Monday, October 08, 2007

Pumpkin picking at Alstede Farms ...

or otherwise entitled...Mina's toxic bile.

First, the pictures. Then the rest of the story.

This weekend, we took the kids to Alstede Farms, in Chester, NJ for pumpkin picking. I figured, it's Fall, my favorite time of the year. I love getting ready for Halloween. The weather looked to be beautiful. Let's get the kids outside, I thought. Let's wander among the gourds, catch a hayride, pick up some veggies at the farm stand, eat, look at the pretty fall colors. Sounds good in theory, right?

The trouble with all these grand adventures that I am always planning is that it's rare for things to actually turn out as I've envisioned in my own Martha-warped mind. In fact, it never looks like the magazine spreads. Events take on a life of their own; and that's usually ok. As long as you try to be flexible, try to see the humor in the situation, and accept your's ok.

But sometimes, things go so horribly wrong, you just wonder why you bothered to leave the house at all. And why did you even consider leaving the house for some big adventure with two little monkeys who don't understand that they're supposed to be having fun, damn it.

To start, I guess the first problem was that the farm was an hour away. In a patently stupid move, I decided that we had had enough of our local pumpkin/apple farm, and needed to "try something new." That meant some farm I had only heard about from other moms; one that was considerably father away than I had expected; and undertaken with only the dimmest sense of its exact location somewhere in the interior of the Garden State.

It was also really, really hot.

In all fairness, the farm itself was awesome. Nestled on a bucolic stretch of countryside, the farm proudly glowed like a bright red strawberry in a patch of green. There was so much to see and do, including hay rides, corn mazes, petting animals, hay bales set up to climb, and pumpkins to pick. It was so much, it instantly overwhelmed our little brains.

We quickly decided on a plan of attack; and just as quickly the monkeys demonstrated their unwillingness to go along with it. The heat, the activity, the long car ride, the excitement of so much going on around them totally threw them for a loop. One wanted to go one way, the other did not. Deep in the shadows of the corn maze, one wanted to run, the other wanted to be carried. One tried to slip off the trail. The other cried pitifully to be let down. One did not want to leave the pumpkin patch, and the other could not stand falling down repeatedly among the thick vines.

And it was really, really hot too.

But we put on a brave face, and forced fun upon our children. It looked like we were going to push on through to the end, and we almost made it. Except, that just as everyone was buckled into the car for the ride home, and we were on our way...

Miss Mina decided to heave all over the place in a display of vomiting worthy of an award. We're talking Linda Blair here. It was so bad. It was BAD. It was foul. It was collapse-in-a-heap-and-cry kind of bad.

Monkey's reaction? He sat there in the back seat and laughed.

"Beanie threwed up!" He announced. Then laughed. Again. And then she "threwed up" again. A lot. A big one. After which, of course, she cried. And then, once comforted, she was happy as a clam.

Since I had stupidly decided to sit back there with the kids, I shared in the bounty. And the smell. Despite valiant efforts at cleaning it up, our pitiful little Huggies wipes (for sensitive skin!) could not compete with Miss Mina's toxic bile. They performed pitifully in the face of such opposition.

We drove home for an hour immersed into the stench. Monkey and Mina decided to be helpful by screaming baby nonsense at the top of their lungs for the full hour.

Today...after at least a half dozen attempts at cleaning our minivan, it still smells. We've Resolved it, Fantastick'd it, doused it with Baking Soda, scrubbed it with soap and water, and vacuumed it repeatedly.

I am now the proud driver of Mommy's vomit van. I can't wait to pull up for preschool drop off tomorrow morning.
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