Friday morning I scooped up Robby and his friend from school (with all of the necessary permissions) and took them on a wonderful autumnal adventure. To say that the pair was excited about their personal field trip would be an understatement. When I walked into the school, the friends were clutching their bagged lunches and pacing back and forth, anxiously waiting for the fun to begin.
Robby has been visiting agricultural themed fun zones since he was Timmy's age. Going to the petting zoo, pumpkin patch and farmed-centered play zones has been a normal part of his childhood. He was shocked to learn that this was his friend's first time at a farm. Robby regaled him with stories and possible features as we drove through the beautiful back roads en route to Great Country Farms. By the time I pulled into the parking lot they were so excited they nearly leaped out of the car before it had fully come to a stop.
Thankfully the friends were patient as I gathered up all of Timmy's belongings. The bottom of the stroller was filled with bottles, diapers, blankets, extra clothing and the boy's lunches. True to form, I ended up pushing the stroller with the overflowing basket on the bottom and the open seat on top, all because Timmy preferred that I wear him on my chest. (As a side note, 14 pounds added to my hips and bum does not seem nearly as heavy as 14 baby pounds strapped to my chest and torso.)
After the admission was paid, the boys took off towards the giant jumping pillow. Robby certainly didn't need, nor did he want, to play with me as he had in the past. I discovered the joys of simply watching him have fun with a friend. Watching and quietly eavesdropping on their conversations, I was able to see a completely different side of my little Koopa.
I witnessed his ability to work out disagreements without becoming angry. When his friend remarked that he had never seen a live goat and that the only goats he had ever seen were over a fire, I saw a perplexed look come across Robby's face. Confused, he asked "Why would you put a goat over a fire? That would cook him." Without missing a beat, his friend responded, "Well of course you cook him. You can't eat them raw."
Robby had never realized that some individuals eat goats and that they aren't simply adorable little farm pets. After debating the virtues of consuming goat, the friends amicably agreed never to discuss the topic again. Without pause, they were able to dismiss the great goat eating debate and continued playing at the farm. I think that a lot of adults could take their cue on conflict resolution!
We spent nearly 5 hours at the farm, and despite the drizzly weather and mud, everybody had a great time. Apparently a little rain makes everything at the farm more fun, including watching the piggy races more exciting. (But I must admit that I had a "this is my life" moment when I realized I was sitting in the bleachers, in the rain, waiting to watch and cheer little piglets run around a track.)
While Robby and his friend ran and played, Timmy and I quietly strolled around the farm. Hamlet was wide awake and utterly enthralled by everything he saw and smelled. He never fussed or cried, perhaps because I was wearing him the entire time. Regardless of my aching back, I was thankful that I have recovered to the point where I can walk around a farm with an infant strapped to my chest.
On the drive home I was privy to eavesdropping on another precious conversation- the great SuperHero debate. Again, I was surprised to learn that Robby could hold his own in the conversation. He is an admitted non-fan of SuperHeroes, shunning both their toys and branded clothing. Despite his aversion, he was able to defend Batman in the "who is better, Batman or Spiderman" debate. (I felt like I was thrust into an episode of The Big Bang Theory listening to this conversation.)
Robby's ignorance about SuperHeroes was evident on one occasion when he pointed out that Batman had cat ears allowing him to hear better than everybody else. His friend immediately corrected him by pointing out that they weren't cat ears, that they were bat ears. After all, his friend exclaimed, that is why they call him Batman;
Perhaps cuter than listening to the Great SuperHero debate was witnessing Robby's shock at learning that Batman was, indeed, part bat. "Woah, slow down. Are you saying that Batman is supposed to be a bat? Wow. You're blowing my mind. That's insane. My whole life, I thought that he had cat ears." I was proud of myself for containing my giggles.
After his friend was returned to his mother and my boys were both bathed and fed, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. I had managed to provide both of my children with a wonderful day. For a brief moment, I felt like another SuperHero should have been included in the car debate. After all, SuperMom may not have animal traits, but she certainly has her merits!