I’m staring down trays and trays of tomatoes in the garage. All shapes, sizes and colors. Mostly there’s Romas, since that is the base for most of my canning. Added to that are the Dr. Wyche’s yellow (which is actually an orange tomato), Cherokee purple, Brown Berry, and Brandywine to mix in with the romas. There’s probably 60+ lbs to process. Tonight the goal is to can tomato soup, and then by Thursday start chipping away at quarts of spaghetti sauce, since my peppers and jalapenos aren’t quite ready for processing salsa yet.
Nathan is such a sponge, imitating everything we do. Dan and I picked tomatoes on Sunday and Nathan stood faithfully by my side carefully taking the tomatoes and putting them in the trays. Every so often I had to remind him not to throw them in. He helped me for at least half an hour, if not more. He attempted to pick and eat the green tomatoes and realized that wasn’t a good idea.
Saturday we tried out his new boots, donated from his Grandparents that are worn over his shoes. Dan and I had a good laugh as he tried to clomp around somewhat clumsy, but eventually was able to pick up the pace and chase the cats. Dan picked the last of the sweet corn, and Nathan was content to help again by putting the ears in the wheel barrow, and then chomping down on an ear in his boots, sitting in his miniature lawn chair.
The goats were getting low on food, so Dan started setting up a new paddock and Nathan helped him too. He watched as his Daddy pushed down the fence posts with his foot. Nathan tried to imitate him by stomping his foot where the post was already set. I also noticed that I no longer have to take the stem off green beans when he wants a snack while I pick. He’s seen me do it so many times for him, that now he does it, as well as pulling off the carrot tops.
Nathan and I have many conversations. Not with real words, but based on context and his motions, I can tell what he means. When I repeat it back to him, he stops babbling when I get it right. He does use the syllables “bee bee” for his favorite snacks: bread and bananas.
Saturday after his nap I took him out the front door to see Dan and he was barefoot. He wanted to stay outside, so I let him while I rounded up some other things before coming outside. I could see him from the kitchen window and I had a good snorting laugh! He wanted to chase the kittens, so he started walking on the driveway, where they had fled. He realized the feel of gravel on his feet was very different from soft grass, so he bent over and put his hands down. That wasn’t good enough, he decided, so he knelt to his knees and tried to crawl a little. That wasn’t quite right either, so back up on his feet with his hands still on the gravel. Then back to his knees. In the meantime, the kittens wanted attention, so they were walking under his face, rubbing their back and tails in his neck. His hands were occupied, so he buried his face in their fur, and rolled his head around, looking like a tiger. He dropped to his knees again and with one hand grabbed a kitten by the back, lifting it up by the skin. I was afraid he was going to get scratched. After what seemed like forever, he dropped the kitten, who didn’t lose a beat, and rubbed up against his neck, flicking his tail in Nathan’s face. Finally, Nathan straightened up to walk and made it safely across the driveway to the grass and took off after the chickens.
What can I say? Nathan is both my entertainment and greatest joy! He’ll be a great big brother! I have been pointing out pictures of babies in the books we read, and he knows what they are and smiles. I’m not sure he realizes that there is one in Mommy’s tummy and it’s coming his way in December!
And that’s the news from this tomatoes-and-Nathan’s-a-sponge week on the farm!