Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ava and the Pumpkin Rejects

Going down a 30ft. slide with Daddy. Check out her expression. But she got up and went right back on it.

I told Ava last weekend we would go to the pumpkin patch. But it snowed, so this weekend, with temperatures in the 70's I had to keep my promise. So, today was pumpkin patch day. Well, not so much a patch as a giant, four-sided shelf covered in everyone else's reject gourds.

I kept seeing ads in the paper about HeeHaw Farms and all the pumpkin-hay-animal-corn festivities the place had to offer. All the children in the advertisements looked to be having a yippy-ki-yay-hee-haw of a good time. So, coming from Arizona, I'm expecting something along the lines of Young's Farm: huge, fun, fall-ish. If Young's Farm (RIP) was the pinnacle of fall festivals, then Hee Haw is more like the muddy slush at the bottom of the hill after the snow has melted. Maybe I'm a fall festival snob and I've been spoiled by Young's Farm, it's giant pumpkins and delicious food... mmm. Or maybe this place really was a little ghetto.

My feelings aside, Ava has no recollection of Young's Farm, so we were working with a clean slate and, to quote my father-in-law, she thought the place was "the bee's knees." Hay. Check. A giant pit of dried corn to play in. Check. Stinky, dirty animals to pet and freak your germophobe mother out. Check. Pumpkins. Check. Her favorite, however, was a little barrel train pulled by a tractor. Each "car" had an animal head (wooden, not real) attached to the front. Ava chose the rooster. Her other options were a sheep, goat, pig and cow. I think she made the right choice. The tractor took her into a corn maze, where she was out of our sight and we out of hers. Andy and I were prepared for her to arrive back at the "loading area" terrified... or that at some point she'd jump out of the moving vehicle and come running out of the corn maze leaving a giant Ava-sized hole in the stalks. But she surprised us. She stayed on the train the whole time. And when she came back into our sight, she was smiling. No tears, no concerned look on her face, just a big grin and a floppy little wave. Isn't it appropriate that the world's largest 4-month-old is in the pig?

After lunch (which consisted of microwaved hot dogs and a corn dog for Ava) we decided it was time to pick out the perfect pumpkin. I had visions of a perfectly round, tangerine-colored pumpkin, with a long stem that had those little curly-things hanging from it. We would tromp through the pumpkin patch, see the pumpkin and the heavens would open up and shine a light upon our glorious gourd. First of all, there was no tromping. There was no patch. Okay, there was a patch, but there were no pumpkins in it. Instead, the pumpkins sat upon shelves in front of the "patch." Okay, fine, I can choose a pumpkin off the shelve. Atleast I won't get dirt in my shoes. We begin assessing each pumpkin. They weren't round, they were lopsided and lumpy. Most of them weren't even completely orange, they had odd green blotches speckling their skin. They have pumpkin leprosy. It's a good thing my little girl has a Charlie Brown-complex. She kept choosing the sorriest of the lot - the rejects of the rejects. We finally settled on a roundish pumpkin. Although one side is flat near the bottom so our pumpkin leans a little... it's a drunk leper pumpkin. We had the intention of only bringing one home, but Ava fell in love with a little spotted one that has a split down one side and is covered in pumpkin boils. It's pretty ugly. Oh, but she loves that weird little pumpkin.

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