We finally made it out to Great Country Farms. Though the night before Fred arrived home from a week long trip to California and Mason, so desperate to see and spend time with daddy, did not want to go. I expected as much and had to talk up all the cool things, including picking blackberries and peaches, just to get him to put on his clothes. However once in the car, and at the Farm he got real excited.
Once everyone arrived, we headed in the direction of the kids playground and barnyard. First up was the thankfully, perfectly shaded play area. Fully equipped with spider web rope climbs
The kids were having a great time and we all got to take a break from the heat. I met a new fellow momma and hopeful friend whose daughter is about the same age as Mason. The first thing I heard her ask her mom was for a snack. And continued for a while. It made me chuckle to know that my son is not the only one who wants to snack ALL DAY LONG. Fellow snackies unite!
Next we headed in the direction of the barnyard but found the corn box and detoured that way. What a good choice that was because it was hours of entertainment. Well at least it felt like it. Such a relief to us to be able to sit and relax while watching the enjoyment of the kids getting along and playing nice.
It was also covered so there was shade and a nice breeze and the right amount of adirondack chairs for us to sit in. This is the life. Sophie, though, not so much.
She got tired of sitting in the stroller so I brought her in to sit on my lap. She tried so hard to get into that corn pit, it must have looked like so much fun to her. But one attempt to put them in her mouth and right back up she went. And not all too happy about it either. She flailed, and squirmed, and whined and fussed. Just about throwing one of her tantrums. I kept telling her, "wait another year. Or even a few months. When you're not putting anything and everything into your mouth and you too can play." Though I'm not sure that reassurance helped much. It also could have been crankiness due to it being right in the middle of her nap time and awfully close to lunch.
Once lunchtime arrived, we had to drag the kids out of the corn pit and made our way to one of the many pavilions around the farm to set up. The kids were fascinated with the random chicken running around. Trying to feed him pieces of corn they found stuck in various parts of their shoes and clothes. Except Nathan. He was scared.
I figured since we were out and with friends and doing things, Mason would actually sit and eat his lunch. I was mistaken. I had to repeatedly tell him to sit and eat his peanut butter and jelly which he had asked me to make for lunch. Even threaten to take a stone away. Yes, we have started back up with the stone jar and earning bag of matchbox cars. At least I wasn't the only one having trouble getting my child to listen and cooperate.
While the rest of us finished up our lunch, Mason and James were playing, and at times ran off to where we couldn't see them, or James would fall, or Mason tackle him and he would whine or James and Sophie would just cry or whine for no particular reason; and it was hard for us to keep it together and not want to scream at them to just SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!
Clearly the kids were anxious to get back to the activities of the farm, so we packed up as fast as we could, sanitized our hands and were on our way.
As you can see in the first picture of Emily and the kids, there are stairs in the background. Those stairs lead to a tube slide. One of many on the grounds of the farm. However that particular one seemed awfully big for the kids. Looking around we found another, slightly smaller slide and subsequently ushered the kids in that direction.
Mason followed the group up the stairs, insisting I follow. I was skeptical about him actually going down the slide. Two years ago he LOVED, L-O-V-E-D, slides and it seemed the bigger the better. Once he was two, and the closer he got to three he developed a fear of slides and swings and that fear grew and grew. Once at top, we watched one by one as the others went down and just as I suspected, he freaked. I finally convinced him to ride down in my lap and to ensure he would be scarred anymore than he already was, I purposely slowed us down. It must have worked because he raced back up the stairs yelling back at me that he wanted to go down alone. But once again, at the top his fear set in and I had to sit at the bottom coaxing him to come down, ensuring him that he would not get hurt, that I would catch him. Eventually he came down and the smile on his face said it all.
Up again he went. Over and over and each time he laughed and smiled more. Eventually everyone took a turn. Even Sophie. She laughed and smiled. So down again we went. So happy she didn't cry and thinking once again that maybe Mason has been able to get past his fear of slides. I suppose we'll have to wait till the fall and Pumkinville to find out for sure.
While Mason went down the slide, one more time, the others found their way back to the corn bin and we joined them. The day was winding down, we were getting tired and enjoyed the rest, the cool breeze, and simple conversation.
Time to say good-bye to good friends and a long eventful day. But not before I snapped a few pictures of butterflies.
Pack the kids up in the car, put on Curious George, because it is a long trip, and head out of the parking lot.
Noooooooo! I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE! I WANT TO GO BERRY PICKING!!!
I had totally forgot that we hadn't gone berry picking until we were heading back to the car. But since everyone was too tired to stay and heading home he would forget. I should have known, my little elephant, the one who never forgets a single thing promised to him. I couldn't resist the wails and pleads to do the berry picking I so very much talked up to convince him to come today. So I quickly turned around and headed back into the parking lot.
Situating Sophie into the Ergo, I took Mason by the hand and headed back into the Country Store in search of the berry fields. After getting direction and halfway to the vines, I realized I didn't have anything to put the berries in. *sigh* As I got closer I saw that not many ripe berries were left anyway. Plus, I'm not a big fan of black berries and wasn't sure Mason would be either. But in we headed anyway.
I think we will try this berry picking thing again. However, next year we will come during strawberry or blueberry season when it is more exciting and something we would actually enjoy eating.