This weekend we took the kids to a ranch that has "Fall Family Fun" activities.
This is a working cattle ranch of 2500 acres, but part of the ranch is devoted to attractions and activities that are open to the public (for a fee) during certain times of the year. During Fall weekends they have train rides, a petting zoo, a carousel, inflated jumping houses, a playground, a pumpkin cannon, the cafe and picnic pavillion, paddle boats, pony rides, a corn maze, etc.
There were lots of families with young children out this weekend at the ranch. It was unseasonably warm and sunny - a beautiful day.
Most kids love this sort of thing. They get to run around outside, do all sorts of fun things, eat hotdogs and snow cones... but one small boy found it all a bit of a challenge.
First of all, he didn't remember going to this place before and he wasn't CERTAIN as to what EXACTLY we would be doing. This put him out of sorts from the moment we got out of the car.
He really prefers to know what he is getting himself into.
He also does not give a whole hill of beans (i.e. care that much) about animals. He especially does not care much for animal SMELLS. So he soon smelled something "bad" and began to lag behind the family group, holding his nose.
Then he hears about the corn maze. This did not sit well with him either. He began to grumble and mumble. I am sure he was convinced that we would be lost all day in this boring corn maze disaster. He fretted and scuffed along behind us as we made our way through the maze and, despite his fears, we made it through fairly efficiently. Then he discovered that we came out of the maze only a few feet from where we went in! He was rather indignant. I'm sure he saw the whole exercise as completely pointless. And in reality - it was.
He did enjoy a hotdog and a snowcone, but he was a little unsettled by the bluegrass group playing on a stage at the picnic pavillion. Orangeboy does not like music to munch by - especially loud or LIVE music.
He was calm and content during the train ride, but again, could not understand the point of getting off at the same place we got on.
Then we went to see the animals and feed the goats. He wanted no part of feeding goats, but he was happy about getting some hand-sanitizing gel at the end of the petting zoo portion.
We took them to the playground area next. There was a big, covered sandbox-type structure there that was filled about 3 feet deep with dry corn kernels and they called it "the corn crib". Orangeboy grumbled about having to take his shoes off, and about where to put them, and about something being in his eye, but he gamely climbed into "the corn crib" with his brother and sister anyway.
This is where we met the kid whom I wished (momentarily) could be Orangeboy's peer-mentor in social skills. Or at least he could teach him the art of the snappy comeback.
This boy looked to be about the same age as Orangeboy. He was enjoying wading and digging in the corn kernels while Orangeboy/Granny was still sitting in the corner deciding whether he was liking this sensory experience or not. "Social Boy" was chatting away to anyone listening. He began to talk loudly about all the cool stuff he had done that day and asked if anyone had seen him - or heard him doing this, that, or the other. He started telling Orangeboy about how well he could imitate the train whistle. This was apparently annoying to Orangeboy, so he muttered,
"You are a dum-dum."
This is when I went from thinking "Social Boy" was rather obnoxious to thinking he would make a great mentor for Orangeboy.
"Social boy" retorted quickly, with a smile, "HEY! I'm not just a regular dum-dum!"
The snappy comeback: If only someone could develop a software program that could teach THAT skill.
So, our fretful, grumbly little granny survived the ranch. He had other worries and complaints during the afternoon, but the silver lining in the cloud was that he didn't talk about video or computer games until we were leaving the place.
rate this post at