Monday, October 30, 2006

The Punkin Patch- Where kids go to be a punk?

As a kid, every Halloween included a trip to the pumpkin patch. We would head out to a local farm, take a hayride, and pick the most perfect pumpkin from the field where it had grown. I've long looked forward to bringing my kids there, and building the same type of wonderful memories I have of that tradition.

Sunday was the day. After an early morning call from my Father in Law asking when we were going to come pick up our early risers, we headed out. Hayden had been talking all morning about going to the Punkin Patch. We went to breakfast first, then headed out to the boonies. Being that we live in a very urban area, we really don't spend much, time on farmland. Well, it wasn't quite as I remembered.

It seems that visiting families have become big business for Underwood Family Farm. There were signs directing us to a back lot where there were literally hundreds of cars parked. We were concerned that it would be complete chaos, but there was so much there to do that we never waited long for anything or felt overwhelmed by people. Logan had fallen asleep so Fillip and my FIL stayed in the car while I took Hayden to see what there was to see. The first thing my City Boy said as we got out of the car was "Mommy, is this dirt?"

We started with looking at different animals, then moved on to the wooden truck and train. After a short time Logan woke and my MIL arrived. While Hayden and Fillip purchased tickets, Logan and I admired the chickens. He really seemed to like them, which was cute. Once we regrouped, we headed to the choo-choo train ride. Little did I know how much fun that would be! Hayden was just delighted the whole time. He kept waving and yelling "Bye bye Daddy! I'm going on the choo choo! All aboard!" Logan seemed surprisingly blase about the whole thing. He slumped down a bit, slung his arm over the back and sat there looking like a seasoned rail commuter, ready to whip out his iPod and morning paper any second. Because I was concerned about Logan staying put, I got on the train too. It turns out I didn't need to, but it was cute to watch them anyway.

Next up was a pony ride. Now, I'm big on "firsts" so was very excited about Logan's First Pony Ride. He was apparently less entusiastic. When the first guy tried to put him on the pony he started to fuss and I called out that if he didn't want to ride, he didn't have to. However, another girl working there took him, showed him the pony's face, let him pet the animal and play with its mane, then put him in the saddle. I was so impressed that she took those extra couple minutes to make him comfortable. Once the few kids were in the saddles, the ponies plod around in a circle a few times. Hayden was excited again and obviously enjoying himself. Logan decided to be a stunt rider- "Look Ma no hands!" He kept his arms out by his sides the entire ride, as if he thought he wasn't really supposed to touch anything. Funny, because that never stops him from touching everything at home!

After the pony rides we headed over for what I thought would be a hayride out to the pumpkin field. This was what I was waiting for and had already framed the pictures in my mind. Well, it was a tractor pulling a very large wagon on a track around various small fields. It was about 10 minutes, with the final destination being right across from where we started, in an area where pumpkins were set out for sale, arranged by size. Hmm. I guess you really can't go home. No worries. We were having fun anyway. After a brief toddler meltdown, we headed over to pick out pumpkins. I have two very decisive boys. The both walked over, each picked up a little pumpkin and declared those to be The Ones. No looking over different ones, trying to find bigger ones, making sure they didn't overlook anything. Once they had chosen, they couldn't be swayed, which was fine. Total time spent fantasizing about taking my kids to the pumpkin patch- all my adult years. Total time spent in the pumpkin "patch" spent choosing said pumpkins- under 2 minutes. Since they were clearly tired at that point, we headed out.

Although the Pumpkin Patch wasn't quite how I remembered it, it was so much fun. The kids had an absolute blast, and we will surely go back next year. The memories my boys will have of the Punkin Patch may be different than my own, but no less valuable to them.


Ann said...

Great weekend outing. I never went to the pumpkin patch as a kid (maybe that was because I grew up rural and who wants to go to a farmers field when you could go any day!). I love the pony ride story.

cg said...

This is such a fun time of the year! glad so many good and happy things are happening in your life right looked great in your halloween outfit

laurel said...

What a funny tale! It's so funny how we want to recreate our own memories for our kids, yet they end up making them their very own no matter what. I used to go t a pumkin patch in Playa Del Rey. It's probably all condos now, but it was right off of Lincoln (I think - you could see the LMU sign written on the hillside). I always wanted to take my kiddos there, but alas I no longer live in LA, and even if I did it's probably no longer there!

mi said...

There is very little wetlands left over there. I don't know if there is a pumpkin patch, but most of the area below LMU had now been developed. Bummer.