. Add in the fact that with a mobile baby, there is no way to give full concentration to pulling those weeds if you have to keep pulling your baby back to your vicinity, and you are almost AT YOUR WHIT’S END!
Now you might be asking, “Why not just work in the garden while your little one sleeps?” Well, that is a viable option, and one that I used to do. But I didn’t do it that way very long and I’ll tell you why.
As with pretty much all mothers of young children; I LOVE my little sweetie and I LOVE to spend time with her! But when her nap time rolls around, it is precious time…a MUCH NEEDED, precious time…and my goal is to make it a PRODUTIVE time, too!
In my post on keeping a house clean with kids, I mentioned that I always take the tasks that need to be done that day and break them into two columns: what can be done while Heidi is awake and what needs to be done while she is sleeping.
As we all know, there are FAR MORE tasks that are easier to do while the baby is sleeping than awake. So I have tried to be creative and move things from the napping list to the awake list, while only keeping the most difficult tasks in the sleeping section.
This need will only grow with the more children I have, and the older they get. No matter how well-trained a toddler is, when they discover the ability to move, part of your attention goes with them where ever they waddle off to. So, I believe, the best time to give undivided attention to the older kids is when the littles are down napping.
The simple solution is a….PLAYPEN!!!!
A playpen will solve your curious/mobile baby issue and allows you to give a bit more attention to your job at hand.
But, of course, there are several more issues that have to be dealt with.
To help with the mosquito/sun problem, I did some research and ran across this next idea a couple months ago:
First, I take an average crib sheet and stretch it across the top of the playpen (after putting toys/cheerios and Heidi into it).
The sheet keeps the mosquitos from getting her and also gives her shade. The mesh on the sides of the playpen allow a nice breeze to come in and cool the baby off.
Just for fun, I also like to use my phone or iPod with cordless speakers to play some fun kids music. (The music might not be a helpful addition for every child, but I love listening to music throughout the day and we both love to sing to it at the top of our lungs!)
This might seem overly simple, but it has changed our yard! Now, I can plan some time every morning to go out there with her and do some weeding, landscaping and watering, while she is able to have some nice outside time without getting burned or eaten!
So there ya go: one of life’s many difficulties that is no more! Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts and suggestions? Any other cool or fun ideas for little ones during gardening time?