Because it’s never too early to start corrupting the young

Hadley’s class is beginning a farming unit at school and they will be going on a three-day field trip to a farm in a couple of weeks. To help prepare, her teacher asked Jamie to come into her class to teach them about soil and giant pumpkin growing.

An entire hour to talk about pumpkins to eager young minds? He was IN.

I wasn’t planning to go but at the last minute, he told me he needed help transporting visual aids, one of which is Hadley’s plant that is already growing like gangbusters in its pot.

I took it out to the car, carefully placed it by my feet and buckled up.

Him: “Pick it up.”
Me: “Fine.” I put it on my lap.
Him: You’re not holding it correctly.” I change my pose, holding it closer.
Him: “It’s moving around. You can’t hold it like that.”
Me: “What is wrong with the way I’m holding it?!”
Him: “Holding the plant upside down is not considered the best way to do it.”
(In my defense, it was slightly tilted but stable.)
Me: “We’re in a moving car and I’m clutching it to my CHEST. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT?”
Him: “More.”

I didn’t know what I’d signed up for when I volunteered to be his assistant.

When we were walking to class, the criticisms continued until he finally took the plant. I don’t know how he did it but his entire upper body didn’t move as he walked.

Hadley was thrilled to have him and his hands-on presentation was well-received. He was the Pumpkin Man Incarnate. He dazzled them with stories, awed them with pictures of The Great Pumpkin and never has a talk on soil been so moving. Some of the kids couldn’t get enough–one boy even took a full page of notes and kept drilling him with questions. Others will be losing sleep about their parent’s crappy soil.

“I’m going to plant a pumpkin in our yard and not tell my mom,” said one little girl.

Another one wailed, “How do I know if I have enough nitrogen in my soil?”

“I send my soil to get tested but I’m sure your parents won’t want to do that,” Jamie replied.

“Can we give it to you so you can send it off?”

At the end of the day, The Pumpkin Man gave each kid their very own Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seed.

Judging from their reaction, it was better than the Magic Bean from Jack and the Beanstalk.

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