Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day at the Farm

Mark needed time to work, so I needed an activity that would keep us out of the house for a good chunk of the day. A party thrown by a farmer that included a lot of good food was an incentive for me to wrangle both of the kids and drive them over an hour away from home.

We spent all afternoon at this farm, and River had a blast bringing our scraps of food directly to the pigs, watching chickens run around freely, and seeing happy families of cows grazing on abundant pasture.

The farmer offered a tour, which I thought involved walking up a hill to see the cows at pasture, then walking back down. Note to self – find out how long the walk is before you take a baby and a toddler on it. I think it could have been a good two miles and it was all dirt trails, the same paths the cows walk on. Many parts were muddy and most of the walk was on uneven ground. Thank goodness I didn’t try to bring the stroller, because we would have never made it.

I carried Willow in the Ergo and she fell asleep for much of the hike. River was a pretty good sport, but he doesn’t like uneven surfaces, so he wanted to hold my hand. When a long time had passed, we were the last people by far, and he was starting to wear down and complain, a woman offered to carry him for me. When I accepted, she asked her husband to do it.

Carrying 36 pounds without a carrier, along a rutted dirt trail, is not easy. But this guy did it and was able to carry him far enough that River found the energy to complete the remaining part without complaint.

It was nice to spend an afternoon in the fresh air, to be served a good meal, and to be able to take a hike. It was good for River to have such close contact with the animals. He doesn’t seem at all troubled by the fact that we eat the animals they raise, asking me if we could kill a cow. But there was a constant sour smell in the air, which I realized was the pigs. After watching them roll in the mud, eat whatever garbage was thrown to them, and squeal, I understood why so many religions (Muslims, Jews, Seventh Day Adventists and some Orthodox churches) ban or discourage eating pork. If only it didn’t taste so good…. Despite my reservations, I bought some pork chops to take home.

After such a long hike, so much fresh air, time spent bouncing on the trampoline, and no nap, River should sleep well tonight.

So far, Willow is sleeping well too. During our first night of transition, she woke up twice and cried for just over five minutes each time. Not bad for what is supposed to be the worst night. Tonight she went to sleep with what sounded like a few complaints, but no real crying. Yay! When kids sleep well, adults sleep well and we are all a happier family. I have hope for a less stressful vacation.

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