Blackberry Picking

Daddy was in charge of hairbrushing and styling, hence the ragamuffin look my daughter is sporting here.

Looking at goats.

Observing chickens.

Picking blackberries.

Berry picking with one of her BFFs.

Hayride, with all her girlfriends. Chris got some SUPER cute photos of the giggly bunch, but alas I can't post pictures of other people's children's faces.

With all the berries my Hofmanns picked, I made a blackberry pie! (In the evening, after a long day at work, I might add.)

Charlotte’s school did a field trip to go blackberry picking, and Chris, awesome daddy that he is, chaperoned. I couldn’t participate (I must save every single possible minute of vacation time/sick leave for maternity leave), but one of the nice things about a preschool that caters to working parents is that the daddies are just as involved as the mommies. Although I strongly suspect this current generation of daddies is, across the board, more tuned in to their kids’ lives than the generation before, logistical necessity requires the husbands of working mommies to, you know, show up at stuff.

That daddy presence such an advantage to kids. It tells little boys that “real” men man up and sit in toddler-sized chairs and eat pink cupcakes during the Valentine’s Day party, and it tells girls that their daddies love them. So far, Charlotte is a mommy’s girl—she just is. But oh my goodness, she absolutely adores her daddy and LOVES doing “special” things like blackberry picking with him. Those two have certain little rituals and weird inside jokes that are just between them, and I just love it. I strongly suspect that Charlotte will become a daddy’s girl. She seems to be moving in that direction, and the arrival of her little sister will definitely increase the daddy–Charlotte time. Honestly, Chris and Charlotte are so similar, I’m kind of shocked that child has been a mommy’s girl for this long.

Maybe it’s our shared love of accessories. And shoes.

As I remind Chris ALL THE TIME, the better Charlotte and Lorelei’s relationships are with him, the lower the likelihood that our girls will seek love and attention when they're teens from some sleaze ball boy who has just that one single thing on his agenda.

How did a post on blackberry picking morph into a commentary of the roles of dads? Sigh. I annoy myself.

Back to blackberry picking. Blessedly, the stifling heat wave broke earlier in the week, so Chris and Charlotte actually had a quasi-comfortable day for picking. They met the school at the farm, seeing as how it’s a mere “Wheels on the Bus” song-length car ride from our house. (Ahhhh, the country.)

I promised my guy and girl that if they picked enough blackberries, I’d make a pie—with homemade-buttery-flaky-goodness crust, just the way pies ought to be made. Chris declared: “Deal!”

I was prepared for a tiny Ziploc baggie with some berries, along with a stack of pint-sized containers mysteriously similar to those available at Whole Foods, in order to make this pie happen (Chris is a BIG fan of pie, so I knew he was motivated and not above swinging by a grocery store). So imagine my surprise when Charlotte (and her daddy) proudly presented me with two large containers of blackberries.

Chris reported that our girl had an absolute ball at the farm. She loved watching the animals, quickly caught on that black (not red) berries were the ones ripe for picking, and the hayride was a riot. Apparently all five girls in her class clumped together in the hay, and every time they hit a bump, erupted into full-on belly laughs and giggles. Oh, I wish I could’ve seen it! Chris said it was unbelievably hilarious and adorable.

Chris brought her home instead of sending her back to school for the afternoon, and she rewarded him with a 3-hour nap. Nothing like a fun-filled morning on the farm to wear a girl out!


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