Monday, October 13, 2014

The Odd Years

Yesterday Jodee and I took the boys to the Preston Harvest Festival; a local kid friendly event:

Come and enjoy live music by the Gold Coast Jazz Band, tractor rides, a U-pick pumpkin patch, seed saving, and participate in a Sauerkraut stomp. Kids will also be able to make bread sticks in our outdoor forno, decorate pumpkins, go on an fun-filled scavenger hunt, and spend time with our farm animals. We will be pressing organic apples for fresh cider and of course our tasting room will be open.

You see this kind of thing around here this time of year and you start writing your "Father of the Year" acceptance speech because OBVIOUSLY the kids are going to have the best day ever.

We lasted almost an hour.

NOT because the fine people at Preston Vineyards didn't deliver all they promised and more, but because Liam saw a ladder that he wasn't allowed to climb and that marked the end of our blissful afternoon.

I used to take them everywhere. One of our simple Saturday morning rituals was to walk down to the coffee shop and have muffins. The boys would stand with me in line, make big eyes at the pastry case, sit in over-sized chairs with their little chins barely above the edge of the table, and bliss out on gingerbread mini-muffins. So sweet, fun and innocent.

That was just last year. We're not welcome there anymore.

Now Finn immediately finds the most dangerous thing to climb and the grouchiest person to harass and goes apeshit, while Liam attempts to break the pastry case glass with his voice. Any attempt to quell the chaos results in knee paralysis, disappearing armpits, and lot and lots of screaming. The looks I get...oh man.

I don't think they're lashing out at me for the changes we've seen this last year. We're thriving in all aspects of our lives. Things have definitely improved, that's for certain. I wonder if I'm just blowing it as a dad and have done something to somehow cause their defiance, but then I wonder if it's just that a 5-year-old boy and 3-year-old boy are way harder to manage than a 4-year-old and 2-year-old. Certainly 3-years-old is harder than 2-years-old, that's been established. But 5-years-old being harder than 4-years-old? That doesn't really add up. Maybe it's the stress of being a brother of a 3-year-old that's putting Liam on edge, that makes sense. Conclusion: Not my fault, right?

To be fair they're not always little blond rage-monsters. We started our Preston visit out great. We rode a tractor and saw a sheep dog herding his sheep.  It was breezy, happy, and filled with love.

I love you, brother

I love you strawberry

I love you hay

Then Jodee and I heard the wine tasting room calling our names so we peeked in there. "Wanna go see the barrels?" I wisely offered my curious 5-year-old. He quickly scanned the barrel room for something to climb, spotted the ladder, and dashed for it. I intervened by the second wrung and all hell broke loose. I spent ten minutes trying to distract him with all the wonders of a Fall Harvest Festival but Liam was fixated and would never know happiness until he fell off that ladder. Meanwhile Finn figured out we really didn't want him to get run over by the tractor and that was that. We left in tears, but as we passed the electrified fencing and the enormous sheep dog guarding over its docile flock, I took note.

No comments:

Post a Comment