Gray has reached that developmental stage where scooping and pouring are just the most fascinating activities. When Audrey was little I’d set her up at our child-sized table with two little bowls on a tray and a spoon Montessori style and let her scoop. She also had two little measuring cups and she’d pour grain from one to the other. But Gray let me know by climbing up on our learning tower which I keep next to my herb shelves, and taking the lids off the bulk grain jars (on the bottom shelf), reaching in to get the scoops I keep with them and happily pouring the contents of one into another. Popcorn and winter wheat berries anyone?
I heard the sounds of his exploration and when I discovered the barley all over the floor and all over the shelf and mixed into all the other jars, I didn’t have the heart to scold. He was in heaven. And I remembered how much Audrey loved these kind of activities at his age. So I got him down and swept up the floor and thought about how to channel this new interest. Starting with not storing the tower right up against the shelves. Too much temptation.
But I do often scoop various grains into jars to soak, either to grow as wheat grass or barley grass (I know, I’m such a hippie…) or to prepare them before cooking or baking. We largely follow a Weston Price diet. Not rigidly, as I find rigidity and rules in food and cooking to be unhelpful for me. But as a general way of eating most of the time, I find this approach to be quite healing and grounding. One of the things it emphasizes is soaking grains in an acidic solution before consuming them. Without getting into the details, I’ll just simply say that I find this process makes grains (and not just those with gluten in them) much easier to digest.
So…I soak grains in jars a lot and I figured it’s the perfect activity to include Gray. Taking it outside makes any mess a non-issue. I’m sure the birds appreciate any stray grains left in the straw. And he’s so very proud to be helping me with a task that he’s seen me do frequently. Oh, and it involves scooping and pouring! Perfect.