When your parents are weekend farmers you get to be a weekend farm kid.
We have never made a big deal out of this. It's just 'Get your paddy clothes on, we're off to the rice paddy.'
Sometimes they help out and sometimes they play.
Taking your kids to the field with you is something people used to do a lot more than they do now and so it makes the retiree age farmers around us get all nostalgic.
One of the neighbours told me how she used to tie her toddlers to an apple tree with a rug, some toys and a drink while she worked.
Others tell me of how, pre-machination, kids were a vital part of the rice harvest as they picked up all the stray strands of rice and made them into bunches.
At last year's community meeting of the local PTA, kids' club leaders, neighbourhood leaders and neighbourhood welfare workers one of the neighbourhood leaders who just happens to farm next to us, used her 2 minutes to reveal to all present that our kids are out in the field running around and playing and everyone else should lock up their kids' DS's and send them outside too. It was slightly squirm inducing and I felt like I should have added a disclaimer that we don't actually give the girls a choice and Meg does actually have a DS....
While I do get pangs of guilt that other kids are spending their weekends at karaoke, cheering on the city's soccer team, at festivals, shopping centres, movie theatres or Disneyland while Meg and Amy are in their gumboots making daisy chains again, all in all I think they will appreciate the freedom they had and the adventures it afforded them.
This is a set of rice rack legs. Well it was until it became a bird nest. Amy is the mother bird and the little girl at the bottom is the baby. Meg is making sure the nest doesn't fall on the baby bird.
Mum and Dad spent a looooonnng time during the rice harvest with a rake and a pitch fork spreading out the chopped up rice straw so it will become fertiliser for next year's crop.
Then Meg, Amy and the little friend built this tepee from a number of sets of rice rack legs and spent a loooong time collecting up armfuls of carefully spread rice straw to furnish their tepee.
We finished the rice harvest at 2:30. The weather was cold, the wind was colder, everyone just wanted to get out, get home and get lunch.
Well, everyone except the kids who had to be cajoled out of their tepee and home again. They are adamant the tepee should become a permanent fixture in the paddy.
The fact that that would make growing rice very difficult is beside the point.
Gotta love the thinking of the weekend farm kids.