There is No Such Thing as a Foolproof Plant

I admit I am no green thumb. I want to be. I mean, I watch PBS dramas and I see those English gardens, and I think, man, I want me one of those. I also want a butler and a pretty dress and an accent. See? You can’t have everything. Except I could make some scones, and that's a comfort.  

My sister is a genius with plants. She has this garden that I’m pretty sure was grown on Jupiter and then space-shot here. Me? Well. You’ve heard my plight with zucchini. At least I can grow a tomato plant and other edibles. But give me flowers or indoor plants, and everything either dies of thirst or molds in a flood. There is no in between.


Okay. So here's what happened:

See, the poor kiddos have about two-dozen allergies and since we can’t have cats or dogs, they pleaded for something alive to take care of. Franz wanted a snake and Moxie wanted a hamster. We compromised. I bought my kids a couple of succulents. Or cacti without the prickers.


I know. I know. Giving a kid a cactus instead of a pet is a lousy consolation prize, but the kids have done well. I mean, they’ve been as happy as you can be with a plant for a best friend, although it is a little sad to see them try to play with the plant. The plant never catches a ball, never cuddles, never does anything except look slightly depressed.

Anyway. Nana came over to see the kids, and they happily showed off their cacti. Moxie’s plant was going crazy, mostly because I forget about it and leave it alone. She got lots of praise from Nana. Franz wanted to show off his plant, so he grabbed the pot, started to walk towards Nana and all of a sudden, the plant’s head POPPED OFF.


I mean, KABLAM! Off rolled its head.


Succulent head, and my incredibly line-y hands.

Franz started screaming. It really was like we’d decapitated a puppy. Not at all pleasant.


Nana tried to soothe him by picking up the plant’s head. “Oh, this happens, honey. It’s okay. We’ll just take one of the leaves here and put it in some dirt and it’ll grow roots.” To show Franz, she ripped one of the leaves off the plant. Franz screamed harder, his eyes wide with fright. I mean, from his perspective, not only had the plant been decapitated, but now Nana was ripping it limb from limb.




We finally got him calmed down.


I don’t know what to do with the plant. Half of it is sitting in a bowl, and the part with the plant-body is by the window. I’m afraid to water it, not water it, breathe on it or what have you.


All I can say is, thank god it wasn’t a puppy.