Sometimes on the weekend, they will be playing very nicely with each other in the morning, and Joe will suggest, hey, maybe we'll just let them hang out at home and do nothing and just have a low-key morning at home. And...OK, look. I love my spouse, I cherish his input, but sometimes I also wonder when he will ever get tired of being WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, EVER. Because what happens is this. The kids play very nicely at home for a few hours. But then they get bored. And then they start complaining, "What are we going to do today? Where are we going to go? Why can't we go out to do something else?" Like we were cruelly holding them captive at home against their will! But by then, it's too late! The opportunity window has closed! By the time you let them realize that going out is the best course of action, it's too late to go out to do anything good, and then they're pissed, and you're pissed, and everyone is pissed, and in order to defuse the situation you just end up letting them play Minecraft for a million hours which makes them even more avolitional and makes you feel guilty for being That Piece of Shit Parent and then your weekend is RUINED.
I put this out there because several people have told me that I seem to take my kids to do a lot of things on the weekends, but it's really not anything that reflects well on me, because the only reason I get them out of the house is because I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH THE COMPLAINING. I don't want to hear it, I don't want to respond to it, I don't want to try to troubleshoot it, and I certainly don't want to feel guilty for how I eventually deal with it. I don't want to do any of that. I just want to avoid the whole thing. Hence, the weekend activities.
So. This morning we went to do some strawberry picking at Washington Farms.
We have gone fruit picking many, many times before, though never at Washington Farms. The reasons we went to that particular location this weekend are as follows.
1.) They sent me an email from their mailing list, so I remembered that they existed.
2.) I usually buy two flats of strawberries from Costco per week, but this past week the strawberries they had on offer looked like hot moldy garbage, and...
3.) I saw some mention of a Super Spring Saturday petting zoo. Nina likes petting zoos.
So, Washington Farms! Bright and early this morning! So here was the part where I had to steer my kids into the skid a little bit. It's still the beginning of strawberry season in Georgia, so the crop isn't so robust yet, and I was worried that they would get picked out if we didn't show up early enough. (Their website warned of the same, and actually suggested that people call them to check on crop availability before driving in.) So I wanted to get to the farm on the earlier side. However, waking your kids up even five minutes earlier than they prefer to wake on the weekends is a recipe for them deciding that they don't waaaaaant to go pick strawberries. Why do we haaaaaave to go? Why can't we get strawberries at the stooooooore? So, what's a loving, engaged parent to do in response? Why, merrily ignore them, of course! (Really, what I said was this. I know. You think you don't want to go. But trust me, you're going to have fun.)
And they did.
Washington Farms was having a Super Spring Saturday this weekend, which means that in addition to the strawberry picking, there was your standard variety of Family FFarm FFFun offerings on tap, including A Bounce Thing:
An Animal Thing:
A Weird PVC Tubing Slide Thing:
And a Thing Where One of Your Kids Somehow Gets Buried In a Mound of Dried Corn:
Anyway, Washington Farms. Strawberry picking was a success, although now I feel like we're going to be basically eating strawberries defensively until they're all gone. (Last time we went strawberry picking, I made strawberry jelly, though I think I screwed up the recipe somehow, mostly because I didn't follow the recipe on the pectin box exactly. They told me how much sugar to put in and it was an almost sarcastic amount of sugar, and I though surely, that can't be right, and I'm a doctor, therefore I know EVERYTHING, so I cut it by 25%. So it turns out that the instructions were screaming at me to follow what they said the letter for a reason, because that jelly turned out kinda...not so jelled. But anyway. Color me chastised.) The Spring Fun activities were truly fun, and although we only spent about 45 minutes doing the actual fruit picking, we probably spent another 3+ hours there just doing the rest of the stuff. That coupled with the hour it took to drive home means that my kids didn't start thinking about screen time until past 4:00pm. And that, my friends, is what we call #winning. I've already cleared a place on my desk for my Parent of the Year award--it can sit right next to that pile of school papers I forgot to sign and the class pictures I forgot to pay for but also never returned. What? WHAT?