In October (yes, I take a while to get back to posts I start), we went to a pumpkin patch to get our gourd for Halloweeen. If don't know, pretty much any large event that might bring families are large, commercial affairs. Trinkets and goodies of questionable healthiness are sold in every sodden mud-caked square inch of field. There are local bands who butcher rock classics to include the word 'pumpkin'. No, I will not regale you with titles. Let's just say it's like having your nostalgia regurgitated through the candy-corn-crusted nether regions of a gourd from camp hell. It's not a pleasant experience.
It was quite an event. There was mud, and mud on mud, and dirt that looked somewhat dry and not hazardous but just turned out to be convincingly light-coloured mud. There were also corn-mazes, because if there is anything you want to do on a cold October day, it's to get lost in rows upon rows of cow-grade maize and endless trails of, well, mud.
During our tousle getting out the door, we forgot Owlet's proper wet gear. So in the drizzle, we had to assemble a Frankensteinian abomination of Owl Jr's clothes, some stuff left in the drunk, and a small but unwieldy umbrella; it might have been fashioned after a frog. And that's when it hit me, or was reinforced, as I gazed at our friend's children, who were wearing matching yellow slicker of some sort, how much children's fashion isn't so much about looking stylish, at least, for most parents; but more about ensuring your child doesn't look like an unamusing, tragic extra from Oliver!, which Owlet surely did.
It's not like she cared, she just wanted to get going. Going to whereever we were going to run too fast and get ridiculously dirty and have her parents freak out as new parents always do. The thing about dirty kids, is yes, on one hand, let kids be kids and get rough and tumble; but on the other hand, when all they have to get to is the car, they act as these impressive dirt multipliers, getting more things dirty that will surely have to be cleaned faster than you can repeat "OH GOD PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THAT". For me, it's not so much the fact of a dirty child. If she doesn't care, I don't. It's just the eventual time sink of trying to clean from our cloth and pleather seats something that looks like a cross between regurgitated grass and sculpting clay.
Or maybe I'm just a very prissy father, whatever.
During the course of wandering the mud fields looking for the right pumpkin, I saw a bunch of workers drive in a tractor, and unload pumpkins. Because we were in a mud field, not a pumpkin patch. The real pumpkin growing was done in some off-site lot, or imported from Argentina, or grown in a sinisterly lit warehouse with steel drum vats with supervisors who's middle name was 'von'. Or maybe I'm getting my imagination into overdrive because pumpkin-fueled family cheese can only push a man so far.
At some point, the kids were led to a straw field where they threw straw at each other and got the sort of dirty I can get behind, non-transferrable. I took many shots, and eventually got a keeper. So I guess the trip wasn't all bad.