Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Treasuring Toddlers Tiptoeing through the Tulips

Welcome to my home among the tulips

I learned an important parenting lesson in a tulip field: when you are in a scenic, pastoral setting in which you want nothing more than to take an adorable photo of your child frolicking amid gorgeous flowers, your child will do everything in his or her power to make that impossible.

Lucky for me, I did not have to learn this the hard way. I took in this lesson several years ago, when my mother-in-law and I went to see the tulips in bloom at a local farm. We watched (and laughed) as parent after parent plopped down their child (or two or three) amid the tulips, crouched to take a picture, only to find the child not cooperating in capturing the moment. What inevitably ensued was some version of the parent yelling/commanding/cajoling: "look over here/smile at mommy/don't pull that/stop eating mud/no eating flowers/turn around/stop crying". It was a near universal experience for the parents and children attending the tulip festival that year. I appreciate those parents, because their pain was my lesson learned.

Monkey Boy makes a break for it

With this in mind, I had low expectations about what photos I could capture on my own trip to the farm with Ada, Monkey Boy and J (and their moms). Going into the excursion with such a limited goal made it more fun for me (if not for the others in my little party).

The intensity of her love for the little house can not be overstated.

The tulip farm has a child-friendly area, with a big hay bale hill (with tube slide), a sandbox, a fake cow to rope, Dutch wooden shoes to try on, a "cow" ride, and (Ada's favorite) a child-sized house. We spent much of our visit in and around this little house. It gave Ada so much pleasure to be there, enough to make up for the screams of outrage that accompanied my attempt to change her diaper before she floated away in her own pee. Made up for the complaints about the length of the car ride (about 40 minutes), and almost made up for the highly abbreviated nap that followed the outing.

Look, a picture with actual tulips in it!

Toddler unpredictability aside, the tulip farm was a fun outing. Even better if you can go during the week, when there are fewer crowds and the parking is free.


  1. great pictures! looks like a gorgeous day too. i love that last shot of ada looking at the rows and rows of tulips.

  2. What a wonderful adventure! The photos are stunning. Your girl is gorgeous in her stripey jacket. Their smiles capture pure happiness.

  3. If I didn't live on the other side of the country, I'd be there. Man, you have the best outings. Tulips, tubas. . .


  4. Tulips or no: Gorgeous pictures, gorgeous kids.

  5. Wow she has changed so much. I love the pictures and can almost feel how good a day it must have been.

  6. dude, we *have* to exchange photos from the trip, b/c I couldn't get my camera turned on in time for the bus photo.

    *makes note to email photos now. well, okay, soon.*