My college friends and I used to have a tradition of going apple picking every year. This was pre-kids. It was something to do so we could appreciate the fall foliage and in the end we’d take home some apples.
I remember there being trees and somewhere to pay for the apples. Perhaps a little stand to purchase apple cider donuts and a picnic bench to eat them.
I do not remember hoards of screaming children and lines a mile long to buy kettle corn and miniature pony rides and bouncy castles stretching up to the sky, etc. etc. etc.
Why does it seem like since I had children, the rest of the planet also had children and all of those children like to go apple picking at once? And why do I always forget that on a beautiful Saturday in September, I will not be the only mother who thinks apple picking is the perfect fall family activity? And why is apple picking no longer enough of an event on its own? Why are 5000 additional fall activities available on a pay-per-play basis, like apple orchards are nature’s version of Disney World?
Like everything else, I blame social media. Facebook and Instagram have made parents want to prove they do valuable and photo-worthy things with their children at all times.
Guilty as charged.
When we arrived at the apple orchard this past weekend, it looked like the line for Space Mountain. There was a moment when I thought Mike was going to turn the car around and go home.
When we got to the front of the line, they had just given out the very last wagon. (In our apple orchard of choice, children do not simply walk, they are pulled along in perfect little red wagons.) I must have looked visibly annoyed and Mazzy may have done her signature fake “WAH!!!!!!” (aka the most irritating sound on earth), prompting the apple orchard lady to suggest I find someone using a wagon for something other than kids.
YES!!!! The bitch at the register was using a wagon to cart around sunflowers! THINK OF THE CHILDREN, LADY!!!!!
I asked her nicely if she could perhaps hold the sunflowers in her hand and then directed her glare to the pouts of my two little girls.
I got the wagon.
I’m not proud.
Here is the place where I should insert the perfect photo of my perfect kids riding in their perfect wagon around the perfect apple orchard, but alas, once I secured the wagon, Mazzy and Harlow both decided they would rather walk.
BUT WHAT ABOUT INSTAGRAM, GUYS????
Mike and I ended up pulling the empty wagon around for the next hour. Thank god the sunflower lady didn’t see us.
I’m not going to say anything else bad about our experience because we had an awesome time. The initial line moved quicker than expected and once you stepped foot in the actual orchard, all did seem pretty much perfect.
The weather was gorgeous, I didn’t lose any kids in the corn maze and they had a kickass playground to play in when we were finished.
The kickass playground cost $8 a head (whether you were a newborn baby in a carrier or a senior citizen in a wheel chair), so it cost the four of us $32, but whatever— that’s the price you pay for a decent apple nowadays.
If you are wondering why my children are wearing different outfits in the photos— no, I did not bring costume changes for Instagram purposes.
We had so much fun, we went twice.
That’s $64 + the cost of apples, if anyone is keeping track.
Disney World is starting to sound cost effective.
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