I can’t believe it’s Thursday night! I started this post on Monday, on Halloween – where has the week gone? I know the answer: Halloween, trick or treating, Mister’s birthday including a special dinner, pumpkin pie, pumpkin eggnog, and brown butter pumpkin cupcakes (seriously, he has an obsession), and then laundry. I hate to admit it – clean underwear and socks take priority over this blog, but whatever.
As you read this, allow yourself to time travel to the past (three days into the past to be exact).
It’s Halloween and I just experienced the scariest event in my life! And let me tell you, I’ve toured my fair share of haunted houses. I’ve traveled plenty of ghost-filled hayrides. I’ve been lost in a corn maze in the country at night (talk about dark). I’ve even been buried alive (albeit by plastic balls, but still in the shadows, in a haunted house, it’s pretty terrifying).
None of those occurrences comes close to the terror I endured this morning. To think about it, gives me goose bumps. You know what’s really bloodcurdling, daunting, forbidding, and menacing? …
Stay at home moms with toddlers attending a FREE Halloween event.
In a community close to us, the Parks and Recreation department hosts a FREE Fall Festival for toddlers. I attended last year, and had three meltdowns in the crowd of hundreds of moms and toddlers (not to mention Bunder’s numerous tantrums- he was 18 months at the time and had a new baby sister – he had a lot to cry about). I knew this year I was going balls to the wall (this is an aviation term – I Googled it) or I wasn’t going at all.
Therefore, I strapped poor Kiki in her car seat at naptime (8:15 a.m.) and drove slowly to allow a short nap before the 9 a.m. start. At 8:55 a.m., I turned off the highway into the park feeling mellow and accomplished with Kiki asleep, lullabies playing, and Bunder content. Suddenly, I noticed all around me, surrounding our car were minivans -not just any minivans, but minivans with moms on a mission. The road we drove on had four lanes across.
What – why four lanes on a road into a park? I don’t remember this from last year – wait – uh-oh – the four lanes are becoming two. Which lane is ending? Do I slow down? Do I change lanes? I can’t – I’M SORROUNDED BY MINIVANS! Oh, good! It’s the other lane that’s ending – not mine. All I have to do is hold on tight – no, I can’t let you in – don’t you see the mad-mom minivan behind me? She’ll surely rear-end me if I let you in this lane!
I followed the flagmen directing me to a spot in a field and couldn’t help but gawk at an angry flagman storming up to a mad-mom minivan who obviously didn’t follow his directions. Wow! At that point, I realized, this is no ordinary Halloween event.
Anxiously, I watched one of the flagmen direct a minivan to park directly behind me and hoped that mad-mom minivan would allow enough room for me to unload the double stroller from the trunk. Without a second to lose, I jumped out of the car and was startled by the music blaring in the minivan next to me.
Way to rock out at nine in the morning with a vanload of kids!
Now the real race began! Everywhere I looked moms were dashing out of their minivans, unloading strollers or wagons, strapping kids into them, grabbing their diaper bags and coats and sprinting (as well as one can sprint when pushing a double stroller with multiple children) to the entrance line.
By the time I crossed the field (a.k.a. temporary parking lot), the line moved steadily. I picked up Bunder and Kiki’s treat bags, which included a book (is the $2 book worth the mad-mom minivan dash?) and surveyed the area. Lines formed quickly for the games nearest the entrance, but as far as I could see, no one was in line for neither the hayride nor the games on the far end.
Bunder enjoyed a few games, collected candy, scarfed down a cookie and an orange drink (only after spilling some on my dry-clean only coat. What was I thinking wearing a dry-clean only coat. I guess, I was so excited to wear a coat, I grabbed my favorite one). Kiki played with her free balloon and ate the candy Bunder won. The three of us rode the short hayride, petted the police dog, and played at the playground. I visited with a few moms from my mom’s group, and we left by 10:15 – just as moms and children flocked to the park.
Whew! We made it! What a great success and a big THANK YOU to the Round Rock Parks and Recreation for such a fabulous, fun event! Next year, I’m borrowing a minivan.