There is this great woman in the town nearby that has a free family farm day every year. She has a nice spread with tons of animals, which are often used as therapy in nursing homes and such. Each and every year, she opens up her property to anyone who wants to come. There are games for kids (the wonderful kind where everyone wins, even if you don’t quite play correctly), free food and drink, inflatable bouncers, balloons, face painting, the works. It’s such a cool thing.
We had taken Stella last year, and it was not the best time. She was still going through her difficult phase and not communicating. Whenever you would take her anywhere, she’d just run aimlessly and not do the things she was “supposed” to want to do. There would be no destination in mind. As I recall, it was also cold and muddy, and none of us had dressed appropriately. Even so, I was so excited to go this year figuring it would be a whole different ballgame. And it was.
It was a bit of a gamble. Stella had snot pouring out of her face and had for 48 hours. A year ago I would have kept her home, not wanting to infect other kids. Now? I’m one of “those” parents. Sorry. Yes, my kid was spewing mucous, but there were no other symptoms and definitely no fever. All fluids were running clear. My house was a slick of mucous and cat puke, so by god we were getting out of there and going to farm day. Stella wasn’t 100% happy but I chalk that up to her good health; ironically, she’s not been sick enough to get “used” to it. Therefore, when she gets the sniffles, she’s major pissed and doesn’t sleep well.
She had a ball. I wore Felix in the Bjorn and played the role of pack mule while Stella rampaged. We hadn’t made it through the gate before she had claimed a particular miniature horse for her own. It was pretty cute. She had no fear. She wasn’t quite as brave with the bigger horses, though. Better even than the horses were roosters. Go figure. She was totally into the animals and could care less about the bounce houses. I guess her trampoline is her own private bouncer now. No wonder.
Felix was wonderful, sleeping through most of it. Will and I talked later about that. Stella would never ever have tolerated that at 3 months old. We had to handle her like an unstable batch of TNT. Sure, she got more mobile as an older baby and loved to get out in the Bjorn. But at 3 months? Hell no. It’s kind of nice to have a (at least for now) mellower kid.
By the end, Stella was ripe. She was whining and tantruming and about every rotten behavioral thing a 2-3 year old can do. She was overtired and over stimulated. At this point in my parental career, that’s just a sign that it’s been a successful day. We went, we saw, we spread our mucous, we conquered.