I am a stick, and this is my mud

By Mir
October 8, 2006

So we had this local pumpkin festival thing this weekend, and I didn’t take the kids. At all.

Friday night we could’ve attended the “festival opening,” but I was still feeling pretty sick and crummy.

Saturday we had a soccer game and then I made the children go bed shopping with me, because THAT’s the sort of memory I figure contributes to a fulfilled childhood.

Today we went to church and drive right past the pumpkin festival on our way home, and all I could think was that I needed to at least go home and take off my uncomfortable shoes and change my clothes, first, knowing even then that I would not drive back to it later.

I suck.

But you know, I have a few problems here. First, I’m not really certain why pumpkins need their own festival. I mean, good on ’em and everything, but what happens at this festival? People try to sell you things. You walk around either buy things or listen to the children whine about all the things they want you to buy that you are too mean to buy. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Next, we had other things we needed to do today, like clean up the house. My perpetual disagreement with the kids over whether the playroom and their bedrooms really NEED to be tidied is alive and well.

[RESOLVED: That once the carpet is completely obscured from view, I get to threaten to throw all of your stuff away.

REBUTTAL: You are mean. And we have more important things to do, like dumping entire cups of water down the couch behind the cushions, and also colliding into each other like drunk weasels.

OUTCOME: The debate is declared a draw.]

And lastly? I’m tired. Yeah, I’m tired because I’m still getting over being sick, but that’s not it. We just have someplace to GO and things to DO every freaking day of the week. EVERY DAY. I sometimes LIKE to stay home. I just wanted to stay home and do NOTHING this afternoon. Is that so wrong?

Well, that depends on whether or not there’s a corn maze. Clearly.

Hey, it’s not like I made them going shopping for a dust ruffle with me, or anything. (That’s the one thing I realized I’d forgotten to buy for the new bed, and as the mattress weighs 200 pounds it behooves me to have that ready upon delivery, rather than trying to put it on, myself, afterwards.) That would’ve been cruel and unusual punishment. I simply… stayed home… and told them to pick up and play nicely with each other.

My poor, deprived children.


  1. Karen Rani

    “and also colliding into each other like drunk weasels.”

    Yet another laugh-fest which ended with me coughing up a lung. I need to stop reading blogs for like a month until I’m better. Especially you funny types. Not fair.

  2. Tracey

    You make me laugh! And you make me nod knowingly because I do the same ‘angst’ thing about not taking the kids out doing yee ha exciting things every day. Like this current fortnight. We are in the middle of school holidays (2 weeks) Have done stuff all except sloth around the house… And I didn’t even take them to the local Buskers Festival… and felt like a heel when a local retired school librarian bumped into us in the shops and asked if we’d been to the Buskers Festival. (Hell, one year we did go to it, and it wasn’t that good! But of course we probably chose the sucky ones to go to and not the good ones…)

    Kids should learn to make their own entertainment at home, right? In years to come yours will thank you for allowing them an environment where they could collide with each other like drunk weasels!

  3. Zee

    Hey, just be thankful you don’t live in Mitchell, South Dakota, where they celebrate corn in all its glory with festivals and even an entire palace decorated with corn products. Think I’m kidding? Click here: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/culture/places.html

    I’ve seen this corn palace and… it’s seriously not worth seeing. I don’t know why I brought it up…

    Wait, what was I talking about? I got distracted…Oh, right… Anyway, I’m here ta tell ya – I SO understand the desire to just stay home once in a while and, more than likely, in 10 or 5 or even 1 year (or 1 day, possibly) your kids won’t remember missing the pumpkin festival.

    So don’t feel guilty – you can’t live your entire life for your kids. Sometimes it should be all about you!

    (Btw, the drunken weasel comment had me cracking up and wondering just where it was those weasels got booze in the first place! :)

  4. stayathomemotherdom

    Yeah, we went to a pumpkin festival today and stood in line for an hour to get food. Screaming Toddler and Cranky Preschooler in tow…Now, that is fun!

    I do a lot of this to have interaction with my children, but on the weekends, those things are a zoo and drive me mad.

    You made a wise decision!!

  5. Krisco

    I think those are some of the best days.

    In the end – or, when they look back in counseling in their early twenties – they will remember time at home playing together, and not the day they missed a somethingerother festival.

  6. Julie

    Did I ever tell you about the time I somehow managed to get stuck between the matresses of our then new king size bed trying to manipulate the dust ruffle one Saturday morning when I was home alone? Obviously I was young and shouldn’t have been left home alone ;)

  7. David

    Drunk weasles, huh? Y’know, I bet they had some of those for sale back yonder at the pumpkin festival.

  8. Bizimama

    I can SO relate to this, I also feel guilty when I don\’t \”do these festivals\”, where we just seem to spend too much money on things we don\’t need; accumulating more \”stuff\” to put away, step on (LOL), dust, throw out, etc. I would also sometimes just like to stay home for a day (or week…) and just relax, problem is, I don\’t know how, but that\’s a whole other story…

  9. Katie

    Our old town in Ohio hosts a Sauerkraut festival every year about this time. You read that right, a celebration of fermented cabbage.

    I’m with you, I hate having to go places every single day. Our world would be much better if there were required PJ Days.

