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If you haven't read our sad story of being in Bismarck a few weeks ago, a story that included a closed zoo and a closed pumpkin patch two days in a row (the main reasons we drove to Bismarck), you might want to. Otherwise, re-read that last sentence, and you'll be good to continue on to this update.
I decided to try again, this time in the city of Minot, optimistic that not all pumpkin patches in North Dakota are crumby with a capital CRUMB. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, this particular pumpkin patch couldn't have been any crumbier unless it was situated in a pit of venomous snakes who, as a side talent, could scream out your most embarrassing moments.
What proceeded next was one of my most bizarre, conflicted parenting experiences to date. I didn't want to act as disappointed as I was, arching my back, throwing myself to the ground, flopping my legs about. You know. But I also didn't want to act like, Tuh-DUHHHH! We're here! The long-awaited pumpkin patch!! or Zoralee would've been from that point forward confused about the meaning of phrases like, "this is gonna be so cool!" and "this oven is hot" and everything else I've ever said. I have never been as at a loss for how to respond as I was right then.
I was trying to get a read on Zoralee's perception of the situation when the other family came back to their car, parked next to us. The dad said to the kids, "Did you have so much fun?!?" And the kids go, "Yeah!!" I looked them over for signs of being, you know, space aliens, and dumb ones at that, but saw no antennae or tails. What the crap?! These people would go into a familial fit of bliss if they ever saw a real pumpkin patch. What else don't they know about? Cotton candy? Electricity? As they loaded up, the dad said, "Do you want to carve our pumpkins when we get home?" The kids yelled, "Yeah!! What are we gonna carve them with?" Dad: "Our laser vision! ha ha! Just kidding. A knife, silly!"
I looked over at Zoralee. She had heard them talking and was now excited too. But there was nothing exciting for her darting eyes to land upon. I thought my heart would break. Even now, as I re-tell the story, there wells up in me a tremendous, gross emptiness. Watching your kids be disappointed is THE WORST. Truth of the matter is, Zoralee was only one year old at her last (and only) pumpkin patch, so she's only going off of photographs. Still, you can probably tell by her tentative stance in this first photograph that she too didn't know to respond when I encouraged her to stand by the prettiest, fall-est thing around - a long stalk of dried out corn. She may have also been wondering why I allowed her out of the house in a mock fur coat and sweat pants, but I digress.
I'm trying to describe just how pathetic of a scene this was, but you know what? Just look at the pictures. I mean, no, I didn't Photoshop pumpkins OUT of the pictures. It was just this measly. If you haven't been to a pumpkin patch yourself, browse some family blogs - everybody's at pumpkin patches this time of year. You'll see a lot of orange in the photos. A lot of sincere smiles. A lot of apple cider and hay bales and wagon rides. Vendors. Farm animals. And best of all, a lot of pumpkins, yo.
|Quintuple yay - FIVE pumpkins to choose from!|
Make that four! One of them is obviously rotting! Weee!
On the way out of town, we stopped in at Subway for a sandwich. I wanted to eat in the car, make some headway for home, but Z begged to eat at the tall tables with tall stools. She was sincerely stoked about it, and like a fool, I still almost insisted we take it to go. Then I realized that her excitement [over eating at a tall table] was the exact emotion I'd been wanting to witness in her. Duh. So, we ate at the tall table, Ziah poised on my knee.
And with that, my friends, our pumpkin patch saga draws to a close. Thanks for tuning in and sharing with me a sense of dread and dismay at the state of the world. Happy coming winter!