Monday, October 11, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Can someone please explain to me what is not fun about a pumpkin patch for a three-year-old? You pick pumpkins, go on hayrides and pet ponies. If that's not a honkin' good time for a toddler, then I need a briefer on what is. Plus this place has a big huge jumpy thing, a giraffe (I doubt South Barrington, Ill. is the ideal habitat for a giraffe, but then again I'm not a zoologist) and tons of awesome Halloween decorations. Good old-fashioned fall fun! Plus, it was a beautiful weekend here.

And my kids bitched and whined and moaned. All. Weekend. Long. I warned them: "It's going to be freezing out soon and we'll be locked in the house like that movie where Jack Nicholson goes bonkers and you'll be so OUT OF YOUR MIND nuts you'll start howling 'Red Rum' over and over! Now it's 80 degrees in Chicago in October! Let's have fun or at least pretend like we are!"

They were not the least bit appreciative of our planning what we thought would be the perfect outing. Okay, they're three. But the problem is that by the time they do acknowledge all of the sacrifices their parents made for them -- if they're like me -- they'll be about 40. Which will make me 79 and most likely well into advanced dementia. Which means I will never get the full satisfaction of hearing them articulate their unbridled appreciation for my taking them to pumpkin patches at ungodly early hours to beat the crowds and having to eat $16 worth of tickets for a large inflatable pillow they decided last minute they didn't want to jump on and for the pony ride they didn't want to take for reasons still unclear to me.

And here is my real concern about this less-than-satisfactory outcome at the pumpkin patch: we are heading to Disney World on Saturday for a week. And if these two don't man up and love the freakin' crap out of that Mouse, I'm going to be one unhappy bitch at the happiest place on Earth. The good news is they are not yet three, so they're free. The bad news is my husband and I are not free. And by "not free" I mean we have to pay something like $60 each to go to Mickey Mouse's Not- So-Scary Halloween Party and something like $70 each to break bread with some fake princesses.

My best memory of Disney is the Haunted Mansion. I'm assuming that would be frightening for a couple of 3-year-olds. But maybe it can be used as a good scare tactic. Drag them on that ride the minute we arrive and tell them that's where they'll be staying all week at the first sign of a grumble. Wow, you know what? I was originally just kidding, but seeing it in writing makes it seem like a viable option. If you've used that approach yourself, please post a comment and let me know if it worked and if you had to enroll them in therapy sooner than originally planned.

Anyway, I've been doing an absurd amount of research on preschool-appropriate Disney activities, and received some very distressing information after we got our tickets: It's a Small World AND The Teacups are "closed for refurbishment" during our stay. I think we should get a discount for that. That's like going to Outback Steakhouse and after ordering drinks being told they are out of the Bloomin' Onion. Kind of important information to know up front.

Regardless, I will report back after the trip. I fear the report may start something like this: "Can someone please explain to me what is not fun about riding on a flying baby elephant named Dumbo for a three-year-old?"

PS -- I am aware their hair looks crazy. I am dragging them to Snippets this week and bribing them with the sparkly Lelli Kelli sneakers they keep pointing out and plan to tell them the princesses won't associate with girls who look like rag-a-muffins so we must get our hair cut before Disney trip if we want to hold court with royalty. Bribing and lying: my top two parenting tools.

PPS -- What are the chances they get the shoes but no haircut? Waffling / not following through on threats: my third top parenting tool.

PPPS -- Wendi Aarons, one of the funniest women alive, almost has me convinced to paint their faces like Heath Ledger as The Joker to make Mickey Mouse's Not-So-Scary Halloween party so frightening that everybody flees The Magic Kingdom and we'll have the place to ourselves for a couple of hours. Now, that would be worth the $120. I might have to forgo our Snippets appointment...


  1. I don't know, I kind of like the Heath Ledger hair on them.

    I'm very excited you're going to Disneyworld. Because I can't wait to read allll about your magical time.

  2. I love the look on the face of the twin whose hair is pulled back...Priceless!

  3. Have I mentioned that you need to feed one more carrots because I can no longer tell them apart based on skin tone? Sunless tanning lotion would also work. Don't worry... child services won't mind. Just tell them Snooky is the biological mother for the one.

    Disneyworld is not Disneyworld without It's A Small World. That's just wrong. On the plus side, you won't get that song stuck in your head. Although just writing about it has gotten it stuck in mind. Thank you for that. Except not really.

    I'm digging the hair. Mary-Kate and Ashley pay big bucks for the wavey beach blown look. Your twins kick those twins' ass.


  4. This is hilarious. love reading your blog...those seem to be my top three parenting strategies as well. Also The Joker idea needs a's too funny!

  5. I can't wait to hear about your trip. We are thinking of taking the kids next fall (5 years and 3 years old). Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

    And I agree with Wendi.

  6. Disney... Oh God, you are both brave and naive. My three year old liked the one day we spent at Disneyland this summer. That was about all I could handle at one time. Small doses. But, if you are there a week, you could leave for long periods of time and go back to your hotel. Can't wait to hear about it. It should be good blog fodder if nothing else. :) And R's hairdo is almost the same as your twins. It's what's in when you are three and reluctant to wear hair accessories.

  7. You + Disney = one unhappy bitch. And I can't wait to read about it!

  8. I like their ragamuffin hair! And yeah, kids are assholes sometimes. Disney? Without It's a Small World? Look, I worked at Red Lobster one summer and I ran out of lobster and a customer tried to stab me with a shrimp fork (understandably) -- they should just close the whole freakin' park til it's fixed. And avoid Snow White's spooky forest ride. My daughter (she was five) said her friend Abby said it was really scary so my son (he was seven) didn't want to go, but I said oh come on, Abby's five, and then spent the whole ride hiding his face in my shoulder and apologizing really really hard. It's scary. It's really scary.