Imagine that you are in a garden centre and you see a woman struggling to load a bag of bark chips onto her trolley whilst said trolley keeps moving away from her and her daughter (who had briefly been holding one end of the bag) looks on gigging. Is your expression one of bemused-amusement? I expect so, as that was what I saw on the face of the man who stood a few metres away, before he kindly stepped in and helped me get the bag safely stowed. Yes, welcome to coordination Ellen-style!
Today’s activity centred around planting up a tub of strawberry plants. Ellen loves strawberries, in fact they are one of the few fruits she will actually eat so I thought I was on to a winner. The idea was to visit the garden centre to actually buy the plants, soil and bark and then in the afternoon do the planting. I had a whole list of ideas for how we could coordinate throughout the task, from silly walking into the garden centre (who cares about a few stares…) to picking the plants, carrying the heavy bags of soil (ahem) all the way to the actual planting where we could make coordination fun with changing the ways we put the soil into the pot – sprinkling, chucking – you get the idea.
I knew it was a mistake to split the task over lunch. Ellen’s always more cooperative before the trip to McDonalds, but what with our weekly stint at the shop and a trip to Tescos to fit in, there was no way to avoid the dreaded afternoon shift – made worse by the fact that it started to rain.
I was right to dread it. Having done some lovely moments of coordination at the garden centre, including indulging me with my funny arm-swinging walk (we’ll forget about the ‘too heavy’ ‘too wet’ bag moment) when it came to the actual planting of the tub Ellen did not want to know. She had had her McDonalds and was an hour into the Little Mermaid. But if there is a golden rule of RDI it is ‘never give in’ and I didn’t – although as you can see from the photo – she was NOT amused!
I think my personal highlight was the moment when I was waiting expectantly with my trowel full of soil for Ellen to come and mirror what I was doing, but instead of getting the soil, she used her trowel to knock the soil off mine – unfortunately for her, the plan backfired somewhat as the soil went all over her trousers, I tried not to laugh…
On a positive note, today Ellen did the best McDonalds ordering ever. I didn’t overcompensate or interfere at all and the server understood her first time and got her order correct. She even got me a cappuccino :-). Here’s hoping that over the next few weeks I manage similar progress with the latest challenge.
So, as it would have been Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday today it seems apt to end with an appropriate quote from Hamlet, “We know what we are, but not what we may be.”