I always try to be a bit careful not to push my kids too much into a specific direction, especially a direction that feels like a copy of one of the parents. I hope, and try to support that they will develop their own styles, interests, and characters. They should not be a copy of their parents. As such, I never really gave them anything insect or reptile related (that would clearly be too much me). That’s my thing, although I hope to familiarize them with both eventually, and at least teach them to respect, develop curiosity, but not to fear. I do take them out into nature, because, well, that’s where kids should be (and me, too). Despite my effort not to indoctrinate my kids with my passions, the majority of presents they get from friends and family are very very nature-oriented, often leaning towards insects and the like. Ugh. So much for all my efforts. However, lately, my son developed a keen interest in building with Duplo and playing with cars. That made me happy, because I would not feel guilty for it.
Today, however, I shamelessly pushed my son to further develop his interest in plants. I’m not perfect. I slip up sometimes. My therapist convinces me that a good father doesn’t need to be perfect. So there you have it. It’s fine. As mommy was not feeling great today, I convinced my boy to join me on a trip to the local garden center. Without a second thought, I promised him that he would get a plant. His own first plant! That enthused him quite a bit. And he did not forget, either. The moment we walked in, he collected the first plant he saw, some Pepperomia, and wanted to have it. I convinced him that there would be better plants. Now, German garden centers are already in full-on Christmas mode, and the following aisle was completely filled with those ugly red Christmas plants, that I find so horrible that I can’t even be bothered to look up what they’re called. I don’t have to tell you what happened next… ‘Rafa have red plant’. Ugh! ‘No, Rafa, you will not get the red plant, because daddy hates them…’ I quickly pushed our cart forward some aisles and gave him the first plant I found acceptable, an Epipremnum, to distract him. He seemed to agree with me. Epipremnums are impossible to kill. I prefer that he has something that survives and lasts for a while. It immediately got a name, the very original ‘Rafa Plant’, and this afternoon we decorated a pot for it together…
I also couldn’t resist to treat myself to an additional Monstera deliciosa ‘variegata’. Because why not. You can’t have too many.
I’m not sure I did the right thing by giving my two year-old a plant, but I’m quite happy to see that he likes them. And besides, plants are generic enough to permit myself to push him a little. There’s nothing wrong with some botanical appreciation, and you can’t start early enough.