It's also not our vegan aspirations, as we inconsistently but sincerely fail to achieve them. (Besides, just to clarify, vegans eat way more than beans. . . Nuts, for instance. There are lots of nuts among vegans.)
It's really, truly, that these days we simply spend a great deal of our time counting beans. And seeds. And sprouts. And, hoping and dreaming and, if you will, plotting for the day of fruition, when we can actually count real, live plants instead.
What's pathetic, and shows homeschooling parents might just devote too much time to their kids, is that my husband and I find ourselves conferring late at night (when the kids have finally gone to sleep and we should be having those pressing adult conversations we put off all day). Why? Well, to struggle with the ethical dilemma of what to do when one of Katrianna's plants begins to wilt. Similar to the proverbial replacement of a dying goldfish before the kid realizes the dire conclusion of overfeeding it. . . At least, in our case, there is no toilet flushing involved and the evidence, all those little dirt particles, can literally be swept under the rug.
We only did that once. OK, maybe a few times.
But, sometimes tough love is necessary. Now our daughter is having to face the consequences of waterlogging her beloved apple seedling. It hasn't been easy. She'd started oh-so-optimistically with ten seeds harvested from a Red Delicious. Five germinated, which of course led to blueprints outlining elaborate configurations of the rows and rows of trees we'd find in her future orchard.
It was not to be. One was lost to fungus, one had instantaneous leaf shrivel, another had root rot, and one suffered inexplicably, despite hours spent poring over gardening advice books and Katrianna's multiple diagnoses and subsequent attempted "cures." The sole survivor didn't have a chance, as her older sister kept diligently reminding her to water it. Begging the question, again, just how conscientious is too conscientious?
So, we're trying to move on. After that heartbreak, what's next? Surely something foolproof. This called for a surefire, horticultural confidence builder.
Yep, that means lima beans. In ziplocks. With damp paper towels. Tiny utopian models of self-sufficient eco-systems. Absolutely no worries.
It's not overly obsessive if I find myself waking hourly to check on the little guys, is it? And, I only sing them three lullabies a night, no more. I think that's fine and they really like it. I can tell, because I only sing one lullaby for the "control group" and they're suffering. Really.
Give your children roots. . . (on a worksheet, preferably with a diagram, to be labeled and colored by the child)