Pick your own fruit, as opposed to your own child.

The 22 month old hulk is an enormous fan of picking. His nose is visited by an inquisitive finger with alarming regularity, he picks fights with me on a daily basis and he picks the heads off flowers in immaculate National Trust Gardens while volunteers scowl at me. So it didn’t seem too far fetched to imagine that he might like fruit picking. Also seeing as it occurs on a farm, he can run around safely in a nice environment and there might be tractors to look at, it seemed like it could work. Winner I thought.

So with our ever optimistic heads on, the family Mess Stress and Fancy Dress make the short car journey to the farm. The Diva looks slightly put out to discover that there wont be any chickens, but on we go. We arrive. There are hay bales. Both kids balance on the bales, they fall off the bales, they laugh, they have straw in their hair, they look all cute and outdoorsy, I feel smug.

On we go to the pea area. We love podding our own peas, both kids will actually sit down and pod peas for a good 10 minutes so I wanted to get hold of some of these precious time wasters without delay. The Hulk picks his first pea. Something about the experience enrages him to the point where he can barely stand. We have no idea what. Much eye rolling ensues along with a heavy dose of shoulder raising, and some general “its your turn, no its your turn” gesticulating.

I win and Mr Mess Stress and Fancy Dress removes the offending human from the pea area. Me and the Diva excitedly pick peas (admittedly one of us is more excited that the other) I make immature jokes about peaing on the floor, the Diva laughs hysterically. It degenerates into us both shouting 4 year old swear words at each other as we pick peas (you know, pee, wee, bum, poo) strangers tut at me. I’m bonding with my daughter and picking peas, I care not for their disapproval, we’re having fun!

Then Mr Mess Stress and Fancy Dress calls me. He is very angry. Nearly 30 minutes have passed and the Hulk is now moved into insanity zone. He wants to swap and he is politely threatening to stab me in the head if I don’t return immediately. We return. We do the only sensible thing that any parent can do in such a situation, we buy ice cream and leave. Yet another place is added to the list of places which are unacceptable to the Hulk. The farm breathe a sign of relief. The hulk looks enormously smug and settles into his car seat and eats his ice cream, but his dissatisfaction is such, that as soon as the ice cream has been eaten his face does this again.


This time the end is in sight so we laugh at him from the front seat and drive our tantrum wagon home.

If this sounds anything like your life, or if the chaos of my life makes you feel slightly better about yours, do join the fun on facebook or twitter, and why not read about all the other activities that we can never do again – the seaside, shopping, swimming, eating out, the list is endless!  Thanks for reading.

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