In between rain storms we escaped outdoors for some fresh air and strawberry picking at the nearby pyo farm this weekend. The constant wet weather has been driving Mia and Joe a little crazy recently, as they have had to stay indoors so much more than usual. Unfortunately this has lead to lots of arguments between them, broken toys, lost jigsaw pieces…you get the picture! Strawberry picking was a very welcome excuse for some fresh air and berry eating.
Rectory Farm, just outside Oxford is great for fruit picking, and also has a lovely playground and cafe. They had even set up a hay bale climb, and as soon as Mia and Joe saw it they both had to climb right to the top. It was actually quite high, but they are both pretty fearless about heights. Mia was tall enough to climb up by herself, but Joe’s little legs just couldn’t quite stretch far enough! As it was too far to lift him, I had to climb up as well, and all three of us ended up on top of the hay bales. I was the only parent up there, and did feel a little bit silly, but the fun soon outweighed that. I have been finding straw in my shoes since though!
Mia, in her typically confident style, was busy bossing other children on the hay bales around, telling them where to climb and how to get down, and even encouraging Joe to jump off!
And Joe was happier to sit and watch everything going on for a while. It is interesting to watch this subtle change between them; he still wants to do exactly what Mia is doing, but it has become more on his own terms. He joins in with her but doesn’t follow her. I have noticed this in their games recently as well; they are together, but much more indpendent from each other. Mia used to come up with all of their game rules and instructions, but Joe now provides his own ideas and challenges hers.
More hay bale climbing after a short break for juice and chocolate cake. The salted caramel brownies from the Barefoot cafe there really are the best, and have taken on a now legendary status amongst locals.
I joined them in this photo, or at least my toes did, for my favourite kind of family portrait. I love capturing these little moments of our everyday life, completely natural and just as it is. Of course, Mia and Joe ate hundreds of strawberries, and we picked lots to take home too. I have been making them strawberry and elderflower yoghurt ice lollies this morning…waiting for another sunny day!
I have also been joining in with the Siblings Project on Instagram at @siblings_project . Come and take a look if you’ve not joined in already!