Halloween is not my favorite holiday. But with kids I came to terms with it and will accept it until the kids get old enough that I don't have to care any more. I do, however, love giving my kids new experiences. We had traveled to the pumpkin patch last year with her. I was pregnant with them and have the unsightly pictures to remind myself of that. At the time she would have nothing to do with sitting cute on a pumpkin to take her picture. I was very hopeful that this year would be different. Hopeful. Hah, what a joke.
I spent the day before planning. Early breakfast, early nap, quick snack and then off to the patch. We had been talking about going to the pumpkin patch for the past few days. I was trying to pump her up. Trying to use the pumpkin patch as a bribe to be good. The day started off wrong. Breakfast at 11:30 (I guess that is not really breakfast anymore). She resisted taking a nap and then only slept for an hour. Dear me. I should have seen the signs.
We loaded up the truck. Three kids - check. Diaper bag - check. Bjorn packs (2) - check. Water and other life supplies - check. We were off. I was excited. I just knew this would be a special experience. I had remembered the camera and was determined to get a picture of the five of us. Ten years from now I would be able to look at that picture and smile at our first "patch" experience as a family. Little did I know this one would be hard to forget.
We arrived, packed up the boys and all held hands. We walked into the patch. Pumpkins were sparse, but it was the week before Halloween. It was more about the experience and not the pumpkins, but I encouraged her to run for them. Run for the pumpkins little girl. It was beautiful. A little back ground music as she ran through the grass on to the dusty field of pumpkins would have been perfect. She bent over and picked up an odd shaped pumpkin. She turned, looked back at us. She threw the pumpkin on the ground. She picked up another with the same intent. I hustled over with a baby attached to my chest, so running was not an option, and told her not to throw the pumpkins. People were looking at us. She muttered something and walked to the next. We managed to keep the poor pumpkins in tact by moving on to something different. She talked and laughed at the animals. My eyes teared up as she gibber-jabbered at the sheep that sat chewing his cud. Wow. If only I was so excited by such small things.
We were walking back to the front of the patch, back to the truck when she saw it. I had hoped that she would be so interested in the pumpkins that she would miss it. She didn't. There it was. In all it's glory. A huge red bouncy house in the shape of a ship. How could we say no. Well, we could, but.....
I should have known. I should have known with the way things had panned out so far - late breakfast, short nap, spiked pumpkins....
She went into the bouncy house and never came back. Our five minutes were up and her turn was over. She could have cared less if the world was coming to an end. She could have cared less if we had left her there for the rest of her life. With babies attached to our chest, we could not crawl into the bouncy house. She finally emerged after going down the slide. He had to make it a sneak attack and grab her as she peeked out the door. It was over. Right at that moment the day had taken a dark,dark turn. We became those people. We became those people that others talk about. Those people with there hands full with babies and then a screaming, crying child. Except our child spits too. She was mad. Wait, not mad. Furious. There was no rationalizing with her. I had been here with her before. For him, it was his first experience. She had hit the point of no return. It's birth control.
We wrangled her into her car seat and then into the house. She continued melting down and seemed to need a moment to her self. I took off her shoes and put her in bed. It sounds so graceful in words, but trust me, it was far from that. I was wrangling a spitting cobra. Again, birth control.
As I closed the door behind me, it took all I had not to have my own fit. She continued on for a while and then silence. About ten minutes later, she came downstairs and in her sing-songy, lisp voice turned her head to the side and asked for some raisins. I asked her the magic word and she sweetly replied, "please."