Monday, August 4, 2008

Family weekend

This past weekend the Science family was on a road trip. My aunt and uncle own a blueberry farm (um, awesome much?), conveniently located in the same town where Grandma K (Husband’s mom) has retired with her partner. Every year in August, my aunt and uncle have a harvest party to which they invite all their friends and family for an all-you-can-pick blueberry smorgasbord. So we packed up the Bean (and all of her Bean-related accoutrements) and hit the road for some extended family fun.

We left Thursday night so that, as we hoped, Bean slept the entire drive down. This was NICE. In fact, this may be the only sane way to travel with a toddler. On Friday Bean got to show off all her new tricks to her two loving and easily impressed grandmas. We took Bean to a kick*ss park where she tore around like a maniac and bravely slid down many a slide. She has also recently started saying and signing “Thank you”, so she ran around the playground picking up trash, handing it to me and thanking me for taking it from her. Aw, my little garbage collector. Mama is so proud. But perhaps her proudest moment was when she climbed (supervised) into the grandmas’ backyard fountain, diaper and all. We let her stomp around for a while until her diaper was so heavy with water it was almost tripping her. Absorbent indeed!

On Saturday was the blueberry party. Husband and I usually help my aunt and uncle set up before the party according to our assigned gender roles. He’ll be out in the garden lugging tables with my uncle and carting the kegs. I’m usually in the kitchen helping my aunt cook something or another. This year was no exception, except that I also had a Bean under foot as I cobbled together a blueberry cobbler. To keep her busy, I put blueberries around the kitchen for her to scavenge, hid toys in drawers, and pulled out Tupperware and pots for her to bang. I also worked quickly.

After the set up was done and the party was started, Husband and I scooped up the Bean and took her out to the fields to pick blueberries. We stood her in front of a bush. She didn’t react. So I grabbed one off the bush and fed it to her. She looked at me like You’re sh*tting me. These things grow on trees? and immediately began grabbing blueberries as fast as she could, shoving them into her mouth gleefully. We finally had to drag Bean away from the fields so she wouldn’t make herself sick on berries. More! More! she signed as we walked back to the house.

My uncle is a crazy long distance runner, so he and his running buddies regaled me with a few enviable stories of recent races. These are runners for whom a 2 hour run is an easy day, and iPods are verboten. My uncle was sporting the silver belt buckle from his most recent 100 mile finish (26.5 hours). It was easy to get tangled up in their heady tales of all-night runs. Their easy camaraderie reminded me that I need to find a dedicated running buddy again!

On Sunday we piled the Bean (and about 20 pounds of blueberries) back into the car for the long drive home. This time Bean was awake for most of the ride. I can’t tell you how many times I sang “Twinkle, twinkle” and “I’m a little teapot” yesterday. She adores action songs, and I have to admit it’s pretty cute to see her play along… At least the first 20 times or so. But we made it back in one piece, with a few shreds of sanity in tact.

But now our little family vacay is over, and it’s back to the daily grind. And I’m glad at least that Husband got some quality time with the Bean in the middle of his work related insanity.


arduous said...

Um, where are the pics of Bean shoving blueberries in her mouth?

Sheesh. Get with it!

The bean-mom said...

Oh, that sounds like so much fun. My girls and I (and my husband) love blueberries, too!

I second Arduous. Yeah, where are the pictures of Bean shoving blueberries in her face? I gotta see that!

Queen Zucchini said...

wow that sounds like such a great weekend!! I've heard there's great blueberry picking around my town, too, but have yet to explore it - you just made me really want to show the Punkin how "baby crack" truly does grow on trees!!

Isis the Scientist said...

This post warmed my scientist heart. As the mother of a toddler, my proudest moments are watching my little monster run amock and figuring out new things. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

And your uncle is hard core to run sans iPod. That much time alone with nothing but my thoughts would make me mad.

ScienceMama said...

I think he can do it because he has such great running buddies!