Strawberry Fields Forever

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Between you and me, I HATED strawberry picking when I was a little kid. It’s usually hot and muggy by this time in southern Illinois, and instead of being thankful I had a stay-at-home mom to do activities with, I detested being slathered in sunscreen, drug to the strawberry patch, and forced to spend an hour bending over little bushes gathering berries that I wouldn’t even eat because you could not put them in a peanut butter sandwich.

Luckily I have Henry and Eleanor to set me straight. This morning we headed north to a local berry farm, to join other multiples from our twins club for a morning of strawberry picking. Strawberries currently reside at the top of the kids’ “foods we will eat and eat and eat until Mommy lies and says we don’t have any more” list, so the mention of picking strawberries was enough to get them out of bed with a minimum of fuss.

We joined the rest of the group and were assigned our row to pick. Eleanor, always my little helper, insisted on carrying the strawberry box until it became too heavy. Henry was intrigued by the flags marking the rows and assigned himself the job of carrying it around. Both kids were naturals at strawberry picking; luckily they know their colors, so I could tell them, “pick the red ones” and they would (mostly) steer clear of the unripe ones. Having child labor made the task more enjoyable—why my mom dragged us along, perhaps?—and it was fun to see Henry and Eleanor yell “strawberries!” and run to the box to dump in their bounty.

To celebrate a job well done, we strolled up to the farm’s store where Henry and Eleanor were excited to learn that not only did they get to eat ice cream at lunch, they got to eat it FIRST, BEFORE THEIR SANDWICH OMG BEST DAY EVER. The strawberries were momentarily forgotten as they smiled and exclaimed “ice cream!” and insisted on feeding it to themselves.

After lunch we stood in a long line to pay for our strawberries and had a nice conversation with the elderly lady in line behind us. Seriously, elderly women are always the most complimentary strangers I come across when out with twins—I need to find myself a group of Golden Girls to hang out with, who can feed me cheesecake and remind me how well-behaved and cute my children are.

So long story short, strawberry picking = success. I just wish it wouldn’t have taken me 35 years to realize it.


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