Sunday, June 5, 2011


last year berry picking
Last year, I went with Peanut and some of her friends to pick strawberries while Pumpkin stayed home with Daddy.  She was surprisingly good at picking the berries and putting them in her basket vs. her mouth, and we got a huge take - enough for plenty of fresh eating, smoothies, and yogurt toppers for quite some time.  The farm was as natural and plain as we could get - a big field of berries and weeds with a little farm stand - that's it.  We picked, we picnicked, we went home.  She still talks (fondly!) about the ants crawling all over her feet when she stepped on the ant hills to pick the biggest berries.  It was totally my speed - just one activity, nice and chill. 

Come on!
This year, we had the opportunity to go with friends to a big, busy farm to pick our berries.  I'm not one to pack a ton of activities into a day - I like to take it easy and focus - but this place had a ton of other stuff to do.  There were animals to see, a big jump pillow, a spot to get lunch, etc., etc., etc..   I figured we'd go and pick some berries and see how we were all feeling about doing anything else.  Well, it was ridiculously hot, there were a ton of school field trips, and we had to wait for almost 45 minutes to get a hayride out to the field.  That's after waiting in line to pay the entrance fee and to buy a few buckets.  Crabbiness set in, Pumpkin started getting clingy, and I thought about turning around and heading home.  Once we got on the wagon though, we had renewed interest in the day.

empty bucket, messy face
In the fields, Peanut continued on her previous streak of picking and saving from last year.  She could have filled several huge buckets in no time flat, but me trying to maneuver two kids and many pounds of berries on a hayride was not my goal.   Pumpkin on the other hand would put a few in his bucket and then stand there eating them.  I encouraged Peanut to fill Pumpkins basket too, and soon we were all filled up.  With the heat and the rapid berry picking and eating, we were done with this pretty quickly.  We caught the wagon back, paid for our berries and decided to stick around for lunch.  During lunch the kids climbed up a a little wall to see some emus (maybe?) and ran around a bit in the fields.  My two were winding down, and we bailed before they could get any ideas about the jump pillow or whatever else there is to do out there.  I'm glad too, because the act of getting out of there complete with a diaper change/potty stop along with the several buses of school children almost made me lose my cool.  A sweet mom at the bathroom door reminded me to breathe - thank you mama.  Once in the car and back on the road, our pace went back to normal and we enjoyed the scenic route home. 

It's interesting to me that I have such an aversion to things like this.  The rushed pace rubs off on me - just hearing people hurrying their children along causes me to hurry even though I have no where I need to be.  Dealing with the hayrides causes me to be unfocused, keeping one eye and ear out for the wagon instead of being present in the moment.  I get easily annoyed and overwhelmed by it all, and keeping tabs on both kids in a little craziness never helps.  I think this gives me a little more insight into how Peanut sometimes sees the world.  I can understand how she just has to turn it all off for a while.  I am glad we went though, as I've felt funny not wanting to go somewhere that so many people seem to really love.  I think I will stick with my fields of berries and weeds though.

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