Fall has always been my favorite season, and after the scorching Carolina summer, the cooler temperatures are a wonderful and welcome relief. Traditionally, the Captain and I have always done most of our outdoor recreating during the Fall, and now that we have children, I’m sure it will be our season to get out and do fun things as a family. The calendar is packed for October and the beginning of November. I’m so glad that autumn is here!
This past weekend, we went to the Cleveland County fair for Pumpkin to participate in a photo shoot for Tadpole and Lily’s new line of hair accessories. It was her first time doing any “modeling”, and she seemed to really enjoy herself. There were three other girls, and Pumpkin was the youngest of the three. She didn’t have any major two-year-old tantrum moments until they were nearly done with shooting, around two hours after everything began. We were really proud of her, and were happy that she had fun. If she’d seemed uncomfortable or reluctant to participate, I think I’d have felt like the worst mother on the planet. Some family members have always encouraged us to get Pumpkin involved with modeling and photo contests, but the Captain and I have been reluctant. We want to always allow her to chart her own course and decide for herself in situations that may impact her directly, but as a two-year-old, she can’t necessarily articulate whether or not she’d like to participate in things like this yet. I always want her to have a choice in what she does (within reason, of course…if she balks at going to the dentist I’m obviously going to have to assert my mommy-will.) I submitted her for this particular model search because I love the local companies that were involved, and I thought it would be a nice way for her to shine and be the center of attention for a while since Peanut is currently in the starring role in the family right now. I’m so happy (and a bit relieved) that it was such a success, but don’t expect to see us on Toddlers and Tiaras any time soon.
As much as I wanted to, I didn’t take many pictures of Pumpkin during the shoot out of respect for the photographer. I knew the clock was ticking on how long Pumpkin would be receptive to being moved around and photographed, and I wanted to be as minimally disruptive as possible. The shots I did take, I took with my cell phone.
The fair itself was a nice little county fair, though the amount of secondhand cigarette smoke that my children were exposed to was a major minus. We stayed for a few hours after the photo shoot, mostly to eat and for me to photograph the midway. The Captain declared within minutes of hitting the midway that he wanted a sausage with peppers and onions (what I call “fair sausage”), and we didn’t have to look far to find them. Pumpkin shared with us, and she seemed to love it. Over the course of the morning, we had fresh-squeezed lemonade, fair fries (I would have loved to have soaked them in malt vinegar, but I had to refrain since I was sharing with my girl), another sausage, and a wonderful elephant ear, a much-loved throwback to my childhood. Pumpkin and the Captain were first-timers, and I was tickled to get to share their first experience with them. By this point it seemed like Pumpkin wasn’t feeling well, though I attributed it to the early morning and rich foods.
The Captain and Pumpkin spent a good bit of time at the petting zoo with some pygmy goats. Pumpkin really enjoyed feeding them, making sure that all of them got some of the food that she had to give. The Captain said it was the highlight of his day. Peanut and I sat outside of the barn where I fed her on some bleachers, trying hard to keep the wind from blowing my nursing cover up into my face. There was an older fellow at the barn that watched me rather openly, and I can’t help but wonder if he was hoping for a peek at a boob when the wind blew.
On the way home, we drove by an area gaming store for the Captain to check out while the girls slept in the back seat, then we went to The Roasting Company for an early dinner. Pumpkin was uncharacteristically gloomy, and once again I attributed it to the fact that we’d gotten up at 4:15 am to be able to make it to the fair in time for the shoot. I thought she was just tired. My heart broke when I asked her, “Baby, are you happy?” and she replied in her sweet little voice, “No.”
We finished dinner and made the rest of the drive home. When we arrived at home, I was carrying Pumpkin into the house, and she threw up twice on the sidewalk. The poor little darling had been feeling rough the entire part of the afternoon, and she waited until the best possible moment to do it. Her mood improved dramatically after that.
On Sunday, we made the most of the gorgeous weather and went to our neighborhood park. Pumpkin loves the swings there (“high, mommy! high, daddy!”) and we couldn’t have asked for a prettier day.