Once Spring sprang, Madelyn was chompin’ down on strawberries like a little fruit fly. Just like her father, strawberries are her favorite, so it was definitely on the radar to go to our local farm and pick some of our own for a little farm-to-table cuisine. We made plans with Amy and her two cuties, Maddie and Dani, and my distant cousin-in-law in-law in-law, Melissa and her bundles, Oliver and Lily. The three of us mommies were in a toddler class together and our kids all play so nicely. And it’s perfect that Oliver, Maddie, and Madelyn are the same age and Dani and Lily are the same age, so everyone gets along great! I love these gals so much, and we always have a little too much fun together.
Melissa and her crew took, um, a scenic route, so Madelyn and Maddie had a little one-on-one time in the park at the front of Underwood Farms.
Madelyn and her girlfriends! Dani is the perfect older age that makes her idol material for 2.5-year-old girls.
Once we were all together, we trekked out to the fields with toddlers rotating in the beds of wagons. I loved hearing the innocent chatter of the older six-year-old girls as they reacquainted themselves. Listening to them made me excited for when Madelyn gets to be that age and she can be super independent and helpful.
It was a hot day and even though we arrived early, the sun was brutal and we were all working up a sweat. We were greatly rewarded with the fruits — literally — of our labor that we may or may not have eaten directly from the bush.
If you’re reading this, Underwood Farms, we did not eat any berries until after the cash register portion of our day.
By the way, I think you should know, I am basically Cesar Chavez. I am an expert berry picker. And Madelyn became a little Cesar Chavez-ito because she, too, learned very quickly. At first, she went for every berry she saw, but I told her to skip the green or white ones; that they needed more time to grow because they were babies. After that, she had red radar, and was a pro at scanning the juiciest, ruby-reddest berries. She also learned that if she pulled the strawberries from anywhere, she’d rip off the wrong part of the stem, so soon enough, was holding them just right and pulling at the correct spot and, voila, perfectly stemmed, robust, blazing strawberries. Very talented.
Madelyn’s chariot that I chauffeured. Rough life.
Madelyn says: “Mmmm! Juicy! UH OH! MY SHIRT! MY SHIRT!” Priorities.
Life’s a box of strawberries.
Field of strawberry dreams. If you plant it, they will come. And eat them.
All the little farmers! Cutest kiddos!
After our agricultural adventure was finished, we made our way toward the other attractions at the farm. Underwood Farms is like Disneyland for aggies: tons of activities and animals to enjoy in addition to the crops. The older girls spent some time mining for gems, but the little ones got squirrelly, so we chose the next activity for them.
Madelyn attempted a pony ride about a year ago, but it was not a successful Seabiscuit story. Instead, there were tears and a very accommodating refund. So I was hesitant to reenact the whole thing for fear of scarring her for life, but we gave it a try, and sure enough, Madelyn is a professional jockey!
She absolutely loved riding the pony who seemed very delighted to be attached to a spider web made of steel and chains while roaming in a circle with 28 pounds of total glee on her back. (Yes, it was -her- back. I checked. All clear.) Madelyn gently pet the pony’s mane and back, whispering what I’m sure were sweet nothings. Best five dollars I ever spent and I can’t wait to bring her back.
Next stop: Triple Crown.
Snip is moving down the outside. They’re coming down the finish! Can Snip hold on? Snip rounds the corner! Snip’s picking up speed! They’re almost at the line! Will they do it? Here comes Snip! It’s Snip! Unbelievable! They did it! And Snip wins the day!
Because we still weren’t quit finished with getting our fair share of farm critters, we went to the corral where we could pet all the animals. The petting farm is filled with chickens and goats and sheep, in addition to their gifts of waste that resemble chocolate chips — as Madelyn pointed out — all over the dirt ground. I did not hesitate to tell her that those were not at all chocolate chips, lest she get a sweet tooth while petting her pals.
She loves the goats especially, and every time we go to the petting farm, she always talks to them and tries to converse with them like they’re humans. This day was no different.
“Oh, hi, Goat. You’re my friend, Goat!”
“Oh, you’re feeling sad? Oh no, Goat. Come here, Sweetie, come here and I’ll make you feel better.”
“Goats, are you hungry? Here, let me pet you.” You know, because hunger and backrubs go hand in hand. Or hoof and hoof?
Then, like clockwork, she finds a community goat hairbrush and
stalks follows them around the pen trying to play Beauty Parlor. God bless these creatures.
Madelyn goats for the gold.
Look at that blonde cutie pie! Oh and look at the goat too!
Everybunny loves the petting farm!
There were also new baby bunnies that we all got a kick out of gushing over. I really do love being able to go on a farm animal safari only a handful of minutes away from my suburban home. It’s definitely my local little happy place, so I’m giddy that Madelyn loves it, too.
After we three Jewish mothers scrubbed and sanitized every epithelial cell on our children’s bodies, we exchanged sweaty hugs with Amy and her girls who had to leave. Melissa and I took the kids to one last play area to climb on the wooden train so they could finish up with some fun and we could get in some final chatter.
Madelyn and Oliver are such good pals and we think they may even be a little in love. Hey, there’s no blood between these kinda-sorta cousins.
Then, it was time to skidaddle and make our ways back into civilization. I do love my days at the farm, but I’m also quite grateful for quick trips to TJs. However, what one can never get enough of is good girlfriends, and Amy and Melissa are diamonds in the rough.