Last week I was able to accompany Harper on a fall field trip to a local farm market. I was happy to go, but I also felt like I HAD to go because the woman there was so rude to me when I called to research the allergy safety of the trip. (That was one of the things that had me feeling so frustrated a couple of weeks ago.) How could a peanut allergy be dangerous at a farm market? This particular trip posed two difficulties. 1) The trip included cookies provided for the children. When I called I was told they were not safe for children with any kind of nut allergy. So no cookie for Harper, we'd bring our own treat from home, but all the other kids in her class would be eating the unsafe cookies. 2) There were animals at the farm market and it is not unheard of for peanut products to be used as filler in animal feed. (BTW peanut shells can also be present in things like top soil and fertilizer.) I hadn't been to this specific place before and called to ask questions about what the animals are fed. The woman I spoke with told me she couldn't possibly be expected to know. She did say the children weren't supposed to touch the animals, but she couldn't help it if they didn't follow the rules. Lovely.
ANYWAY. . . despite several potential pitfalls, the field trip ended up being perfectly safe and delightful for Harper. She especially loved riding the bus to and from the farm market. (I followed in my car.) It was her first bus ride.
Other than the bus, the hay ride was the big hit of the trip. Unfortunately for me I am allergic to the hay. It was a l-o-n-g ride and every time one of the kids moved (three-, four-, and five-year-olds on hayrides don't sit very still!) all this hay-dust was kicked into the air. The children were thrilled, and I would have been too, had I not been acutely aware of the passages connecting my throat, ears, and nose before the ride had ended. Today was the first day I felt even remotely normal - I don't see many hay rides in our family's future.
Was it worth it for this smile?
We had been to a different pumpkin patch last week as a family, but a racoon or some other animal took Michael's gourd off our front porch. Harper decided her pumpkin from the field trip could be for Michael. She's a good big sister.
Matt and Harper enjoyed the annual gutting and carving of the pumpkins, while I happily stood aside to provide photographic support.
Michael, for his part, thinks he'll wait until next year to get revved up about Halloween.