Our weekend has been filled with lots of family time. In our usual fashion, we have had a few moments that wouldn't be a part of any Norman Rockwell painting!
How many times throughout our 20 years of parenting have our grandiose plans ended in a tantrum and a puddle of tears?
Many...and it wasn't always the kids!
Take yesterday, for instance.
We usually go apple picking at the end of September, but, because Mike likes to go and he has been away at school, we waited until this weekend. I like to go in the late morning before it gets really busy.
But....since Jay had to sell tickets after the Masses for next week's youth group fundraiser, we weren't able to leave until 12. I gave the kids a light lunch, but Kate was looking ready for a nap. Not the best time to bring her out for unfamiliar activities....but sometimes we have to wing it!
When we got to the orchard it was super busy. I was fighting back feelings of frustration that we couldn't do the outing the "best" way. (Meaning the way I wanted to do it with a non-tired baby and a not so busy orchard!) ....but sometimes we have to wing it!
Right before you go into the orchard there is a picture spot. We always get a pic of the kids. Because Kate was getting tired and cranky, she did not want to sit on the hay with her siblings. Fine, I improvised and held her. She was still squirmy and whiny. Then, we tried to get everyone to at least look at the camera with their eyes open at the same time. Then, Peter was trying to take off his sweatshirt saying, "I'm hot", although it definitely needed to stay on. Oh, joy!
|eyes mostly closed|
|eyes mostly opened; screaming baby|
|eyes mostly closed|
|eyes closed; baby screaming; Peter undressing...time to give up!|
The orchard we went to also has a hayride that brings you to a pumpkin patch where you can choose a pumpkin. A few of the kids really wanted to do it. The line was really long.(sigh....if we could have only gotten there late morning!) While we waited, Kate continued to get grouchy but was distracted by sitting on a photo op tractor.
Thankfully, it didn't take too long for our turn on the hayride. Everyone was smiling at first. Then it started to move, and Kate was not happy. She did not like the bumpy ride at.all! And she let everyone know about it! So, for the longest.5 minutes.ever, she was miserable. When we got off in the pumpkin patch, she was all set! Kate did not want to walk around and look at pumpkins. She was just desperate for a nap. So, I held her and we followed Luke and Sarah around. Ellie, Jon, and Luke picked out pumpkins and then we waited to get on the next hayride back to the main building.(which I was dreading!)
Just as it was pulling up, Ellie dropped her very large pumpkin and it split in half! Ugh! (poor Ellie was so embarrassed!) She and Jon raced around for a 1.2 minutes to grab another one and jump on the hayride before it filled up and we had to wait for the next one!
As soon as we got back on the hayride, Kate starting yelling, "Like it, NO!", over and over again! Which, in Kate speak, is, "I don't like this! I want off!") Thankfully, it's a very short and less bumpy ride back! And, she wasn't the only unhappy toddler, so at least we weren't alone!
Once we got back to the van, Kate was fast asleep by the time we made the 7 minute drive home!
Even though the outing had it's "moments", it still had some good memories! It also yielded some tasty treats a few hours later! I will share those pics soon, too!:)
I read an article by Kate Wicker in Catholic Digest this morning. One of the things she talked about was how, when she is feeling burned out, she takes a break from reading all the 'supermom blogs' of women who craft, cook, and maintain immaculate homes 24/7!
I certainly wouldn't want anyone to feel that way about me! (add maniacal laughter here!)
Parenting is a crazy ride! My own parenting adventure often feels like I'm being dragged around by a large, hyper dog on a leash! (I'm not comparing my kids to dogs!)
Our apple/pumpkin picking adventure wasn't perfect, but even the bumpy parts are memories! I'm sure 30 years from now when, God-willing, Jay and I are going apple picking with some of our kids and grandchildren, we can share the story of how Auntie Kate screamed on the tractor ride and yelled' "like it, no!" over and over, and everyone will laugh!
I will also be sure to insist we go in the late morning...or after nap time!:)