Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gone Pickin'

We returned again to the Rodale Farm for the annual organic apple festival today...

It really felt like the beginnings of Autumn; a great day for apple picking and enjoying scenery.

Oh, my W. He's had a difficult past few days. A cold he's been fighting off, a weak appetite..I know he is trying to convey something to me. He's been testing us by making much mischief around the house....I've also been kicked in the jaw twice and it doesn't tickle. I know he is not in control of his limbs or impulses yet; I have to remind myself this. But somehow, I just always seem to be getting caught in the crossfire as of late!

W was very excited to run about the apple orchard; especially when we saw one of his dearest friends. Apples were so exciting to him; the perfect thing to throw- something my boy does constantly. Gravity!

...I feel like this photo needs a really funny caption...

I decided to move all of our wood blocks up to the attic last week....they were being whipped across the room, nearly taking teeth out. They're too tempting for him. I am also sure the neighboors don't appreciate all of the rocks he has thrown onto their lawn, either.
Each time my Aunt or Uncle picked an apple, Wesley retrieved it from the apple picker and threw it. It was a game for him, and gave him much pleasure. It didn't please my family too was an afternoon full of "Wesley!", and "Noooo! Why are you throwing the apples?"...and more...."Nooooo, Noooo!". He stopped eventually and I felt pretty overstimulated. I hate that.

Ok. Some of you may not agree with me, but I believe that until children are a certain age, they don't truly know the difference between right and wrong. Somewhere around 7? 9? Maybe even older. They know what they have been told is right or wrong...but to really, intrinsically know right versus wrong? This comes much, much later, I believe.
I challenge myself to limit my "No's" to instances when W is doing something that really needs to stop. Running into the street...touching the oven...I am not always successful in this, especially as of late and I recognize this. He is changing and I am running to catch up with him, literally. Imitation is key to promote behaviors you want to see more of.

Today was an example of telling my child what to do because it was polite versus letting him explore his environment and everything in it- something I feel he a right to do after a 35 minute car ride. Not surprising, my Aunt and Uncle have no chilldren, so they have not the patience nor know what to expect based on age and development. I'm not proclaiming that my excitable boy should be able to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, but I know that the apples were...just so tempting.

as was everything else...

It was a beautiful day, though. I'm looking forward to the Fall and it's Festivals, especially Michaelmas, the "festival of strong will", which I am hoping will inspire some deep thinking and inner work during this time of approaching darkness on our Earth.


  1. What a wonderful area, and so full of interesting things for a little one to just want to do. I agree with you about knowing right from wrong. As a kid I knew what was expected of me but it was much later that I understood the why of it. I also try and minimise the no's, sometimes succeeding, other times failing and having to remind myself.

  2. Beautiful post! yummy apples and cute pictures.

  3. Oh I love the picture of you both at the bottom, so lovely and fun :-)Also did you knit W's little sweater it's so beautiful, if you did would you mind sharing which pattern it is? Thanks lots of love and apple-y hugs Laura x

  4. Hey, great post! I understand you so well when talking about limiting no's...I'm doing that as well, however, some people think I should really be more strict and do not allow many things I allow now...

    Love your blog!

    Laura Ak

  5. Really enjoyed this post. It felt so relatable to read about the struggles as well as the joys :) Most days I look at this blog and think- this just isn't reality. I know most blogs focus on only the joys but it just seems too perfect here some days. So thank you, again, for sharing :)

  6. I love the picture of W and Leah. She totally has this look of "What are you about to do NOW?" Love them so much... :)

  7. I love apple-picking! Autumn is my favorite season, and that's one of the reasons why....

    I think that in parenting (as in other things in life), it is so difficult to stay true to your own inner convictions and intuition when others around you may not agree.

  8. What lovely photos! I too have been picking apples and have been busy in the kitchen making apple sauce, apple berry sauce, muffins, juice, apple cinnamon oatmeal and drying apple rings! My daughter is ever so patiently waiting for apple pie! I love this time of year!
    As far as throwing, boys love to do it you can't stop them! We taught both our kids how to throw rocks into the ocean when they were very young! However, as it does pose a safety concern (like with the blocks)I did give them boundaries. I also believe in showing them the consequences of their actions so that they learn how their actions make them feel. No child, regardless of age wants to cause harm to another being.

  9. Looks like fun! What a beautiful day. I will slightly disagree with you about right and wrong. I thnk most children understand the difference well before 7 or my personal experience I would say 4 or 5. I think it is impulse control that they lack. My 5 year old definitely understands the difference between right and wrong but sometimes lacks impulse control. She knows how it feels to be hurt and to hurt others but her body acts more quickly than her brain sometimes. Just my opinion and I think every child is different and matures and grows at a different pace, making generalizations difficult.

