Tuesday, January 24, 2006

leaving the smog behind

On Sunday, Fatty and I looked at each other over the breakfast table, with the wails of children arguing over seating arrangements reverberating in our ears.

The previous day had been...well...a bit BORING (are parents allowed to say that? Is it politically correct to acknowledge that not every moment with your offspring is riveting and remarkable? Too late, you all know I am not a SuperParent). Saturday had passed in this way...me working, Fatty doing a few loads of washing (big bonus points for that!), kids bumbling around the house and yard, dinner cooked, food eaten, blah blah blah. Fairly peaceful but let's just say we were all ready for something more interesting than watching our back lawn grow. So I caught Fatty's eye across the table of toast and asked, "Shall we go the the F-A-R-M?"

Anyone who has, or has had, small children will be familiar with the sneaky spelling communication technique. I use it a lot. I like to keep one step ahead of my kids if at all possible.
Fatty, who is very clever but kind of, um, UN-clever as well, has trouble with this method of conveying information. His usual response is something like, "Huh? F-A -what? Go where?". I sigh in exasperation, and spell so slowly that I fear our dog may work out what I'm saying.

In what was obviously a good omen, Fatty had no such problems on Sunday morning. He smiled, nodded, and after a quick call to my mother, we were off! Goodbye city, hello moo cows!

The kids' favourite farm activities that day... looking at tadpoles in the old bathtub outside, discovering ferns growing in the crack in the side of the rain tank, collecting chook eggs, eating biscuits

My favourite farm activities that day ... walking along the dirt road in the lightest sprinkling rain and seeing 3 koalas, finding that the olive tree in the orchard has olives on it

Fatty's favourite farm activities that day...wandering off on his own taking photos of birds, avoiding being gored to pieces by the neighbours bull (see above)

We came home after dinner - tired, but somehow refreshed as well. There is something magical about my Mum's farm.


Anonymous said...

We like to leave the city and go up to my mom's in the country. It is nice and quiet.

Motherkitty said...

Is that a brahma bull in the snap? Looks impressive with that big hump on his back and those long horns.

I'm glad that you could get away from the city, even for a day, and enjoy the great outdoors. I'm sure your mother really enjoyed your visit as much as you enjoyed going to the country. Good for you for suggesting the little trip.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Do you know that the other day I caught myself starting to spell a word out to my son and then realized that my 11yr. old grandson can spell.

How exciting seeing 3 koalas in an olive orchard. In California we had olive trees but no koalas.

What are 'chook eggs?'

susan said...

Nothing like getting away from the daily grind, especially to the outdoors! Sounds like a great time was had by all.

Flossy said...

I was born and bred on a farm, and there is nothing I like better than to get away to the country. We live in a semi-rural area, but it's still too crowded for me. Give me space and no close neighbours, animals and trees and I'm a happy little chook! (a chook, by the way, is an aussie/kiwi word for chicken or hen).

Alice said...

Nothing like it - a day at the farm. My kids still remember in great detail holidays spent on their grandparents farm, yet the last holiday was about 22 years ago.

manababies said...

How funny... we do the spelling thing too, except now we do it so that our SON the 2 year old can't understand us. Problem is, we've spelled certain words out so often (b-a-t-h, t-r-e-a-t, n-a-p, etc.) that the oldest child knows what they are. So now we have to wait until she's in bed in order to talk about anything that's meant to be a secret.

And that is so neat that you have a farm to escape to when you need a change of scenery! I bet the kids love that!

shellyC said...

yep...gotta love those days at the farm. Marcel and I both have fond memories of farm holidays and feel sad that our kids will not have the same experiences. Still we do try to get them out into nature when we can.

jellyhead said...

Thanks Flossy for answering the 'chook' question...there I go using 'Australian-isms' again. I forget that not everyone the world over refers to chickens as chooks!

Yes, Motherkitty, that is a Brahmin bull. He wasn't really very scary....just snorted a few times apparently. Still, as you can see from the photo, Fatty kept to the opposite side of the fence!!

John Cowart said...

Guess what ... my grown kids remember days like the one you describe better than they remember the time we sent them to DisneyWorld!!!
You two get A-1 marks as parents for doing stuff like this.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Thanks much...I learned a new word today.."chook."

You have to excuse my seeminly dumb questions, but I am a born & raised city girl who knows nothing of farm animals.

My husband is a farm boy who can't believe how little I know of farm things in general. I refer to all 4 legged mooing things as cows.

TUFFENUF said...

Glad you got away for awhile, does a body good! I didn't realize you lived in a city. I guess I think of all Australia as "outback", I've had too much televison!

Sarah said...

Koalas! How I would love to see a koala about in it's natural "habitat" .... it is bizarre to me. Here in the states, if we'd like to see a koala -- a REAL koala -- we'd need to pay a visit to the zoo. Now seeing some deer -- yes, that's a normal (sometimes daily) thing in my area. :) Maybe someday I'll have enough money to fly out to Australia to visit and see those koalas for myself!!