Blackberries for the Boys

ThisIMG_9884 morning, before the fog burned off, the boys and I went blackberry picking. It was overcast, slightly foggy, and 62 degrees out, perfect weather for walking and berry picking. We used empty 32 oz yogurt tubs from my stash in the garage, they were a good size for little hands and they had lids so the berries didn’t spill once we loaded them into my basket. The boys and I walked slowly, picking berries, with a running commentary from both boys, frequently punctuated by ouch!

Oliver kept showing me how much progress he’d made. “Look mommy! I’ve almost covered the bottom of the ‘tainer!… Mommy! I’ve added another layer!… This one is too red!… That one fell apart on my fingers!”

Eventually, the train of thought switched tracks, and he started talking about Blueberries for Sal, and how they were storing blueberries for the winter, but we were not. We were also not going to come across any bears, because “there are no bears in the laguna!” There were however bunnies, and that was really quite exciting enough.

IMG_9893Patrick is still practicing using “gentle fingers” and learning to judge whether or not a blackberry is worth picking. The blackberries that were not mushed out of existence were eaten almost immediately and very few ended up in his tub. The berries that did end up in his tub looked two steps away from being jam.

Between mushing blackberries and choosing poorly, Patrick was the primary source of “ouch!” and grumbles of “I not doing this again never!” He was quite insistent about that, but he was also quite insistent he needed another yogurt tub to start filling up although he’d only just managed to cover the bottom of the previous one he’d had. The logic of four.

IMG_9894Oliver filled just over half of a 32oz yogurt tub of berries, Patrick scantly covered the bottom of three yogurt tubs with berries, and I filled four tubs (one of my own, and then finishing the ones Patrick had started) and topped off Oliver’s with his assistance.

Patrick was quite proud that “his” containers (the one’s he’d started to fill) were full, and happily took credit for them.

When all of our tubs were full, we stopped at the playground for a little while to run around, and have a snack. I’d brought granola bars along, but those were not as enticing as the freshly picked blackberries — clearly they hadn’t eaten enough during the picking process. I suppose in that way it was a bit like Blueberries for Sal, little Sal’s mother did most of the picking, while little Sal ate berries. Thankfully there were no bears.

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