Always Practice Safe Gardening

I love to garden. So when there was an opportunity to volunteer in a garden, I immediately signed up for the task. Our elementary school has a fairly large garden consisting of ten raised beds located in the preschool playground and the school needed people to tend the garden for a week during summer break. It’s tending a garden for a week while reaping the benefits of the crop and providing my children with an opportunity to learn a little about agriculture. Totally a win, win, win situation for me and one that was working out just fine …until one day.

By Thursday, I had already spent the previous days weeding, watering, and harvesting. So on this day, I figured I would stop by with my two children and spend a short time simply watering the garden. At first the kiddos were happy to help and made frequent stops at the hose to fill up their little plastic watering cans. But after a few minutes, the empty playground called to them and they left their watering cans for some exploration and imagination development.

I didn’t think anything about it. They were welcome to help when they wanted (which was often) and of course welcome to run off and just be kids. So I finished spraying down the other beds while occasionally glancing at my little munchkins playing in a corner of the yard. I thought it was nice that the two sisters were getting along so well. No whining, no bossing, just two buddies working together doing… something over by a fence.

Once I was finished with the last bed, I called for the girls to clean up their watering cans and get ready to go. Both ran from their fence and approached me while I was winding up the hose.

“Mom! Look what sister gave me!” Shouted the youngest (4) as she scampered across the yard with some found treasure clutched in one of her little hands.

“Yes! I recycled it by re-purposing it and making something new!” My 6 year-old’s voice was filled with pride while she shared her eco-friendly knowledge.

I finished rolling up the hose and turned to see this ‘treasure’ that was the result of their teamwork. My 4 year old was beaming with the gift from her older sister and still making her way towards me. At first I wasn’t sure what it was she was holding. It was stuffed with wood chips and I saw a yellow dandelion flower tied to the top. Then the realization hit me. I even gasped.

Dangling from my little child’s sweet and innocent hand was a large, purple, shiny condom.

My reaction was shock and anger, but the biggest feeling was disgust. I quickly snatched the ‘prettily decorated item’ from my child’s hand and hollered for both the girls to follow me to the nearest bathroom. (Hoping that they would be open seeing that school was out for the summer) My youngest immediately screamed at me.

“Gim me back my treshure!”

My oldest had caught up to us and joined in with her little sister, “MOM! Its not trash! I recycled it and made a fancy purse!”

Meanwhile I am trying to explain that it is junk and very yucky junk while wondering the school hallway looking for an unlocked bathroom with a purple decorated condom dangling from my hand. Visions of VD and germs swarmed in my head and I was in a panic to get their little hands clean ASAP.

Horrible thoughts flashed before me. What if they thought it was a balloon and tried to blow it up? So I asked the eldest if she or her sister tried to blow it up.



I finally reached the bathrooms and yep, the doors were locked. So I found the nearest dumpster and tossed the item in it.

Youngest renewed her screaming efforts, “YOU FREW AWAY MY TRESHURE!”

Eldest backed off and joined my defense. “It was yucky trash.”

Eventually I make it back to my minivan and snatched my purse from under the console. Fortunately I don’t go anywhere without goop. (a.k.a. Purelle)

I drowned both their hands and mine in the potent potion of germ fighting goodness, locked them in their car seats, (youngest still screaming) and called husband to tell him what had happened.

“OH YUCK! Gross!! That’s awful! Is that our 4yo screaming in the background?”

I sighed, “Yes.”

“Tell her I am going to Target to buy her a treat.”

Dad likes to use the ‘treat’ method to solve tears. (It turns out; he bought me a treat too. Chocolate covered macadamia nuts.)

Once I got home, I called my dad to tell him what happened and received a different response.

It took a few minutes for him to stop laughing.

So, I’ve added a new note in my gardening journal. “Always practice safe gardening.”


  1. OMG, this is hilarious. I can see it all. Ohhh . . . treasure . . . purple . . .

    Sorry, ::cough cough::

    I've never been quite this lucky, I've had to content myself with finding discarded drug paraphernalia. At least you had some nature lovers enjoying the garden!

    Sorry again, ::cough cough::

    Oh, what the heck!


    I'll say goodnight now. Terri

  2. Purple! What beautiful colors we find in nature. :)

  3. Terry - Glad you found it funny! I've run across the drug paraphernalia stuff too. At the beach. Glad I wore sandals!

    Amy - Purple is still my favorite color... even after this incident. ;)

  4. Oh, Gross!!!! Ewww! Ick!!! I think I would probably still be washing my kids' hands and making them gargle with gold Listerine (just in case). LOL!

  5. Totally! As soon as we got home, I put them in the shower and scrubbed their hands with soap. Bleh!

  6. Ahhh! I need to wash my hands after just READING that! Purell could do a killer line of commercials with parents encountering such "yucky trash" situations and whipping out the hand sanitizer to save the day. Ew. Ew.

  7. I keep bottles of the liquid gold stashed just about everywhere! :D

  8. But...but...did she ever get her treshure back? Don't leave me in suspense!

  9. ROFL! I have to laugh, though if I'd been there, I'd have been horrified, too. I'm glad it didn't go any worse.

    You're my hero. :)

  10. Angie - She got a present from Target. Although now, I can't remember what it was.

    Janna - I still get grossed out. Its funny, but gross. Bleh. *dons purple cape* Thanks!


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