We hoed some rows last night! Eight rows, if you're counting (I was). Six rows of corn -- two each of Kandy Korn, Silver Lady, and Japanese Hull-less popcorn; and two rows of green bean bushes. Wa-hoo!
It was an interesting evening, to say the least. Scott and I marked off the rows, he hoed a trench, I dropped the seeds, then we both covered them up. Repeat that seven times and that's all of the seeds planted so far.
Except we had two little water babies dancing around the yard, skipping under the feathered fan of the sprinkler, too. Until they flipped the sprinkler and daddy had to fix it so it no longer sprayed straight underneath itself. Until Violet decided she wanted to swing, begging us in her best howl to "Push me, pleeeeeease?????" Until Milo wanted to help cover the seeds, wielding his hoe like an axe and nearly scalping his father.
That's about the time Scott found the toad. Poor little guy was doing his best to blend into the dirt, and actually succeeding pretty well because Scott barely missed him. He yelped, "Oops! Sorry Mr. Toad!" and continued on, hoeing the row. When I caught up with my bean seeds, the toad was still there, trying to breathe imperceptibly so that I didn't nearly squish him as well. I could have passed him by, but thought better of it and gently scooped him into my hands, carried him to the wheelbarrow and set him softly into its dusty cavern.
The kids were instantly transfixed. They watched him hop in there. They touched him. We had to convince Milo that emptying his bug house and giving it to the toad as a new apartment was a bad idea. They held him as they went down the slide because, "He's never been on a slide before -- he'll LOVE it!"
Poor toad. Thankfully, he seemed like a relaxed fella as he went up and down the swingeset, inside and outside and under. Finally, as we were finishing the last few feet of the last row we were planting, the kids talked about where to release him. I suggested that they place him in the nice wet grass where they had just been a-sprinkling so that he could get a drink after all of that playing. Although my suggestion was ultimately accepted, it was nearly overridden by "Let's put him in the tall tower of the swingset because it's neat up there!" Yeah, and in two days it will be even neater when you have a stinky dead toad up there, too.
So Mr. Toad was released into the marsh created by the sprinkler. As soon as his little feet hit the grass, he hopped under one of the big blue spruce trees and away from my children who had nearly killed them with their love.
And then my kids went inside while Scott and I finished cleaning up. They came back outside, both of them buck naked. Because that's apparently what you do when mom tells you to go inside and get a towel.
Oh, hey, don't forget to vote for me in the Scholastic contest!