On this particular Friday I was feeling a bit cocky as I glanced over my planner. Oh yeah, this organized, uber productive mommy was going to spend the morning at school putting together the Pre-K Fall Festival silent auction basket. I even tucked a note in Maddie's backpack informing her teacher of the exact time I'd be picking up the donations the other parents dropped off.
9:15 AM cue the frantic phone call from the room-mom (you know, the one who actually possesses organizational skills), "Um...Mrs. Rausch? Ms. Nancy said she got a note that you were coming in today? The supplies aren't available yet. I believe the email that went out said they'd be available Monday..." (emphasis added to capture the are-you-a-complete moron tone she used, or at least, I imagined she used).
Yeah. I felt a little deflated as I began to drive back to the house with Jack. Here I had all this creative energy and time. When does that ever happen? I didn't want to waste or squander these few, precious hours...
A plan quickly began to take shape. Didn't I see some sort of contest email from our kids' dentist? Wasn't it about pumpkin carving? And what about that adorable picture I saw of a baby sitting in a giant pumpkin with her legs sticking out of carved holes? Was it on Pinterest or Facebook? Who cared? I swerved into Walmart and whisked Jack out of the van.
$3.88 later we were on our way with a fairly large pumpkin. It wasn't as big as I'd hoped, but hey, I'm cheap. It's what you get for $3.88. Besides, I was pretty sure I could fit Jack inside...
Have you ever felt the inside of a pumpkin? Even with all the muck scraped out, it feels pretty gross, not to mention cold. I put a towel inside and hoped for the best.
The first attempt to fit his little legs through the holes was a complete failure. He squirmed and cried and arched his back. I rocked him and apologized, assuring him it would be okay. Little did he know, I would shortly subject him to the same torture a few minutes later after enlarging the holes. Poor kid.
Once inside, he was not a happy camper. I just needed one good picture. If not for the stupid contest, for me - the proud mommy of a super-cute little pumpkin. That's what I told myself, anyway (to alleviate some of the guilt).
Suddenly Jack spotted his pacifier sticking out of my pocket. He bounced frantically, he cried, he began to topple. I caved.
It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I have been trying to get rid of that stupid thing for weeks. He didn't even start taking a pacifier until a few months ago. He happened upon one mixed in with some old baby toys in his closet, and he looked so darn cute with it in his mouth, I couldn't resist letting him use it. Just for awhile, I told myself. Yeah, right. Pretty soon, he was screaming in the middle of the night because it had fallen out of his mouth, and he couldn't locate it in his crib. Enough! We weaned him off and proudly reported this to the dentist at his check-up. We got the double thumbs-up approval, and there was no looking back.
Until Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease came along. My poor baby was sooo miserable. How could I deny him that creature comfort when he was suffering so?
Anyway, here we are. Jack is stuck in a cold, wet, too-small-for-a-truly-cute-picture pumpkin, sucking on a pacifier (the same one we told the dentist we'd gotten rid of), miserable. I'm trying to snap pictures and bribing him with cookies if he'll just give me the stupid pacifier, because I'm sure the dentist would much rather him nosh on some sugar-laden cookie in the picture than suck on a pacifier, right? Ugh. Forget it.
I take the pacifier. All hell breaks loose. I snap some photos for posterity. (Now this is the part where you are expecting me to write, "I release him from his pumpkin prison.")
Well, he's stuck. I mean really, truly stuck. I don't know how I got those pudgy thighs in the holes, but they are not coming out. For some reason, his legs just won't bend the right way when I attempt to lift him. Fabulous. So I use the round-tipped pumpkin-carving knife and literally saw him out. I'm pretty sure he is completely traumatized and will hate Halloween (or at least pumpkins) for the rest of his life.
(See pictures below for progression of disaster.)
Beloved pacifier in hand (cropped from the only photo that is remotely contest-worthy)
Still relatively subdued (thanks to stupid pacifier).
Using sign language to say "finished" a.k.a. get me outta here!
Pacifier removed. And that's a wrap.