Chapter Nine-The Toddler of Small Things

Some people spent it at a barbecue. Others, and you know who you are, spent it drinking ice cold lager in a beer garden. I spent the hottest night of the year so far brushing blackfly off the runner beans.

I’m not sure which is worse, the fact I was doing it, the fact it was a Saturday night, or the fact that I realised the neighbours were watching me.

I spent most of last spring and summer shaking my fist at the elements. Everything I attempted to plant in the garden failed to thrive. The courgettes withered away in the rain, the onions barely bothered to pop in, and we will never know what happened to the carrots.

During a fit of pique brought on by this horticultural catastrophe, I vowed to take my revenge. Whether it was gravel, tarmac, or salting the very earth itself, I would wreak my vengeance.

Months later however my rage has been placated. Despite the blackfly, there is now only a small amount of gravel in between two raised beds, optimistically arranged as a comfortable home for the tomato plants.

It was Daddy’s job to lay the gravel. It is Raffie’s mission to spread it far and wide.

Like the carrots, we may never discover where some of it has been laid to rest.

Raffie finds stones everywhere.

Raffie finds stones everywhere.

Stones and water are currently two of the simple things in life which Raffie cannot live without.

Raffie’s love of tiny stones blossomed just before his birthday. Sometimes he proffers them up to big trees as a gift, or delivers them carefully into plant pots. Some days he plants them in old margarine tubs before watering them, or decorates the sludge in the wheelbarrow with them. I have found them shoved down the end of the hosepipe, or hiding in the toes of my shoes.

But they’re not the only small things he loves.

Important work in the garden.

Important work in the garden.

Raffie has a passion for coins, collecting them up and posting them through the cracks in the open doors. Flies, moths, slugs, and snails, everything has a wriggling fascination. And there’s nowhere to hide for insects, Raffie loves meeting small insects though finds it hard to say goodbye, screaming ‘my woodlouse!!!’ as we put him outside. It’s probably no surprise the neighbours are avoiding eye contact.

But for a small boy, bugs, bees and bits of fluff all share a sense of wonder, and it’s forced me stop and take note as those small things often unnoticed. And the beauty is that when you take time to celebrate the small, the bigger things in life seem less important for a moment, even if the gravel is gone for good.


From tiny stitching to entire fleeces, Annie G is a keen crafter and is blogging all about it. I love her bags and that she spent the hottest night of the year soaking a sheep’s fleece! You can find more here 

Mum of Three World is a blog I’m really enjoying and the latest post is also all about the outdoors. You can read more here:!+Mail


6 thoughts on “Chapter Nine-The Toddler of Small Things

  1. Thank you so much for the mention! And what a lovely post. Toddler behaviour is so cute. No doubt it can be infuriating at times, but you will look back on it and smile! And you have the blog to record these memories forever.

    • Well thank you, it’s a pleasure, and I am really enjoying your blog! Yes, it will be good to have it as a record, but hopefully it won’t embarrass him too much when he’s all grown up!

  2. Lovely piece about the joy of small things ! Mirissa loves ants, and woodlouse, which she calls ‘woodmouse’ . She spent a large part of the hottest day fishing small stones out of a paddling pool with a fishing net. Oh yes, small stones .., and then it will be sticks . I cleaned the car this morning and discovered Torin’s stash of sticks under the passenger seat!

    • Hello there, thank you so much. We had a look at ants today and he got a bit upset when I couldn’t pick them up for him! Raffie has been throwing the gravel in the paddling pool as well. Thanks for the heads up, I am looking forward to the sticks already!

  3. Lottie loves stones too! The 2 minute walk to nursery takes considerably longer than that when she wants to collect stones and post them through manholes 🙂

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