Not the kid. The Husband. Yes, Zach’s first time pumpkin picking. He was very skeptical. “Why can’t we just get some from the grocery store?” I patiently explained to him that it was a long-standing tradition to pick pumpkins in an actual pumpkin patch every October, and not just toss them in a cart whilst fulfilling the weekly grocery trip.
“I don’t want a pumpkin.”
“Yes, you do. Put the shoes on the kid. Get in the car. We’re going.”
As I drove my 2 unwilling participants to the nice pumpkin patch, I explained to them all about fun hayrides, corn mazes, and of course, pumpkins. He said, “You and Luke can get a pumpkin. I don’t want one.” I sighed and pulled into a long lane of families all trying to turn right into the farmer’s market with the pumpkin patch.
Zach freaked out. “LOOK at all of these people! It’s a zoo! Let’s leave.”
I replied, “What do you expect? Everyone is here to pick pumpkins. It will be fun.”
It was a zoo. You could smell cinnamon-roasted pecans, juicy hot dogs, and sweet, fresh apple cider. There were ponies, goats, one pig and lots of tractors. Zach manfully plowed ahead, and I gleefully fell in step behind him.
I got some tickets for the hayride, and we found the line. Zach complained, “I can see the pumpkin patch from here. Can’t we just walk?” A tractor came slowly by and the group ahead of us piled in.
He said “That’s our ride??” I ignored him.
Our requisite ride to the pumpking patch arrived up, and we clambered in. I pointed out the tractor to the kid…he was so excited. Zach was still dumbfounded by the hayride. “My family owned three of these tractors”. I’m pretty sure he found this all a little silly.
I said, “Some of us didn’t grow up in the country, so this is pretty fun for us. Be quiet.”
The tractor pulled us around in a huge square as we sat on prickly hay bales. The rugrat started picking at his bale, and handed me some wisps. “Awwww, thanks for the hay, bugs.”
Zach interjected, “That’s not hay, that’s straw.”
I looked at him, “It’s called a hayride.”
He laughed. “Sweetheart, that’s straw. Trust me.”
Whatever. “Thanks for the straw, bugs.”
We finally made it to the pumpkin patch. Everyone scattered, looking for the perfect orange lobotomy patient.
“What are we looking for?”, Zach asked.
“Um, nice handle for carrying. Good flat bottom so it stands up well. Not too big. Enough surface area to carve a good face. Don’t get a green pumpkin.”
I found three cheery candidates. Zach objected immediately.
“How are you going to carry all those yourself?”, he asked, as he smugly held the bug with both arms.
I glared at him and let out an exasperated sigh. ”Fine. You win. Two pumpkins.”
I picked up my nice medium pumpkin for me, and a nice little pumpkin for the bug. We took the non-hay hayride back to the front market, and I gave my husband an ultimadum. “Pick out a pumpkin or I’m getting a bumpy gourd for you. All the neighbors will wonder why we don’t have three pumpkins out front.”
He relented. “Fine. Just get one out of the bins.”
I picked out an itty-bitty pumpkin for him. It was not very cute. He was happy.
I think he had a great first experience. I’m looking forward to next year.