Mother's column – who decides which plant is a weed?


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

A child watering plants in the garden. Image not related to article. Photo Unsplash, Filip Urban

When I was pregnant with Sifra, I stumbled upon a list of ten things a mother-to-be should do during her maternity leave. The tips range from "sleep in late because you can still do it now" to "meet up with friends you haven't spoken to in a while because soon you won't have time for that".

However, a lot of things were not mentioned on the list. How about sorting out clothes? Or keeping up with laundry? Or laying skirting boards? Or cleaning out messy bedrooms? Or making sure the maternity nurse doesn't get an entire Tupperware set all over her when she pulls open a kitchen cupboard? It was all not listed.

Neither was pulling weeds, for that matter, but I still found myself sitting cross-legged in the back garden (as squatting turned out to be impossible). Every now and then, I would move to the next tile, so that a new patch of overgrown earth was within reach. There were indeed heaps of laundry waiting to be cleared away. And clothes to be sorted out. But this was also desperately needed, and I was a bit reluctant to deal with the whole clothing pile. Especially when Reinout would be there , always ready to interfere with my piles - he likes to imitate me, but in his own way.


In the garden, by the way, the presence of Reinout was not necessarily helpfull either. He loves weeding, but the difference between herbs and weeds still eludes him. For some reason, the strawberry plants, in particular, suffer under his hands. I just explained to him how to pull poppies out of the ground, but a little later, there he is again, proundly presenting a fresh piece of a strawberry plant.

In a way, of course, he has a point, I philosophised, resting my hands for a moment. Who decides what plants are weeds? Plunged in thought, I watched a bee crawling into a flower I had just wanted to pull out. Why did it have to go? Biodiversity is important, isn't it? OK, this particular plant had sprouted in the middle of my boxwood bush. Still, to be honest, it was a lot prettier than that caterpillar-infested boxwood hedge. Indeed, in all his glory, even Solomon was not clad like one of these.

Enough weeding for today, I decided, pulling Reinout away from the strawberries one more time. I put him in a garden chair with a stack of books and seated myself next to him with my feet up, to enjoy the peace and quiet and the floral splendour one more time. Tomorrow will be anxious for itself.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).



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