A Trip to the Apple Orchard

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.

Mommy Confessions: Halloween Edition

Last Halloween Oliver was 3-months-old. We dug a Santa hat out of our Christmas decorations, took a picture, and called it a day.

This Halloween, at 15-months old, we are going all out. So far we have checked off trick-or-treating at the zoo, at the retirement home, and at the mall. With Halloween night right around the corner we aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. On top of wanting Oliver to get the full Halloween experience, I may have some other motives for our holiday gusto. For starters, since Oliver is on the verge of becoming an opinionated toddler, I view this as my one and only chance to have total say over what costume he wears. Next year he will surely revolt if I try sticking him in something this stinkin’ cute:

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And then there’s the matter of candy. I may be too old to trick-or-treat myself, but I’ll never be too old to appreciate free candy*. It just tastes better when you get it from complete strangers versus buying it yourself at the store. No?

As the mom of a too young to eat more than a couple pieces of candy trick-or-treater, I have a few confessions to make. I sincerely hope my son’s cuteness will make up for these if you happen see me at your door come Halloween night.

1) When I reach into your candy bowl to help Oliver make his selection, it’s only because I want that Reese’s that is hiding under the tootsie rolls and I do not trust Oliver to get it.

2) When my son innocently tries to grab multiple pieces of candy, there is nothing innocent about it. We have been working on his grabbing technique for months.

3) Likewise, if he rings your door bell again immediately after receiving his treat, he is simply utilizing yet another candy-accruing ploy I’ve taught him.

4) When I pick up and carry Oliver in between houses, it’s not because he’s tired. This kid just walks so darn slow and I want more candy!

5) After trick-or-treating Oliver will promptly go to bed so that his poor short-term memory will remove all recollection of said candy.

6) After setting aside all the suckers, I will then spend the next hour doing this:

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Happy Halloween all!

*Cost of “free” candy: $20 costume + $6 zoo admission + $1 candy bucket