Last Friday Theo’s preschool class took a field trip to a local pumpkin patch. And I took the day off work to chaperone! I also agreed to ride the bus. That was possible the worst decision I ever made. There were 45 kids total on the bus between preschool and kindergarten. It was loud. I sat between Theo and a little girl in his class on the 45 minute drive to the pumpkin patch, feeling a little squished. There were also an overabundance of parents who had decided to tag along. The kids were put into groups of 6 with 3-4 parents per group. So yea, the chaperoning was very well covered. And I got to observe Theo interacting with his classmates and teachers.
He did not inherit my shyness in any way. When I first started school, the teachers told my parents that I never talked in class. They were shocked. Growing up, my nickname was jabber jaws because all I did was talk! Except in school. And in public. Theo has always been a chatty kid and very friendly. Almost too friendly – we haven’t really grasped the concept of not talking to strangers. Still though, I wondered if he would clam up like I did. Needless to say, I have laid that particular fear aside. The kid is overly chatty. He yells to get attention. Not the best idea. And he’s a little bossy. I hope this changes. Being an only kid when he’s at our house has probably opened the door to some not so great behaviors. I have noticed at home recently that he has started to tell hubby and I how to behave. Granted, some of them are things we tell him which is a sign that we’re not following our own rules. (Bad parents, bad!) Others though… well lets just say I’ve had a few conversations with Theo explaining that we’re the parents and he’s the kid and we make the rules. Back talking is not something I’m okay with so I’m trying to rid him of that trait quickly.
Anyway, back to the pumpkin patch! The kids had an absolute blast playing on the playground equipment. There was even a bounce house! And a bigger bouncy trampoline type thing. And a zip line. Theo didn’t try the zip line – I’m not sure he would have held on very well. One of the other little boys in our group did it twice. We ate lunch outside on picnic tables. The weather was a chilly 60 or so and the wind wasn’t friendly. Much cooler than originally hoped. But do kids ever notice? Nope! Parents were instructed to pack sack lunches for their kids. Luckily for us, this is something we do daily. I am debating paying for hot lunches December-March just so the kid gets to eat hot food but not sure yet. If I thought he wouldn’t spill all over himself, I’d get a thermos container and send soup or something to lunch. But it seems he struggles to not get yogurt on his shirt so soup sounds like a nightmare. I tend to stick to the basics. My kid will eat PB&J a thousand times and still love it. (That and Mac&Cheese) I throw in some applesauce, yogurt, or cottage cheese. And then he gets apple slices, grapes, or carrot sticks. Maybe a cheese stick. And something sweet, like a fruit snack or teddy grahams. He sometimes eats everything. Sometimes he comes home with part of his sandwich or uneaten teddy grahams. He rarely drinks the water I include. We both had PB&J at the pumpkin patch with apple slices.
After lunch we all climbed onto the “wagon” and went to pick out our pumpkins! Going to a pumpkin patch at the end of the season means one thing: you’re gonna have a hard time finding a pumpkin. So many were smashed or had been attacked by deer or bugs. It was gross. Apparently they till these back into the ground for next years crop. Theo did happen to find a perfect little pumpkin! Which he of course put right back down and kept looking. Luckily for him, mom picked it up and carried it until he changed his mind and decided he wanted it. Kids… so fickle! Names were written on the bottom of the pumpkins and they were stored on the bus.
And then the kids played more until it was time to go. An entire day of just playing. And no naps. Several little ones passed out on the bus ride home. Some parents were smart and drove themselves to the pumpkin patch. I was a tiny bit jealous. I kept dozing myself on the bus. And the two boys sitting next to me found it utterly hilarious. Their giggles kept me awake for most of the ride back.