Our First Ever Trip to the Ithaca Farmer’s Market

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Greg and I decided to go to the Ithaca Farmer’s Market yesterday. Actually, I’ve been wanting to check out that farmer’s market for a while, but haven’t had a chance. Then Greg asked me (innocently enough) if Ithaca had a farmers market and I started planning the trip.

I thought it would be a pretty simple family trip; Zoey had gone with us to the Syracuse farmer’s market a couple of times last year and seemed to be fine with riding in her stroller. I figured we’d be there for just a little while–not long enough for her to get bored. And we’d get some fresh fruits and veggies. What could possibly go wrong, right? Oh, silly, silly Cindy.

So, as soon as we got there, Zoey started having a meltdown because she didn’t want to sit in her stroller and she didn’t want to hold Greg’s or my hand. She pretty much just wanted to run around all willy-nilly and, of course, that wasn’t okay with us. We tried talking to her, explaining to her that she needed to stay with Mommy and Daddy, but it was a no go.

Back to the car we went–and we hadn’t even gotten through the entire walk from the parking lot to the market. I was so frustrated–I’ll be honest–because these tantrums are becoming more and more commonplace. I know she’s only two and this is kind of what all toddlers go through, but it’s tough. We try to kneel down on her level and talk to her, explain to her why she has to do or not do certain things, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes she just doesn’t want to listen and she screams and cries. Sometimes she throws herself on the floor. Sometimes she makes me feel like I must be doing something wrong or not doing enough of something to make her understand. There I said it.

So poor Greg had two upset females in the car–Zoey in the backseat all mad that she couldn’t walk by herself and me tearing up in frustration because all I wanted was a nice family outing and I had really thought Zoey would enjoy it–I never thought something like her not wanting to sit in her stroller could derail the whole thing. Greg was just so fantastic about it, though. He waited for us both to calm down and then he asked Zoey if she wanted to go to the farmer’s market. She said yes. So he told that he would start off carrying her and when she got tired, we’d put her in the stroller and see how it went.

We tried again and this time, it worked. The first stall we came to had apple cider slushies. We bought two–one for Greg and I to share and one for Zoey to work on while we walked through the market. I managed to get her to sit in her stroller while she drank her very own slushie and played with the straw. That slushie allowed us to get through about half of the farmer’s market with no further problems.

In the meantime, Greg and I were totally enjoying checking out the different stalls with everything from mushrooms to fresh beans, sunflowers to cheese and blueberry wine. We bought squash, peas and lettuce and just when Zoey was about to start fussing from being bored (and probably she realized she was still in her stroller), I asked her if she could help me find some flowers. So, she was busy pointing to all of the flowers (and sometimes herb plants that she thought were flowers) while we made our way towards the end of the pavilion.

Then we found these guys:

Okay, here’s the thing about the Ithaca farmer’s market–it’s just so nice. The vendors pretty much all look like hippie farmers that are probably part of a co-op in the community. The pavilion has shopping baskets for people to use. The garbage cans each have a special bin attached for compost. There’s crafts and people playing music for tips. COME ON. You just can’t get better than that. The vibe is SO relaxed and it was SO clean. The polar opposite would be the Syracuse farmer’s market where I’ve gotten the feeling numerous times that some of the vendors aren’t all that nice and are just there to make a profit as fast as possible. And everything is rush rush RUSH–not to mention some of the shady characters you tend to run into up there.

Anyway, the performers stopped Zoey mid-fuss and she sat in her stroller quietly and watched them. Seriously. Girlfriend LOVES music.

Greg and I both remarked on how much we liked the Ithaca’s farmers market. We liked that it was right near a lake.

We liked that Greg could get fresh brick oven pizza and I could get AMAZING Asian food for lunch. People rode bikes and brought their dogs for a walk (dogs weren’t allowed in the market pavilion, so the owners kept them on the paths just outside the pavilion). In fact, right before we left, we met the most adorable pit bull puppies, Liam and Jupiter (Liam was white with brown spots and Jupiter was brindle). They were just so incredibly friendly and Liam walked right up to Zoey and gave her a HUGE kiss on her face. Yep, monsters–those pit bulls. Their owner was so sweet and allowed us to say hello to her puppies for a couple of minutes.

And then we left because it was ridiculously hot and Zoey was getting fussy.

Zoey had refused to eat breakfast at home before we left (I had taken a small bowl of cut up sausage links and a baggie of fruit loops in the car, but she didn’t want them) and she hadn’t wanted to try Greg’s or my lunch at the farmer’s market. We assumed her lack of appetite was probably because of the heat, but she had us a little worried because typically if she doesn’t eat a whole lot of breakfast, she’ll make it up at lunch. So, Greg and I did the only thing we could think of.

“Zoey, do you want fries?”

Here’s the thing: fries to Zoey equates to a trip to McDonalds. Whenever we drive past a McDonalds and she sees the big yellow M on the sign, she starts yelling out, “Fries! Fries!” She LOVES McDonalds kids meals because not only can she get the BEST chicken nuggets (gets that from me), but she also can get her precious fries and apple slices (the most brilliant thing McDonalds has even done, by the way. She definitely prefers McDonalds to Burger King because of the apple slices). We figured one way to get Zoey to eat something is to give the girl what she loves.

As we drove towards home, I asked Zoey if she was going to play in her baby pool when we got home. She answered yes and then added, “Fries.” Maybe a slight reminder that we had one more stop to make before getting home?

We stopped at a McDonalds in Dryden and as soon as she saw the M on the sign, she started saying, “Fries!”

We went inside and I ordered Zoey’s kid’s meal at the register. I told the girl–a kid’s meal with chicken nuggets and apple juice. Zoey looked at the girl behind the counter and said, “Ummmm fries.” Apparently, Miss Zoey thought I had forgotten to order them. We sat in a booth while Zoey ate and then we were off again towards home.

Zoey fell asleep when we were about ten to fifteen minutes from home and she ended up sleeping for a solid couple of hours when we got home.

So our trip went well, although it started out rocky. I’m trying to remind myself that Zoey is just going through the terrible twos stage and I’m trying to be patient and understanding until it passes. But sometimes I find it hard. And frustrating. Greg and I try to use different tactics to get through to her about what she can and can’t do–while trying to be awesome, fun parents. But it’s HARD sometimes. She’s got my temper and stubbornness, so we butt heads. We’ve found she takes Greg more seriously than me when it comes to discipline and sometimes that’s hard for me. We want her to be happy and safe.

It’s just a stage, right?

For more pics from our Ithaca Farmer’ Market trip, click here.

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