Yard Tending

This is what happens when we try to do yard work. One of my boys ends up getting into some serious mischief. I swear they are attracted to mud piles.

This is what happens when we try to do yard work. One of my boys ends up getting into some serious mischief. I swear they are attracted to mud piles.

When I’m older I’m going to start a yard-tending business. Well maybe it won’t be a business, I might actually do it for free.

I’m not talking about tending yards I’m talking about tending so people can work in their own yards. Children. I’ll tend people’s children while they work in their yard.

Maybe I’ll even start tending before I’m older. Maybe I can kick it into gear when my own yard is in shape.

Because if anyone has ever tried doing heavy yard work with three young boys they will know it’s nearly impossible.

One of my boys is either beating someone up, flicking mud on his brother or falling out of a tree. It’s wild, it’s crazy and it’s really hard to get anything done.

I love to work in the yard. It relieves my stress and makes me happy. Unfortunately I’m afraid my boys are deathly allergic to yard work. At least they think they are.

This summer has been a killer. We bought a house a couple of months ago that has a yard that has been neglected. I’m talking about vine/weed/shrub overload. It took us one whole month to find all of our sprinkler valves – valves that probably haven’t been used once in the past decade.

But my husband and I knew what we were getting into. Like I said earlier, I love yard work. We knew we’d have plenty of it and we were OK with that. We just didn’t know how much fun it would be to work beside our children.

At the first of summer I had to threaten my boys to stay outside with me. I gave us a working-in-the-yard time limit and they couldn’t go inside until that time was over. Oh how they hated it. They whined, they cried. You would have thought they were going to melt or shrivel up in the sun – and we always went out before 10 a.m.

It was disastrous. I couldn’t pull one weed between complaints.

I seriously wondered what was wrong with them. Why didn’t they want to be outside? I told them they didn’t even have to help me work, they just needed to be out there getting some fresh air.

They still hated it. I was ruining their lives.

One day I got so sick of it I let them cut out early. I told them to go in and put a show on while I wrapped things up. I told the oldest two to take care of their brother and come and get me if he started crying like a maniac.

Not two minutes later I thought I heard a child crying. I shrugged it off thinking it was probably a neighbor kid. But it didn’t go away.

I put down my tools and ran to the kitchen sliding door only to find my almost two-year-old screaming at the top of his lungs. What did his brothers say about that? They didn’t think he was screaming like a maniac – yet. Apparently we have different definitions of maniac screaming. I’ll have to be more specific next time.

My youngest is actually the most helpful of the three. He loves to dig in the dirt. I can put a shovel in his hand and sit him down by me for at least 15 minutes. (At that point he wants to go run after his brothers.) But those 15 minutes are golden. Sometimes if I give him an Otter Pop he’ll last 30 minutes. That’s even better.

The older two just get into mischief while we work. They are definitely not helpful.

We had to make a no-playing-in-the-house rule while we are outside doing yard work after I came inside a few times to find that a tornado had struck our home. There’s nothing like coming inside dirty and tired only to find you have a giant mess welcoming you – seriously not helpful.

The night we finally hooked up the sprinkler control box to all of our valves we turned the water on and had two giant fountains in the front yard right by the curb. They were spewing water all over into the street and mixing the nearby dirt into thick, solid mud. What did my boys do? They turned it into a messy street race, racing their scooters back and forth in the river of muddy water – once again, not helpful.

Last night my husband and I were in the back yard ripping out some more bushes and vines when my 5-year-old volunteered to push his younger brother around the cul-de-sac on our miniature tricycle. We were thrilled. That would keep both of the busy and out of our way. My husband had the sudden urge to check on them and luckily he did. The older brother had unstrapped my baby and convinced him to ride in the rickety tipping bucket on the back of the trike then he buckled himself behind the wheel. Like I said – not helpful.

I got more work done in my yard the day my friend came over to help and brought with her her kids than I have the whole time we have lived here. Her kids played with my boys for hours while we weeded my jungle. They kept each other occupied so we could keep going. It was amazing.

That’s when I got the idea for my yard-tending service. I’m going to help other people out who don’t have the child-free time they need to get their work done. I’ll watch their kids while they weed. My boys and I will entertain their children while they mow their lawn. And we’ll bring Otter Pops.

Because heaven knows I would LOVE it if someone would do that for me. But then again considering the state of my yard, I’d need them to do it for me all summer long.

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