Oliver likes to pick things. The specific sippy cup his juice will go in. What vegetable he’ll eat feed to the dog during dinner time. The shirt he’s going to get dirty before we leave the house. Even his nose from time to time. And much to my husband’s dismay, Oliver loves to pick the not-quite-ripe tomatoes and peppers off the plants he spent all summer nurturing from little seedlings.
We can’t seem to shout “Nooooooo” fast enough. One second the little red tomato is sucking up water, blowing in the breeze, the next it’s flying over the balcony as a smug 2-year-old laughs from above.
So what to do with an overly zealous picker of fruits and veggies? Take him to the one place where he is allowed to pick all the apples he can carry, which turns out to be quite a lot when it’s daddy carrying them in a half-bushel sized bag.
When we proposed the idea to Oliver, he instantly caught on to what we would be doing and ran around the house shouting “pick apples” over and over. This is where we learned our first lesson. Don’t propose any idea to a toddler until you are about to do it. Or better yet until you are doing it. There was a week lag-time between when we suggested going and actually went, which meant a week of listening to Oliver say “pick apples” in the whiniest toddler voice he could muster.
Yea, I guess we deserved that.
The day of the apple picking trip was all blue skies and sunshine. We headed out early in the morning to beat the crowds and had almost the whole orchard to ourselves—a good thing when your toddler’s preferred method of picking fruit also involves chucking it through the air the second it leaves the tree.
Other interesting things I learned about picking apples with a toddler:
1) The apples out of his reach are inevitably the ones he will want to pick the most (thank goodness for a tall husband!)
2) Toddlers do not discriminate between large, perfectly shaped apples and tiny, spotted, brown ones.
3) Instead of placing the apples in the designated bag, it is much more fun to toss them on the ground and watch mommy and daddy retrieve them.
4) Eating apples is just as fun as picking them.
5) But not as fun as eating the homemade donuts the orchard also sells.
6) And any trip to an orchard can be improved by a subsequent trip to the park.
We left the orchard with enough apples to make every apple recipe ever found on Pinterest, assuming the apples would stay fresh through December. (And I possess a Martha Stewart level of craftiness). Thankfully, Oliver’s unique picking style is also matched by his unique eating style. He takes two bites from an apple, hands it back to mommy and demands a “new one.”
Maybe those apples won’t be lasting so long after all.
Are there any fall activities you like to do with your kids? Looking for a great mom-approved apple recipe. We tried and loved these cinnamon apple muffins by Rachel from Add a Pinch.