"So then," says Younger Dad, "the garden is your responsibility, I will mow the lawn."
"Oh," I replied.
My fingers certainly aren't in cahoots with the earth. No, definitely not green. I don't enjoy the gritty sensation of soil particles under my nails. The idea of worms wrapping around my fingers. Slug spittle gobbed on stems.
I can't remember the last time I had a garden. I think it was nine years ago. Brambles and nettles. Nettles and brambles. Before that? My home of origin. Sycamore trees. Bluebells. Fat peonies.
When I surveyed our new garden, all I saw was a massive tangle of overgrown weeds. When was the last time this poor garden received care and attention? The previous owners had let it go somewhat, the scene before me mirroring my dark chocolate habit...
Out. Of. Control.
Creeping buttercups - advancing armies of assaulting yellow - choked the flower beds, attacked the gravel pathway. Gangs of dandelions glared with 'what'ya look'in at luv' malicious intent. Tall green villains bullied the remaining shrubs maybe once planted with an 'English garden' vision in mind.
Tools were bought. A pokey prodder thing. A shovel thing. A fork thing. Little A had her very own yellow bucket and blue watering can. Then a week ago, project weed began in earnest. I donned my gardening gloves and began uprooting the green invasion with fervent abandon, hacking away a few feet every day. And while my hands dug in, pulling out wiry white roots, dismantling the intruding infrastructures, Little A collected snails in her bucket, named the ants crawling around her ankles, made brave attempts climbing the silver birch.
And then I made a delightful discovery. One that took me by surprise.
It turns out I love gardening.
And it works wonders for PMS.
My gardening gloves grew holes. And I didn't mind the crumbs of earth that fell inside. Or the worms my flowered-fabric fingers touched. As each unwanted weed was thrown in the bucket, another bad thought was tossed away. Turning the soil grounded the hot coals in my toes. Cool, calming, stable earth.
The flower beds are now cleared. The soil, dry and naked. A big shop at the gardening centre beckons.
I can't wait.
So far, I have placed the gift of a lavender tree beside the garden fence, planted French lavender papillon - their feathery heads like Native American head dress, potted burgeoning tomato and courgette plants.
Next week, Little A's Jack-and-the-Beanstalk sunflower will find a new home in the borders.