The preschool took a field trip to a pear orchard just before the national holiday.
These school excursions always include a little cross-cultural twist, and I have learned to “not anticipate, just participate.”
I have learned to pack my bag chock full of food to pass around and share.
That is a key staple.
My daughter once told me in tears to never ever ever pack carrot sticks for her again–they had all laughed at her.
I still forget to bring something to sit on.
We arrived after about an hour’s drive, at a nice looking orchardy kind of place on the edge of the city.
3 buses full of kids, parents and grandparents unloaded and walked up a path, and we all settled down on the brand new full size basketball court in the middle of the field.
I soon realized we were camping out here for a bit, and the teachers had organized games.
Of course, most activities with your child include lots of hovering by the attached adult(s), so the parents were just as involved as the kids when it came their turn to do something.
That left me with one bawling 3 year old while I did an activity with brother, so she came along too.
Nobody else has 2 kids in the same kindergarten except the family with twins, and they had 4 adults along to ensure the safety and comfort of their children.
I think they feel sorry for me because they think I’m overwhelmed with two kids so close in age.
In fact, the main part I am overwhelmed with is trying to understand the rules of the game, i.e. where I carry a child on my back across the basketball court, stick my face in a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds, and try to keep as many of them attached to my cheeks as possible (yeah right) while I hobble back across the court to the start point.
After an hour or so of that, and wondering if I was a bad parent for letting my kids throw gravel down the steep edge off the basketball court especially since other kids were trying to mimic and were forbidden by their parents, we headed towards the trees.
Everybody was handed a bag, and a free-for-all picking frenzy started.
Thankfully the trees were low to the ground so again, the foreigner child was the first to climb a tree and his buddies all called for him to grab this and that pear and throw it down to them.
While they were told by anxious mothers not to climb because it’s dangerous.
I’m still working on this parenting thing here.
We picked and ate to our heart’s content, ate picnic style under the trees with new friends, and I passed around homemade pumpkin bread.
All in all, a great outing!