Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farmers for a Day

After Wildernest, the next great find of the year was Dirty Feet. I was on the verge of confirming us for their Birds and Bunnies day trip when an enterprising mum from Tarana's class got them to organise a customised farm trip for our little ones. I said yes before the question was fully out of her mouth :-)

Last Saturday morning saw us getting up uncharacteristically early (read: an hour earlier than the obscene hour the kids usually get up) to make our way to the designated pick-up point. Once all the kids, with their accompanying moms and siblings, had been picked up, we were served our breakfast of home-made sandwiches and set our course towards our destination.

After an hour in the bus (where none of my kids deigned to sleep a wink despite the early start) and 15 minutes in a tractor, we made our first stop at a sunflower farm, where we got to feast our eyes on some beautiful, not to mention huge, sunflowers. I am not kidding about the huge part - most of them were taller than my kids and had larger faces. Presenting evidence:

Ayaan's foraging instincts were instantly activated and he asked for a bag for his 'collections' and inaugurated it with some sunflower seeds and some lemons.

While Ayaan was getting up close and personal with the lemon tree, Tarana chose to have a staring contest with a rather baleful looking cow. Thankfully, it was tied and since looks have been firmly established as non-murderous, it was all good.

Our next stop was at the potato farm. Ayaan required no encouragement to fling his shoes and socks off and jump into the mud and start collecting potatoes.

While Ayaan had already filled his first basket to the brim, Tarana chose to be all princess-ey and baulked at having to take her shoes off. ('But the mud is so dirty, Mama'). Finally, I had to take my shoes off and clamber into the potato patch before she would even consider it. Once she was in, she was quite a happy camper though. Here you can see her 'harvesting' potatoes from a pile that someone has already collected :-)

When she was suitably involved, I was able to sneak off with Ayaan and get a taste of handling the plough.

The next order of business was the ultra-important task of climbing on to a haystack and frockling there. And you thought farming was all work and no play...

After checking out some cotton fields, we headed over to a nearby farmhouse for lunch. The organisers had brought lunch from Hyderabad and we all feasted on a child-friendly and relatively mess-free meal of theplas and puranpoli.

After lunch, the kids got to feed an assortment of bird and chicks hanging around the farm before boarding the bus to head back home.

Just when we thought we were done with the fun part of the day, we happened to cross a herd of goats and stopped to give them some loving, which they did not particularly appreciate.

Finally, some napping was done by one and all on the return bus journey and before we knew it, we were back home.

But the day was far from done, as far as Ayaan was concerned. He was keen to use up all the stuff he had collected during the day so he announced that we would have a 'farm party' in the evening and made a suitable banner to give the event even more weight. (If the comic above doesn't make any sense to you, you are not the only one. If does make sense to you, kindly explain :-p)

The party itself involved the following:

  • Sunflower seeds were snacked upon.
  • A minuscule quantity of lemonade was made
  • There was a failed attempt at popping the corn and we were prevailed upon to crunch on hard, burnt corn kernels.
  • The cotton was kept aside for a future project that involves making a pillow for a soft toy
  • The potato was kept for the making of mashed potatoes some other day.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. If you happen to have young kids and live in Hyderabad, you really ought to give the Dirty Feet experience a try.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Mummification of a Car

Even if you can't spot its harried driver, you can tell a car belongs to a mother and is frequently used to ferry kids around when...

... there are dirty kid-sized socks in the coffee holder...

... and a  peek under the armrest reveals a lost Dora slipper that has been the cause of much whining in the recent past.

Of course, the car seats are a dead giveaway too.

On a related note: If you're hitching a ride with me and bringing your own coffee, you're probably better off hanging on it because the coffee holders have seen better days and often play host to a variety of suspect, not to mention smelly, objects.