  10. It's really nice to know I'm not the only one struggling at times with what my daughter needs/is learning and what is socially acceptable. She hasbeen getting so frustrated lately with our move and a lot has been asked of her...this age can be so challenging, because they really don't "understand", they just follow impulses and to them it all makes perfect sense...

  11. Loooove the hand stamp picture! Such a great post!

  12. what a lovely day .... so glad that you enjoyed it... as for the growing will of your little W - to do what he is inspired to do .... well done Mama... later in his life he will practice what he is inspired to do like be kind, creative,and loving and he will navigate this world based not just on intellect but on his heart too... this world needs that ... from a development perspective --- sometimes given opportunties to throw things like socks into a basket or wool balls (a favorite with my son when he was small) can REALLY help curb the urge to throw other things that can be dangerous.. throwing is a skill-- and 2year olds want to practice alllll their skills ! lol :) light and peace to you

  13. wonderful post, Rebecca- I so appreciate what you say about children and knowing "right and wrong." This is something I believe in as well- my two youngest ages 1 and 4 truly embody this. Asa at 4 seems old enough to understand right and wrong yet he does not fully, and gives in to his impulses still on a daily basis- hitting when frustrated, for instance. It's hard as they get older and others believe they are being "naughty." Also, you are so right on with saying W. is trying to convey something to you. Whenever my little ons go through some change it is hard on them, and it manifests as frustration, fussiness, or sleep problems. It is hard to be right in the middle of it as a parent, and Mama of course gets the brunt of it all, right? If we just tune in and listen often we can have some idea of what is going on- or it'll simply be that they see us listening and feel more at peace.

  14. Hi Rebecca,

    I wish we had apples here! Too hot to grow in Texas though. Don't worry about your toddler. I have been through this going on 4 times now. I had two children that were easy going and calmer, and two that were the typical, well, spirited ones. My second daughter truly didn't seem to understand right and wrong until at least 4-5. She is going to be 8 this winter, and she knows very well what is right and what is wrong. However, guiding her into that understanding was NO easy task. My 5 year old, while much more compliant and easy going, is still trying to grasp the concept. Children will still be children, and will still do what they want to do regardless of consequences. My little one, exactly the same age as yours, is very very testy now.She can be adorable and sweet and obedient, and throw my china tea cup! She can be soft and tender with the cat, and then she grabs it's tail and pulls it out from under the chair. It is just their age, learning how things work, how to be independent from you, yet still needing the closeness and care of mama.
    Childless people just do NOT get it. There's no way unless you go through it yourself :) So, I mostly agree with you, yet I fail all the time. I yell "No!" a lot, simply because I am multi-tasking so much I lose her!
    One thing I am wondering, I know that during the week you have lots of little ones.Do you mesh your daily work with them, do you drop certain things you used to do, do you work in your own hobbies/crafts somehow? Just curious because I find it hard for me to get my work done, and I only have one at home most of the day. I devote most of the morning to her, but I feel so behind if I don't get some work done then.
    Just curious. THanks! Love your blog Rebecca!

  15. Yes, yes, yes! Been there with the impulse control, or lack there of rather! Actually, with a 4.5 and 2.5 year old, pretty much still in the middle of it, but it seems to be getting better, or maybe just moving on to a different area? I agree with the limiting no...something I have worked hard at and am starting to see the benefit of when a stern no will stop a (one of mine mind you) very excited child in mid leap from heading into a parking lot or street. Hang in there, the results will come, and it is oh so rewarding to see the results of our labor of love so to speak...probably one of my favorite things as a mama :-) (aside from sleepy snuggles and wet kisses or other proclamations of love!)
    W looks like he's got quite an arm! I agree that some times it's better to remove temptations than having to say no all the time...besides, I'm sure bruised apples still make fantastic apple crumble or apple sauce!
    And you are right, people without kids don't get it, but that's okay...hopefully they and the kiddos are able to look back and laugh some time in the future. For us mamas, a healthy amount of time with people with kids or who's been there done that, helps balance the no-kid-people time out :-)
    P.S. Like Anneatheart, I would love to hear how you manage the day to day stuff with several kids around. I only have one at home half day, and find that if I focus on her I get no cleaning done, if I clean, I feel bad for not spending the time with her.

  16. I was having similar thoughts this morning. I wrote about the "no" issue here:

    As always, love your blog!

  17. Yes, yes and yes. I have been staring at pics of the Rodale Institute online for almost a year ~ it is high time I made a trip down there! And I agree about right vs wrong. That concept is so subjective. It differs depending on culture, age, tempermant, karma, etc. SO ,many factors. IT can be so isolating living amongst a culture that values "the suburbian box" so to speak. I too, struggle with this~ esp. when around other families with different and quite forceful views. So far, I have told the girls that everyone one is different and some days are good days, some days we strive harder. Some boo boos hurt and some boo boos help us heal. Not all at the same time of course. Depends on the situation~


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