For our first day of summer break, I took the children berry picking. As I like a smaller ratio than 1 adult to 3 children, I invited my in-laws to come picking with us. They brought my niece along, bringing the ratio to 3 adults and 4 children. Much more manageable that way!
Today was beautiful. Warm, but not insanely hot. The children were quite happy to play on the grass while our containers were weighed. Once ready, they set off with enthusiasm towards the strawberry patch. Aris and Kian were partners, Aris teaching Kian which berries to pick. I was pleased with how well they worked together. She lifted him over the rows and gave him lots of encouragement. At one point, he came over proudly saying " I awesome at picking stwawberries!" And he is. Between the two of them, they picked about half of what I brought home.
Meanwhile, Zane and my niece were running up and down beside the patch. Early on Zane declared picking to be too boring. Instead they made up more silly games and stories. Being his grandfather's grandson(my FIL may have started a spitball fight at a family birthday) , Zane started a berry fight with his cousin. She was not happy with him as it was a brand-new shirt. Poor Zane didn't understand why that was a big deal. His mother did though, so he apologized.
My MIL and I were picking the same row and at the same pace. Steve's parents recently returned from a silent retreat. While we picked, she shared a bit about her time away. I appreciated what I was able to hear, but the children interrupted a lot. Still, it was nice to have grown-ups to chat with while working.
Although my children were quite well behaved while at the patch, they collectively melted down after returning home. It was rather stressful for about an hour. We decided on a spur-of-the moment trip to the toy store and the fish/reptile store in the same plaza. Our children were much more excited about visiting the fish store than they were the toy store. We had fun exploring the store, finding many snakes, turtles, geckos, lizards, snails and interesting fish. Aris' personal favourite were the anacondas. They were obviously babies, being about the size of a mid-size ball python. Later I learned that they were about 12 weeks old. Our trip settled the children down nicely and they all went to bed very well. Hopefully tomorrow will end well too, even if we have sizeable bumps in the middle. I'm so thankful summer holidays are finally here!