CF toddler vs garden – why time in the garden isn’t always relaxing!

The summer is almost upon us, although when it comes to the Great British weather it doesn’t really mean a great deal to us, sunny one minute pouring down the next, even the odd treat of hail stones.

Making the most of the sun means heading out and enjoying the warmer weather in the comfort of the garden. Whether it be chilling with a glass of wine on a Sunday afternoon after a roast or entertaining family by the BBQ, the better weather inevitably means more time in the garden.

Now as a parent I will be perfectly honest, I don’t always find time in the garden relaxing, a toddler who wants to climb on the garden furniture and get in and out of the trampoline unaided is bad enough, but as a CF parent it is full of other hazards that at times raise my stress levels through the roof, especially given Chester’s track record of growing pseudomonas.

Pseudomonas is all around us in the environment, it can be found in soil and stagnant water, basically anywhere warm and moist is generally a haven for this particular bacteria and this means the garden can often be a haven.

I try to weigh up risk with quality of life with everything I do, so of course letting Chester play in the garden is important, it’s a normal part of life and I want him to experience this, plus he absolutely loves being outside. I just have to be on hand to ensure no unnecessary risks are taken and any hazards are removed before he gets to them and boy this little fella can move quick!

Having a garden full of toys means a quick recce of the area to make sure any buckets that have collected rain water are emptied and washed out and to ensure any mud pies Oakley has made are disposed of before Chester is let loose.

This, however, is not fool proof, and I have failed in my recce a number of times of late! This weekend having completed a mandatory sweep of my garden I sat down to try and relax and watch my children playing, only to turn around and see Chester slurping dirty rainwater that I had missed from the window ledge of his plastic play house. As I was shouting stop and scrambling towards him he slurped even more and whilst doing so smiled ‘that naughty smile’ at me.


What ensued next could quite possibly have been described as waterboarding my own son in my back garden in a way even that may have even impressed the CIA, as I tried my hardest to get him to drink a cup of fresh water in an effort to rinse the dirty water away.

This was shortly followed by catching him with what appeared to be half a muddy worm hanging out of his mouth, this time I decided not to shout in case he decided to finish off the snack he had clearly started. I dashed silently toward him and managed to get him to open his mouth just enough that I could prise what was left of the worm out of his mouth, I then bravely had to risk being bitten when I opted to use my finger to sweep through his mouth to remove the chewed remains of the worm coupled with a large clump of mud he was desperately trying to swallow.  Anyone would think by the amount of fuss he was making that I was trying to steal sweets from him.

Yes, I have to say more waterboarding followed!

The final straw of this particular afternoon in the garden was catching him eating a stolen fromage frais from the fridge with a plastic fork that had clearly been used for digging in the garden. Right next to where he was sat was the nice clean silver teaspoon he had obviously picked up when he stole the yoghurt, but instead he opted for the weathered, muddy, sun faded, and plastic fork.


With my nerves shot, I went back inside to play in the relatively safe haven of my house, thankful in the knowledge he was already on strong oral and nebulised antibiotics that Pseudomonas is sensitive to.  The more worrying bit is now knowing the moment of truth would be the next cough swab result.

Here’s to keeping everything crossed! 🙏🏼


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