"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"We don't get to go in the corn maze?" (insert sad face)

Yesterday we went to Westview Apple Orchards and Adventure Farm. We decided to go on Friday, early in the afternoon. I wanted to avoid anxiety-inducing crowds and the chaos that surrounds swarms of sugar coated, sticky, children with runny noses; children who seem to think they have a superpower that allows them to run through anything or anyone. I realize that sounds a lot like my children and I'm fine with that. I don't mind cleaning up my children's mucus; wipe off the remnants of cider and doughnuts; and chase them from one thing to another. But I didn't want to bear the inevitable responsibility of telling another child to slow down or find a lost child's parent. I didn't want to spend ten minutes trying to coax a child down a slide so my child could then take their turn or offer my Kleenex to a parent who is fine with their child wiping snot off on their sleeve. I wasn't armed with enough Lysol to deal with the onslaught of germs that would be hard to avoid on the weekend when everyone comes out to play.

Finally, I really didn't want to tell a parent to watch their children. I would never say that, in so many words. I actually have no problem talking to another parent or guardian, especially if their child is endangering the welfare of my child. I usually talk to the child first and ask them to be careful because there other children around or they need to wait their turn, something like that. If the child still is not listening I ask where their parents are and I go talk to them. I usually say something like your child looks like their having a lot of fun but their being a bit rough around the smaller children. Do you think you could say something to them? To be honest, most of the time, the parent marches right over, like they suddenly remember they're supposed to be watching someone, and say something to their child. Sometimes, the parent is not so fond of being told by someone else that 'their' child is misbehaving, being rough, etc. Guess what? I don't care. I sympathize with parents who have difficult children. Hello, I have a beast, but you still need to watch them.
The thing is, so many people bring children to places like cider mills, for example, and let them loose. They find a bench or picnic table to make themselves comfortable and they start chatting away, either on the phone or with another adult they came with. Excuse me. I don't understand why you think your adolescent youth has the reasoning and maturity to act responsible at all times around his kind. They need reminders about how to behave and a watchful eye. Case in point, Noah and Izzie were crawling through one of the tunnels that runs through a large hill. All of a sudden a swarm of elementary age boys attacked the hill and started crawling through the tunnels. One boy stopped short at the entrance of the tunnel Izzie and Noah were making their way out of. He waited for Izzie and I guess he figured he could crawl around Noah. As he barreled through the tunnel, he knocked over Noah who looked like a deer caught in the headlights as he tried to get out of the way. I politely told the boy that he needed to be careful around the smaller children. He said he was sorry and was fine after that. (That doesn't always happen.) The babies and bigger kids continued to play in the tunnels for awhile. As I looked around there was something missing; not a parent or person responsible for these children in sight. I'm all for independence, trust and all of that, but children should not need to wear a sign that says, "Please Watch Me". It's kind of a given. And that's enough of that. Sometimes I get going on something and I can't stop, plus I'm cranky right now which only makes me rant more.

I just wanted to enjoy an afternoon out with Kris and the kids; precious time that we rarely get as a family. We picked the perfect time. There were a few other families, mostly with small children. There were some older couples and a group of college age kids. There was a group of young boys who apparently didn't belong to anybody. (On our way out I saw them with what I assume to be their parents.) The only downside to going at a time when they're not as busy is that a couple of the attractions weren't open. It wasn't a big deal, except for the corn maze being closed. Izzie was pretty excited about it. I'm not sure if she remembers it from last year or if it's because she loves corn. Make no mistake, she doesn't actually like to eat corn but she loves driving past the cornfields. She loves watching her aunts and uncles shuck corn. She loves her corn t-shirt. Note that I said 'corn'; not 'Korn'. Izzie was disappointed that we couldn't go through the corn maze but there was plenty of other stuff for them to do.

*Please ignore my daughters wonky hair. I put a cute side ponytail in her hair, but after getting out of the truck she declared, "It's windy Momma!" So I gathered the rest up in the back. Maybe I'll start a new trend.

*I took most of these pictures with my iphone because my already crap camera's battery crapped out after ten minutes. One day I would love to purchase a decent camera and some editing software, but for now, these will have to do. Lets be honest. My kids make even my horrible photo taking skills look good.

'Straw Mountain'
This was as close to both of them looking at me as I could get.

Noah made his way to the top with daddy's help.

Izzie stopped halfway and decided that was high enough.
Actually, she freaked out and was close to tears at one point.

Noah was fine until Kris climbed to the very top.
Then he freaked out and wanted down.

Izzie was happy hanging out in her little corner.

Noah loved petting the donkeys and goats. Izzie was a bit nervous and kept her distance.  I think she was afraid the goats were going to try and nibble on her. They were a bit aggressive and were actually trying to contort their bodies through the fence.

Noah could have watched the bunnies forever.
This was only part of their exclusive estate.

They have a play area full of wooden structures. They have trains, a wagon, a castle, a pirate ship and more. This was where the babies were in their glory. They went back and forth from walking up the plank; to zipping down the castle slide; to driving the wagon; to discovering fun secret compartments.

Oh, Hi! Fancy meeting you here.

Just passing through...

See you later.

I love my babies cute bottoms.

About to enter the black hole.

After a little hesitation they came through the other side no problem.

Waiting for our wagon ride.
Not the greatest picture, but how adorable does Noah look just chillin'. What? What you looking at? Just waiting to go pick some apples. No big deal. Gonna get some Jonagolds, maybe a few Honey Crisp. Then I'm gonna chomp those apples up like nothing.

Mmmm, apple cider

Noah was loving his apple cider.

Izzie ate almost a whole doughnut. We were a little shocked because she's not a huge fan of these doughnuts. I guess she was hungry.

Noah still loving his apple cider.
He did eventually finish off his doughnut, like you ever doubted he wouldn't.

This was after a huge meltdown and it's obvious my sweet boy is tuckered out.

Sweet Dreams

She said she was just going to take a nap for a little bit and was out within minutes, before Noah too.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow. I'm whipped so I'm going to call it a night.

Hope everyone is enjoying this fall weather we're finally having.

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