  10. BethR

    I have to admit, I am a total sucker for Pumpkin Festivals. If it has a festival, I’m there, and I’m particularly susceptible to pumpkins because fall is my favorite season and Halloween my favorite holiday. But I go because I love them personally, not out of guilt, because then where’s the fun? However, my child would rather stay home and do the water-and-weasels thing (although he’s an only so he has to settle for bumping into walls). Next weekend we’re planning to go to the Molasses Festival in my husband’s hometown because the weekend coincides with his family reunion, and he’s already complaining. Which just goes to show, we each get the children we are best equipped to torment and deprive.

  11. Therese

    Oh, required PJ Days. That sounds positively heavenly. Should we petition Congress or somebody like that for a National PJ Day?

  12. Niki

    Be oh so glad you don’t live in Minnesota (I am – got out at 15!), where every day (I swear) and every town has a festival (with a parade) – Tater Daze, the Raspberry Festival, The Spud Fest, SnowFlake Days (2 of those), Corn Carnival, Pepperfest, Steamboat Days, Kolachy days, and that’s just SOME of the small town fun. Then the big cities have huge week-long festivals. Don’t get me wrong, a festival isn’t (always) a bad thing, but it’s major overkill up there. Here in NC we just have the fair, which is fairly pitiful, and every year I get suckered into taking the kids, paying an exorbitant amount of money just to park and get in, then hurry as fast as we can to use up all of the expensive ride tickets so I can get out of there!

  13. Susan

    We were all fired up to go buy pumpkins this weekend, and then after the three millionth meltdown about nothing (shoes! make us cry! as does going potty! and eating! and occasionally breathing and having a heartbeat!), I said SCREW IT we’re watching a movie (yes, those were my EXACT WORDS).

    And we were all the better for it.


  14. Elizabeth

    I was still snorting over your drunken weasels line and then I read Susan’s comment. Now I can hardly breathe for the laughing, thanks.

    Does your pumpkin festival at least have fresh apple cider and donuts? That is the only reason I go.

  15. Cele

    Oh, I am so with you on this. Always on the go where’s me totally out.

    I took this week off as a vacation…just so I can have some of my own lazy days. It seems every vacation is either…go go go, or big projects (i.e. building a flagstone patio, paving steps, painting the house, roofing the house, putting a new room on the house.) Projects are making me old. Quite capable, but old.

    So I took the week off, and will go out to breakfast, out to lunch, edit a book, watch a movie, and maybe some autumn gardening. Ahhh, not showering until 11. Sounds like heaven.

  16. The Other Leanne

    If you lived here, you could have taken them to the Crab Fest this weekend…everybody walkin’ around, grumpy, cranky, crabby…sounds perfect!
    Huh? It’s about seafood? Nevermind then.

  17. Jenn2

    Drunk weasels…you crack me up. I do feel very sorry for Monkey and Chickie, because a corn maze is essential to happiness. Better put those mattress savings in the Therapy account, ’cause a missed pumpkin festival + having to clean a room = 2 months of therapy.

  18. Keryn

    Saturday was our town’s Harvest Moon Hurrah, and I did take my three-year-old and 18-month-old (by myself, because my husband had to work). But I have a total advantage. I live literally across the street from the park (and it’s a little street), and so when the meltdowns appear, we just go home and it takes all of two seconds. And this year I got smart and made dinner, even if there was free chili and scones across the street. The lines were terrible (but what can you expect from free chili?). So, anyway, what’s the point? If I didn’t live across the street from the festivities, there is NO way I would have taken the kids. It was fun, but not THAT fun.

  19. Muirnait

    There is *absolutely* nothing wrong with staying home, particularly on a Sunday. It is called a day of rest for a reason, hmmm?

  20. Chewie

    Dude…I totally HEAR YOU on this one. We skipped the Barnyard Days this weekend. And there are twice as many as you have (although double the parents, so maybe it evens out?) who are running around and into each other like DRUNKEN WEASELS. oh how true that is. Today is “mommy is very mean” day here as I’m making them clean and two of them missed breakfast because they AGAIN came down early and ate things that were WELL KNOWN to be forbidden foods. My crowning glory was when I got child #2 to admit it was HIS OWN FAULT that he was STARVING to death before lunch time. Geez…pass me a damn pumpkin and Happy FALL to you.

  21. angelfeet

    Over here (UK) we don’t have any pumpkin festival to skip. My poor deprived children, I probably would have gone for the PJ option even if we did have them.

  22. Daisy

    I take my own “drunken weasel(s)” to our town’s version of Octoberfest every year. It takes place the last weekend in September. Huh? Hey, it’s Wisconsin. It gets too cold for festivals really early here.

  23. Barb

    Ah, we had our annual Apple Festival this week – you silly northerners and your pumpkins! We live 5 blocks from the town square, where all the festivities take place. I walked up TWICE, pushing a double stroller with 100+ lbs of 4 and 2 yr old, and they are still convinced they got rained upon somehow. Mean mommy wouldn’t spring for ride tickets at TWO FIFTY EACH, wouldn’t let them play the duck pond (five bucks a duck! for crappy blow up stuff that would have popped before we got home!) and wouldn’t let them eat their own body weights in deep fried dough. So see, even the kids who got to go to festivals over the weekend will require theapy later in life to deal with the trauma and deprivation.

  24. Susan

    Ugh, I totally feel your pain. We, too, are on the go *A LOT* and yet I feel guilty when something like that is in town and I don’t take my kids. Terribly guilty! And then I’m resentful if I DO take them, if I don’t feel like it at the time.

    It’s so hard to be a mama sometimes!

  25. Shiz

    HINT: Dust. Ruffle. Pins. Get them. Use them. Bed Bath & Beyond will have them.

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