Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blackberry Picking

As you know, I haven't been feeling the best, so weekends have been pretty lazy around our house.

Because of that, I decided it was time for us to go do something fun as a family. I planned a trip to a local "pick your own" farm to pick some blackberries. The last time we went to pick blackberries, Andy was 16 months old, and he loved it! He was eating them faster than we could pick them. By the time we left, he was stained from head to toe with blackberry juice.

With that memory in mind, we drove to the farm to have some fun. From the instant we got there, Andy was grumpy.

It was too hot. He didn't want to wait for the tractor to take us to the fields. He didn't want me to take his picture.

Nate, meanwhile, was thrilled as pie. He was so excited to ride on the tractor. He couldn't wait to pick blackberries.

We got out to the blackberry fields and there were beautiful, ripe blackberries everywhere. Nate, my husband, and I started picking the blackberries as fast as our hands would let us.

Andy didn't want to pick the blackberries. He didn't like the way the blackberries felt. He didn't like the way the juice squirted on his hands. He didn't want to taste the blackberries.

And, he didn't like the bees. Ok, so there were a few bees around. Usually they stayed out of sight, and it's not like they were killer bees waiting to attack. But, with Andy's supersonic hearing abilities that come from his SPD, he could HEAR the bees. That in and of itself was enough to scare the beejeebies out of him.

Oh, and it was too hot. Did I mention that?

The rest of us were laughing, we were eating blackberries, we were yelling, "Look how big this one is!" and "This is going to be a sweet one!"

Andy just stood there and sulked. So I called him grumpy. That went over well.

After a few more minutes of Andy acting miserable while the rest of us had the time of our lives, I said to him, "Andy, sometimes happiness is a choice. If you want to choose to be grumpy, that's fine, but we are happy and having a good time. We're not going to stop just because you're grumpy."

That didn't work either. He continued to be grumpy.

We picked blackberries until our hands and nails were stained with juice and our buckets were overflowing. Then, and only then, did we agree to be done.

Do I feel bad that Andy was so unhappy? Yes, and no.

I feel bad that he could hear the bees that we couldn't. I feel bad that he felt the heat more than we did. I feel bad that he didn't have fun.

But I don't feel bad that we allowed ourselves to have fun anyway.

Sometimes you have to choose to not let SPD rule your life. This was definitely one of those times.


  1. This was such an excellent post for me to read going into the weekend. My son has his own set of sensory issues (mostly proprioceptive) and I find myself planning activities that revolve around his getting high input. For example, we head to the rock climbing wall because he loves it even though his little sister cannot participate due to age. I have just been thinking that I need to sometimes make him do activities that she likes even if he doesn't have any fun... Thanks for this post!!!!!!

  2. I sooooo needed to read that today. I have been feeling like such a hermit lately and really feeling sorry for myself that we don't ever go anywhere because 3-year-old Landon might have a meltdown. I've been thinking lately that SPD does rule our life and I definitely should not let it!!