09/29/2014 02:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Our Instagram-Filtered Double Life

Shanell Mouland

Do you know how hard it was to NOT instagram filter the hell out of these pictures? I love those filters and the way they make everything look better. In the interest of the integrity of this post, I held off and decided to show you what really happened as we attempted to keep our kids active this Fall.

First, the scene: An apple orchard. Piles of children tripping over the apples discarded on the ground by piles of other children. Grumpy dads and iPhone-wielding moms taking pictures to prove their children do seasonally appropriate activities in seasonally appropriate attire. Two minor autism-induced tantrums and a friendly puppy to make it better round out our morning at the orchard.

I have arranged the pictures to show you the kinds of things that I usually post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine etc. Following those, I posted picture depicting the reality of our day. I am finding I enjoy reality much more, these days.

Below, the pictures that I pulled from the hundreds I took today. These are the pictures that make our day look like an effortless morning outing. See the happy, well-behaved children. Isn't is obvious that this family went home and made apple crisp to eat after their honey ham supper tonight? This family has their sh*t together.

This family took the visit to the orchard as a learning opportunity and taught their two young daughters about the different types of apples and the kinds of great foods they could make with their haul today. They even threw some math in when they asked the girls to count the apples in their buckets.

The older girl kindly reached for the apples that were out of reach for her little sister. They stuck together and giggled softly when an apple fell from the tree and almost hit Daddy in the head. Oh, what a time!

(Did that make you feel as nauseous reading it, as I felt typing it?)


And now, the reality. (Minus pictures of the tantrums, which would have been ideal, but dammit I can never get to my camera and stop her from destroying public property at the same time.)

This family dropped all of the apples out of their buckets twice. They are fairly certain many of the apples they brought home had been sitting on the ground for weeks.

Their littlest one beelined for a busy road and her mother turned her ankle while chasing her. Their mother swore loudly and caught the attention of a disapproving LuLuLemon-clad supermom. (Did you know LuLu made apple picking gear?)

The oldest refused to wear the outfit that was chosen for her and perfectly co-ordinated with her sister's. She chose to wear her school clothes from yesterday, instead. The mom spent so much time behind her IPhone trying to get a "great shot" that she did not actually pick even one apple.

The drive to the orchard was longer and more painful than the 11 minutes they spent there, but when they look back at their pictures they will remember it so fondly they will be willing to do it again next year.

They went home and gratefully accepted an invitation to eat elsewhere because they were too exhausted to cook.


I don't know about you, but I know which family I'd rather hang out with.