1. Cold weather
2. Spider infestations
3. Corn Mazes
I do not, in any way, shape, or form, understand the appeal of corn mazes.
Honestly, who ever sat looking at a field of corn and said, "You know what that field needs? A maze." (I hope you read that with a nice, full, redneck accent.)
Obviously someone who has never heard of those millions of science experiments done with mice. I'd bet a million bucks, the mice are not enjoying those little "races" through their mazes.
And clearly, the person never saw the movie "Children of the Corn". That movie kept me afraid of corn fields for decades.
Or "Field of Dreams". Sure, it's a sweet, inspirational movie, but ghosts come out of the corn field. That's just creepy.
Unfortunately, my children have never heard of mice maze experiments or seen "Children of the Corn". They think those corn mazes are brilliant and beg to go to them every single year.
Usually, I have no trouble telling them a big, fat, NO!
This year, something went very wrong.
With Phoenix in high school now, the kids' breaks don't always line up. October break illustrates this perfectly. Phoenix had break Friday and Monday. The other kids are on break from Monday through the rest of the week. Between the messed up schedules and soccer over the weekend, it left us with one day together to do something fun.
I decided we'd go to a little town to which we'd never been about 45 minutes away from our house. In the heart of town is a gigantic apple orchard. Those who own that apple orchard actually hire a well-known corn maze designer (WHAT?? THAT'S A PERSON'S JOB?!?!) to create a new design for them each year. In my IneedtomakethisdaythebestIcanformybabies soft heart, I agreed to let them do the maze.
Wanna see what the maze looks like from an airplane?
That little square in the bottom right is the start/finish area. It reads "Beasely's Corn Dog. Who Rescues Who. And there is a somewhat distorted drawing of a wiener dog. (That is the scientific name, isn't it?) Beasely's is the name of the orchard.
I know. What the hell was I thinking?? Clearly, I wasn't thinking at all.
In a flurry of activity, the kids split up in pairs and took off, leaving me in the dust.
was all I saw.
I frantically chased after the children, with thoughts of never seeing them again floating through my head. Thankfully, it didn't take too long before I came across this:
How sweet is that? Giant and Cuckoo were paired up, taking their sweet time walking through the maze. At each fork, they stopped and had a small chat about which way to turn.
Once finding them, I stuck close. I offered no advice, but I wasn't about to let them out of my sight.
Eventually we found Phoenix and Buttercup,
which meant Star and Turken were out there all on their own. My heart started fluttering a bit harder with that information.
The older two didn't stick around for long. They were determined to win this race.
Giant and Cuckoo and I trudged along. Twisting and turning and circling and spinning and getting lost and running into dead ends and more views of this:
At one point, I muttered, "I wonder how many dead bodies are hiding in this corn."
Unfortunately, Giant heard me. "What?!?!"
"Oh, I was just thinking, this maze is dumb. And never-ending. And I was wondering how many people died in here, because they could never find the flippin' exit!"
Twisting and spinning and stupid "left or right?" decisions. Though, really, they weren't really thought-filled decisions, seeing as how all corn looks maddeningly identical and is 8 feet tall, preventing anyone from actually seeing anything besides corn stalks.
Well, I take that back. We could see the birds watching and laughing from overhead. I swear I saw a few of those birds with little mice in their claws, and those mice were laughing the hardest.
I almost crushed Turken with hugs the one time I caught sight of him and Star.
|He looks a bit nervous, doesn't he? It's not because he was afraid of dying in the corn, but because he saw the look on my face of utter "OH, MY DARLING!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?"|
But before I could say, "Watch out for Malachi!" they were off again.
And when I turned around, I saw this:
My little companions in corn were gone.
I was on my own.
What did I do?
Yell. Of course.
I yelled my head off.
I called each child by name.
Not one answered.
I stopped and listened.
I heard nothing.
So I ran.
Which was explicitly against the posted Corn Maze Rules, but I didn't care.
I had to find my babies.
I finally caught up to two, who were on the scent of the exit.
I chased them down right about here:
When I asked them how they won, Giant replied, "As the tortoise knows, slow and steady wins the race."
We sat for about 5 minutes before we heard Phoenix's gigantic plodding feet on the other side of the corn.
We sat for another 8 minutes waiting for the last two.
My heart was beating faster by the second.
Two of my boys were out there. In that maze. All alone. No phone. No flares. No way to find us.
I had to go back in.
I went as far as I could without getting lost, yelling for them the entire way. No sign of life anywhere.
Realizing I left my phone with the four found children, I went back, praying the other two had found their way back out the entrance.
No such luck.
My heart beat a little faster.
We waited another 3 minutes, before I couldn't take it anymore and sent the biggest 2 kids back in for a search and rescue (after making sure Phoenix had his phone).
A full 7 minutes later, they emerged. Two victorious, two shamefacedly.
But they were alive, and that's all that mattered.
The rest of the day included loads of fun. Two hours playing on this:
And eating lunch here:
And playing here:
|Cuckoo is coughing up a lung in this photo.|
And walking here:
|Clearly, the person who put that sign up doesn't have children.|
And, in honor of Columbus Day, explored here:
Which actually wasn't all that fun for me. Major drop-offs and no clear path through the woods put me on high alert the entire time.
|They think they're funny.|
It turned out to be an awesome one day of break.
Do your kids have an October break? Did you do anything fun? Or life-threatening?
Have a lovely day!