Going to pumpkin patches -- that is, farms that put up many sorts of entertainment and ways of spending money to sell pumpkins -- is now part of the modern ritual that is Halloween. Today we joined our old 2002 friends at a pumpkin patch we've been to for several years now that our favorite one with the train closed down.
Of course, you dress in fragile costumes to run through fields, around animals and play in jumphouses.
We tried for a grandmother-mother-daughter shot; this was the best we could do.
We hit the farm at peak parking time, requiring a bit of a walk. But fortunately, I had brought reinforcements.
A gopher entranced the kids for a while; this little guy must have really wanted to go out this hole but kept pulling back when encountering numerous inquisitive little faces. Maybe he got lost in his underground maze.
Pony rides! Now that I know Katrina likes ponies, we had to do this. To my surprise, Gabriel wanted to also, and Julian wasn't scared and also wanted to.
Photo-op! The kids (minus one of mine).
The moms (plus one of mine).
Then, of course, the inevitable jump house. One small jumphouse, and $5 a pop! I'm starting to put jumphouses down there with swings, lollipops and balloons as childhood staples that I don't like.
But, new thing: Katrina? She wanted to try a jumphouse? Sure enough, and she loved it!
So instead of a tantrum about going in, the tantrum was about getting out, and I had to go in to fetch her. The natural exit was a slide, which she at first refused, but gravity won.
Pumpkin time. I didn't want to haul around three pumpkins, so found a cart, and ended up hauling around three more.
Home, lunch, naps...no tantrums today. It's really stunning how much more enjoyable days are without hour-long toddler tantrums. I have so much more energy and have such a more positive outlook. I wonder if I'll forget how draining they are. Yesterday was really exhausting with Katrina's nonstop demands and impossible tantrums, and the relative ease and joy of today really underscored that.
Since a visit isn't a visit without THE photo, I shamelessly exploited greed by telling the kids we'd open gifts from Bonne Maman after pictures. It worked!
As usual, we're having a great visit -- fun play, terrific food, and lots of just hanging around together! And since I got THE photo of Bonne Maman with grandkids, I can relax now!