The Boyo and I were out planting the tomatoes and peppers the other day, as you may remember. Well, the process went something like this.
I would roll out the groundcloth, having the Boyo hold the other end in place, a very important job. Then I'd cut off the piece and we would spread it over the plot. Then he and I would carefully put the ground cloth staples in to hold it in place.
I would cut holes in it where the plants would go, and we would plant.
Perhaps you also remember that the Boyo was having some problems determining where to walk in the garden. The center path was apparently not intuitive to a five year old, and he would walk through the plots instead tripping over the twine criss crossing the garden.
Well, after they were covered and planted it became much easier to see that shining center path, or so I thought. I was up on the fourth plot, the Boyo had grown bored with the repetition and had grabbed his purple watering can to helpfully water the plants we had already planted. He was at the bottom of the garden and I saw him getting ready to walk through the newly planted plot.
"Wait!" I said. "Remember that you are supposed to walk up the middle where the dirt is not covered!"
He looked at me for a moment, questioning.
"See all this nice black ground cloth that we put down?" I asked.
"Yeah Daddy." He said.
"Well, don't walk on the black cloth. Only where there is dirt. OK?"
He looked at me again, a little like I must be crazy, but answered "OK Daddy."
He then lifted his little foot very gingerly, looking like a sneaking cartoon character, and placed it squarely in the middle of one of the cutout circles where a little pepper plant had been tenderly planted not a half hour earlier.
I watched his little foot squish said plant and yelled in shock "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!"
He quickly jumped back to where he had started and looked a little shocked as well.
"You said to walk on the dirt!" He said.
I had to give him credit. Plant or no, he was just walking on the dirt! He was very concerned after I pointed out that he had squished the pepper, but we both agreed that the pepper would be fine (I crossing my fingers) and the crisis was averted.
Of course, I was much more careful to explain what dirt to walk on after that.
Post Script: The squished pepper came back like a champ and is doing quite good. I have since removed the twine that I used to lay out the plots, and the Boyo knows exactly where we can and can't walk out there!