Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Maplewood Farm

We've been meaning to make a trip to Maplewood Farm since it opened for the year - we'd heard such great things from a number of friends who are also parents of toddlers.  On Saturday, the weather was unexpectedly nice (the forecast had previously been calling for rain), so we headed out with some friends for Lilah's first farm experience.

Before Lilah turned one, she used to launch herself head-first into new experiences.  She had the loudest, highest-pitched shriek of all the babies I knew (still does, though she uses it less often), she was a risk-taker, and fiercely independent.  Hence the early mobility - early to commando crawl, early to pull up and cruise the furniture, early to finger-walk, and very early to walk unsupported.  While she is still fiercely independent, she has become a lot more cautious.  Especially when it comes to approaching animals.  (With the exception of our cats, whom she loves to feed/tease with treats.)  Thus, most of Lilah's time at the farm was spent like this:

And like this (because horses can be pretty darn intimidating):

Lilah's BFF, on the other hand, is totally fearless when it comes to animals.  They say opposites attract!

Eventually, Lilah did allow her feet to touch the ground, but she still preferred to observe from afar.

We were concerned that the Hubs and I were going to be the only ones making use of the bird seed we bought specifically for Lilah.

However, there was one animal in particular that Lilah was not afraid to feed (though he prefers crackers to birdseed):

I think Lilah's favourite parts of the farm were the tractors,

and holding hands with her BFF.

And then, just as we were about to leave the farm, this happened:

Which had me running back to the little store to purchase more birdseed for the girls, since we were almost out by that point.

I ofen find myself sitting back and marveling at the little personality that is emerging right before my eyes, and these types of outings tend to highlight her developing traits.  Some of it is nurture, yes, but I attribute much of it at this early stage to nature. I see a lot of myself in Lilah, so it really shouldn't come as any surprise to me that, like me, she can be quite shy and a little slow-to-warm-up.

What do outings like this tell you about your own family members's personalities?  Do you think kids' personalities can change throughout their childhood, or do the core traits stay the same?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!


  1. Something similar happened to us at MapleWood Farms. We have been 2 times. The first time Sarah was about 17 months and she loved it. The next time we went, she was about 2. As soon as we got there, a cow made a vary loud moo and Sarah said, "Too loud, go home." As you know, it is a bit of a trek for us, so we tried to distract, show her other things. But the love was gone. She was fearful of the animals and that darn cow. So it was a long ride for a 1/2 hour stay. We should give it another go. Thanks for the reminder.
    Hope you are feeling better.

  2. My little monkeys were scared at first too! Great pictures :)

  3. I'm the only parent in the Lower Mainland that hasn't taken their kids to Maplewood Farm. I starting to feel guilty about it!

    I find the personality evolution interesting. Having two kids, I'm pretty convinced that a personality is really one that stays pretty much the same from birth. My kids are SO different, and approach things differently and yet they come from the same house.

  4. I am hoping for bit warmer and sunny weather to come..I would love to take cory for his first experience. But I should be ready to tackle him if he should...??? climb up the fences, throw rocks, jump into pond, chase whoever...but neverless, I'm ready! Can't wait!

  5. I really want to go. I want Theo to see REAL animal not photos and cartoons! As for temperment. Well We're not sure WHERE Theo's came from but Dio Mio.

  6. Well, I have a little story to tell about one of our Maplewood Farm experiences. On Jake's blog I've dubbed it his worst day ever! Took him to the farm even though he was getting over a cold (because really, how many days in a row can you stay home with a toddler?). J was crying since he had just fallen down after a collision with another toddler. My husband had him in his arms near the horse paddock when all of a sudden a horse bit my son's hand! Broke the skin and everything (no, it wasn't Tom or Prince for those of you who know this farm, it was another horse who was new to the farm at that time). Anyway, at our visit to the walk-in clinic (because these things never, ever happen during regular doctor's hours), we found out that the prescribed antibiotics would work for both the horse bite, and the ear infections that he had. He needed a tetanus shot and while we were at it, we decided to give him the other vaccination he needed at the time. All this to say that we were a bit concerned the next time we took him to the farm, but...he was absolutely fine! Just as excited as ever to see the animals, including the horses. I hope it's his nature to see the good in everything...


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