Portrait of play, week 30


Every time we go to the farm, I feel the urge to move to the country a little stronger, especially now that I have kids. Part of that has to do with my nostalgia for my own childhood, but mostly it has to do with the fact that nature is truly the best playground. Within just a couple hours on the farm, the kids had covered experiences that the most kid-friendly museums, zoos, and splash pads simply could not replicate in their hope to connect kids to the world around them.

In pure summer splendor, the kids caught a frog, searched the pasture for the perfect leaves for his home, and drove him away to a new home by the creek. They looked for cicada casings and gathered sticks and flowers “for lunch.” Roaming freely from forest to pasture, they checked on the dam and zipped around piles of horse manure in the jeep.

Winnie was not impressed with her new competition for cuteness. Only days old, the new twin goats were already frolicking around in their little playpen. They had bright colored balls to play with and a broken bench to use as a ramp to practice their twirls. I feel a little guilty that I don’t really think there is any competition. I mean twin baby pygmy goats are about as cute as it gets. Sorry, Winnie.

Chuck and Ella decided to cool off and started dipping their heads into a bucket of water, dripping and shaking and finally wringing out their hair like mops into an empty bucket. Their clothes got wet and then came off article by article until their bare bodies filled the tub as water cascaded over the top. Ethan traded in his squirt gun for a hose, and there were no survivors. As soon as the kids got shuffled through a bath, we enjoyed a dinner with fresh vegetables from the garden. Not even a ride home with mostly nonsensical knock knock jokes could take the sweetness away from a summer evening on the farm.

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Chuck’s version: Knock, knock. (Who’s there?) House (House who?) Just house.

Ethan’s version: Knock, knock. (Who’s there?) Banana bread cantaloupe pie (Banana bread cantaloupe pie who?) Someone is selling banana bread cantaloupe pie at the door.

Ella’s version: Knock, knock. (Who’s there?) Santa (Santa who?) Ha ha. You don’t know who Santa is?


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