As If I Need Another Reason to Hate Max & Ruby:
How To Pick Berries With a 3-Year-Old
1. After months of begging from Child to go to a farm to pick berries and pet animals like she has seen on Max & Ruby, decide it is time to take her for a special treat.
2. Select a farm 45 minutes away.
3. Make sure it’s about 1,000 degrees out and sunnier than the surface of the sun itself.
4. Put the most talkative child in the history of the world in the back seat of the car.
5. Spend the next 45 minutes listening to:
Her repeat in Alien Chicken Language every turn that the Navigational System (ie: The Bitch In The Box) says, followed by hysterical laughter at her own hilarity.
“Are we at the farm yet?”
“I want to go to the farm”
“Can we pick berries at the farm like on Max & Ruby?
“Is this the farm?”
“Can I pet the animals like on Max & Ruby?”
“Why did you just say ‘Oh My Goodness!’?”
“Is THIS the farm?”
“I want to pick berries like Max did.”
“I want to go to the farm today.”
“Which way is it to the farm?”
“Are we at the farm yet?”
“Do they have berry baskets at the farm?”
“Can we pick berries at the farm?”
“Is the farm over there?”
6. Hop out of car with Child begging to pet the animals “like they did on Max & Ruby!!” and walk her over to the sheep, horses and donkeys.
7. Watch her flinch with crippling fear of the animals, refusing to pet them after begging to do so for the past month.
Keep your distance, Mr. Danger Hooves!
8. Drink too much coffee before leaving the house, so have to rush into the farm bathroom, which has stalls created for no one taller than visiting African pygmies. Cram yourself in, then put your 3-year-old and your bag with giant camera in it all on your lap. Try to pee with said child yelling “DON’T GET PEE PEE ON MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”. Then try to get out of there without dropping anyone or anything in the toilet.
9. Go into the farm stand to buy your basket for berry picking.
10. Find out they don’t sell them there, you need to walk up the hill to get them.
11. Walk up hill, building up a good sheen of sweat, listening to Child complain about tiny stones in the sandals you told her not to wear because she’d get tiny stones in them and complain about it.
12. Pay for one basket. Finally get a huge grin out of child, because it looks like the one on Max & Ruby.
13. Follow map on foot to the 5 rows of Raspberries to pick.
14. Realize it is slim pickings.
15. At halfway down the Eternal Row of bushes, listen to Child begin tantrum about how “we NEED to pick blueberries and cherries LIKE MAX DID!”.
16. Tell her to look for more raspberries on our way to the blueberry section.
17. Listen to her complain about how hot she is, how there’s no red raspberries, how she’s too tired to look for blueberries, how she wants to hold that basket NO she wants me to hold the basket.
18. Get to the end of the row, not find a single blueberry, ask stranger where the blueberries are.
19. Ignore Child laying in dirt path having tantrum about even more tiny stones in her shoes.
20. Thank stranger for advice.
21. Calmly tell Child to put her shoes back on.
22. Watch Child throw shoes at (barren) raspberry bushes.
23. Get shoes. Put them on her, tell her “Max would love to walk over the (dusty, broiling, slippery) hill to get to the blueberry bushes!” with faux smile plastered on face.
24. Climb dusty, broiling, slippery hill up then down while trying not to fall or drop the stupid berry basket while practically carrying Child with right hand since her stupid sandals keep slipping.
25. Get to blueberry bushes with sign that says “BEST ROW FOR PICKING!” and find only immature pink berries, so wade through the rows til we find some.
26. Watch Child pick about 6 blueberries, then insist on petting a bug.
27. Get asked why the bug is there, what his name is, if he’s nice or will he bite her, does he eat blueberries?, etc.
28. Hear incoming tractor. Shove Child down row so we can hitch a ride back.
29. Enjoy breezy ride on tractor while picking bugs out of my hair, until Child decides She Has Had Enough. Hold sweaty, weepy child in my sweaty arms for 15 minute tractor ride back to the entrance.
30. Knock over slow people to pay and leave.
31. Watch Child beg a carrot from a stranger so she can feed it to a goat.
32. Thank Stranger Lady for the carrot, while watching Child throw it on the ground because a goat did come over and try to eat it when she held it out.
33. See Stranger Lady give me a dirty look for feeding carrot to goat, when Child won’t do it (as if I look like I am enjoying myself! Sheesh!!).
34. Lie to Child that they don’t serve food there. (I cannot last another minute without some Air Conditioning.)
35. Wait for 10 minutes while Child pretends to pee on Emergency Potty in the car. Wonder if she is dehydrated.
36. Go to local diner. Accidentally knock basket of berries into the mechanism for moving the front seat forward/back. Curse the stupid berries.
37. Thank God the diner has the macaroni and cheese she’s been asking for since leaving the farm. Tell her 458 times to sit down and stop singing to the other customers, who I assume have no interest in hearing her version of The Fresh Beat Band’s play list.
38. Lie to Child that they put extra cheese in the mac & cheese, because she says she needs more cheese.
39. Go back to car, wait another 10 minutes for her to not pee in the emergency potty. Consider dehydration or Power Struggle. Opt for #2, throw on PullUp, assuming she will fall asleep on the ride home.
40. Listen to her complain about the crayons not being the right color for her coloring book on the ride home.
41. Watch her fall asleep 7 minutes before arriving home.
42. When carefully extracting sleeping Child from car, watch her suddenly pop open her eyes and immediately start crying that she does NOT want to take a nap.
43. Ignore her, toss her in bed, and go to garage.
44. Spend 15 minutes scraping hot, smushed berries out of car crevice.
45. Rinse off the remaining 10 berries, and remember why I only go to the farm 2x a year.
46. Hunt down the Max & Ruby Go To The Farm episodes on both DVRs and delete them immediately.