Monday, May 2, 2011

Growing virtues

Autumn is here and the last of our tomatoes are being picked. Ever since having our little boy, the garden and especially the vegetable garden have been shamefully neglected. However, what we have manged to plant, and more importantly what has managed to grow has added a wonderful experience for our little son.

Our son loves going outside to look for red and yellow tomatoes. There's nothing more gorgeous than a boy coming back to you proudly holding a few tomatoes in each hand. Then, we sit at the small table with a bowl and wash each one. As soon as it's washed, it goes straight into the mouth. Gone! Just like that. Our son will eat up to 8 cherry tomatoes in one sitting. We usually do it at morning or afternoon tea time so it makes a great snack.
 So apart from nutrition and colour recognition, I've actually discovered other virtues to be learned! He's learning sequencing and planning now, because "first, we put on our shoes... then we pick the tomatoes... then we wash the tomatoes... then we eat the tomatoes!" He's learning the cycle of life - "first it is a tiny bud, then the bud grows and grows to a flower. The bees eat the flower, and the flower is dead. Then the tomato grows and grows and grows until it's yummy and red."

And the most precious virtues being developed? Patience and self control. He's learning patience because he knows now that the green ones, even the ones that are slightly green actually taste yucky. Self control is easier when there's another red tomato beckoning. But when all is gone, we have to wait till another day... and we all know even a day is an eternity in a toddler's world. The green ones that do occasionally get picked get thrown back into the garden for the birds... I did say being developed right?

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