(originally posted on my old site 10/4/15)
Yesterday my baby turned 8 months old. Today she went to her first pumpkin patch. While we were there, I tried to explain to her the purpose of a pumpkin patch. You see at first glance, she probably supposed it was merely a popular place to do dog photo shoots, as several childless adults were there doing just that. I told her, “When you go to the pumpkin patch, you walk around and you look for the perfect pumpkin to take home and carve into a jack-o-lantern, but that’s not why we’re here today.”
She chewed on some grass. “You see baby, we live in a world now where everybody has to have a picture of their baby (or dog) at a pumpkin patch. It’s a fall tradition. That’s why you’re wearing the one and only skirt you own. Every October, parents get their kids dressed up and bring them to whatever church parking lot is closest and sit their child on a bale of hay. This is a rite of passage and your mom is largely a conformist when it comes to things that are extremely cute. Let’s take a selfie.” She stared off into the distance.
“I know we could pick out a pumpkin here today and justify our trip with more than just cute photos, but I am completely over carving pumpkins. I’m not doing it again until you beg me when you’re like 5-years-old. I’ve had to do it for every kid I’ve nannied for the last six years and sticky pumpkin guts have lost their charm. I bought you some stickers to decorate our pumpkin. You’ll just have to live with that. Also, we have to get some that are small enough to hang out inside on the kitchen window sill, because our neighborhood is overrun with creatures of the forest. In our yard alone, I have seen a posse of 6 raccoons, several lizards, squirrels, frogs, turtles, a snake, a possum with three babies on it’s back, two mangy cats, several birds, and too many bugs to list. Not to mention, we don’t do trick or treaters so we’re not exactly trying to advertise our halloween spirit.”
Elsie mostly seemed confused by this little field trip. Then, when we got home she actually crawled on all fours for the first time, not just scooting around aimlessly. She purposefully crawled into the dining room trying to get to me in the kitchen. Then! She pushed herself up into a seating position with no help for the first time ever. Then she ate two entire jars of baby food (unprecedented) had a bath, read a book with me, and passed out in her crib within seconds at bed time. I am completely overwhelmed and proud and bewildered and I can’t believe how lucky I am. It would be cool though if she could just chill out and stop all this growing because I’m like, “Hey! You’re my tiny little baby. What are you trying to pull?”
I blame it all on the pumpkin patch. I think as soon as she laid eyes on a schnauzer outperforming her, she knew she had to step up her game.