It’s been kind of a gloomy, cool, and wet spring around here so far this year. So when we had a nice warm springy Saturday in the forecast this week, I knew we needed to plan a fun springy outside activity. I had the bright idea that we should take our 2 and a half year old to visit a local dairy farm. Doesn’t that sound lovely? A visit to the farm on a nice spring day. Think Charlotte’s Web – everything about the farm in that story was delightful in the spring. I even wrote a paper about it in high school – the symbolism of joyful spring archetypes and new life in Charlotte’s Web. I knew our daughter would love a trip to the farm, right? Not so much. It was more like celebrating Festivus with the “Airing of Grievances” than celebrating a beautiful spring day by exploring a farm.
We told her she was going to get to visit a farm when we got up on Saturday. She squealed with joy. She couldn’t wait to see cows and chickies and eggs. All the way there she asked if every house we passed was the farm. She was so excited.
And the we pulled up to the farm. We got out of the car and she declared that the barn looked dirty and needed cleaning. (A girl after my own heart, I must admit.) Then we went in to get our tickets and started our tour. Just as I had hoped, the cows were right there waiting for us. She said that they were too smelly. She wished to see piglets instead because they wouldn’t be smelly. (Ahh, if she only knew!) However, there were no piglets at the dairy farm, so we moved on to see some darling spring baby chicks. She was offended that they did not have any eggs for her. (She loves her plastic eggs from her Easter baskets.) Then she decided that she wanted to see a tractor. To our good fortune, a tractor pulled in just down the path and began composting. Once again, she said that this was too smelly.
We decided to quit while we were behind and head back for ice cream samples – because, let’s be honest, isn’t that really the main point of visiting a dairy farm? She enjoyed the ice cream, but then started complaining that she didn’t want to go home because she was devastated that we wouldn’t let her take one of the cows (that 20 minutes earlier she had deemed to smelly to be around) home with her.
All in all, not the idyllic spring outing to the farm I had envisioned. However, I still stand by the notion that a trip to a farm has the potential to be a lovely spring activity. So try it for yourself – if you dare. I think I’m just going to stay in and reread Charlotte’s Web myself though.