It’s the most wonderful time of year, fall. Only a true fall lover’s eyes well up with tears (happy tears of course) knowing what that means. It’s time to tackle the fall bucket list. It’s sweater weather baby, put that adorable sweater on your baby to make sure you get that perfect fall inspired photo. Okay, change of plans, baby can’t fit in the car seat with a sweater on and it's still 90 degrees outside. Take off the sweater to load baby into the car seat properly, drive directly to the nearest PSL distributor, take baby out of the car seat and put the sweater back on, because baby, we are hitting all the fall stops! Why? Because it is fall y’all and you are going to handle it like a boss (just sprinkle in some sarcasm, a maniacal laugh, and apple cider).
The pumpkin patch. It gives parents a reason to live during fall, making it the mandatory first stop on the fall bucket list. If you didn’t know that, you aren’t fall enough for us. But, there probably is not a chance you didn’t know that, as your social media feeds are lined with people’s kids smiling next to pumpkins. Big kids with small pumpkins and small kids with big pumpkins. Because all parents know that if you do not visit a pumpkin patch and post it, it didn’t really happen and you have to immediately relinquish your nomination for mom of the year. I got 99 problems but a pumpkin patch picture ain’t one.
Whoop whoop it’s time for our second stop this fall - the corn maze. Hold your head up high because the corn is taller than you! What could encourage kids to love fall more than getting utterly lost in a nonsensical maze surrounded by thousands and thousands of ears of corn. I swear it has never crossed my mind that we might (actually) get lost in this corn maze or worse, that we might lose a kid. We are going to finish this maze as a family! No kid left behind. No matter how many minutes, hours, or days it takes. Is there a way to escape?! Can we not just make our own path and get the heck out? That doesn’t sound very fall of you. Fall mantra: Respect the corn.
Just when you get your confidence back and realize you may conceivably escape, you think of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn. You know, that little horror flick where the children rise up and murder adults to protect their corn harvest. Remember, think positive, you will make it out. Don’t try to scream, no one will hear you over the thousands and thousands of ears of corn anyway. Keep on the path. Keep on searching for the way out of this mosquito infested corn maze. Must. Live. To. See. Another. Fall.
Third stop. Catch me outside on the hay ride. Ah yes, the thrill of a hayride. Let’s all get together (voluntarily) and ride in a wagon filled with hay (for pleasure). It is totally safe to ride in wagon that is typically used to transport bales of hay and other inanimate cargo. Nothing ever could go wrong. Just relax and breathe in that fall air as the wagon goes bumpity bump bump bump. What’s that noise? Oh it’s your baby screaming because suddenly he wants to eat. Perfect timing. What is more boss this fall than breastfeeding on a hayride? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nursing during a hay ride earns you an extra leaf badge of honor among the fall motherhood society. Hopefully your child has no teeth. Godspeed. You are mommin’ so hard right now. ‘Tis the season.
Apple picking is the ultimate fall family adventure. Your kids will relish in the the joy of picking their own food. Of course, fall is the perfect and only time to teach kids about this lesson. Every year my children look forward to our annual apple orchard visit. They never ever would hide under a tree and throw rotten apples at other unsuspecting apple orchard guests. And for myself, I would never ever hide so I could take photographs of the entire episode. You know why? It is about the experience and making it memorable. For some that means picking the apples and making a scrumptious apple pie. For us, it means a lesson in Lord of the Flies.
Host a backyard bonfire party! Invite your friends and their kids to come over for some wildfire and s’mores. I mean what goes better together than children and open flames? Let’s start with some simple s’more safety tips. If the marshmallow catches on fire, do not blow it out, instead drop it on the ground and stomp on it. Okay, you lost me. Do people really do these with kids? There are more ways this can go wrong than right. Every time your child looks in the general direction of the bonfire, your heart skips a beat and your cortisol level spikes. Fear not, backyard bonfires are a good time to return to your ujjai breath you practiced endlessly at yoga - just be grateful you finally found a practical application for that time spent in the yoga studio. If you have hosted a backyard bonfire, and no one was severely injured, you deserve a fall inspired cocktail (or two), but not near the open flame.
Congrats you did it! You completed your fall bucket list and everyone survived, and possibly even had a little bit of fun! You are a boss!
Need more fall inspiration? Check out 8 Fall Activities To Do With A Baby.
Photo Credits: Jeri Delgado, Kristin dePaula