It’s Fall in the midwest, and that means one thing: leaves on the ground. Maybe they have trees in other parts of the country. I don’t know. I try not to think about it.
This has meant that we went through the annual tradition of my repeatedly raking up a ton of leaves and then having the kids giggle and run through them repeatedly, returning them to their natural state. Or sometimes for good measure they’ll just flop around in them or ask me to bury them. But, I found out, if you actually scoop the children up and place them in a lawn bag that is GOING TOO FAR. So I’m still learning new things.
The season also means that we get to take the kids to pumpkin patches, which is prime photo taking material for those of us with such a compulsion. This week we only made it to this farmer’s market kind of thing near Ger’s dad’s house, but the kids liked it well enough. And by “liked it well enough” I mean “took the opportunity to cram fist fulls of hay into strangers’ purses.” There were also tractors to be ridden, gourds to be examined, and all kinds of new and dirty things to cram into one’s mouth. We hope to hit a proper pumpkin patch sometime this week.
Halloween is also fast approaching. Like last year, we view this largely as an opportunity to dress up tiny human beings in fabulous costumes. Mandy is doomed to be a bumble bee, but Sam has really reached the point where she took an active role in selecting her own costume. Unfortunately she changed her mind every time you asked her, except in the last week or so. This is because Geralyn had found some “How to be a cheerleader!” (I think there may have actually been two exclamation points, but I just can’t go there) set. Possibly she found it in a thrift shop. Or won it from some bag lady in a contest of wits or speed. At any rate, it came with the expected ensemble: a top, skirt, pom-poms, and even a megaphone that was quickly banned while in the house.
There was ALSO, however, an instructional DVD. Yes, that’s right. A DVD about how to be a cheerleader(!!) that you were supposed to watch. On Saturday Ger popped it in for Sam to watch and I couldn’t help looking in. Honestly, my own experience with cheerleaders had been limited to having one’s boyfriend try to beat me up once, so I was a little curious to see how the concept had evolved over the years. Turns out, not at all.
The video itself looked like someone had bought the cheapest video recorder to be found at Wal-Mart and then threw darts at the Post Production Effects section of a Microsoft Movie Maker for Dummies book. This person’s daughter and her insufferably perky friends were brought on to lead Samantha through a few cheer routines and share some pro tips on how to be a super cheerleader which, I was surprised to find out, did not include a star swipe transition to a section entitled “Ignore Jamie and Laugh at Him Behind His Back.”
After a few moments gaping at this ensemble of zealous pre-teens in uniform with a pure “WTF?” expression on her face, Sam ran to go retrieve the accompanying cheerleader uniform, changed into it (right there in the living room) and started doing her best to emulate these effervescent idols/overlords. I’m not sure, but I think she recreated the famous showdown scene from Bring it On 4: Bring it On to a Greater Degree than Ever Before. Mandy showed little interest in the on-screen activities, but she was attracted to the tactile delights of the pom-poms. Whenever she tried to grab for them, though, Sam would pull them away, saying “No, Mandy! This isn’t for you. You can’t be a cheerleader!” Chided and rebuffed, Mandy eventually wandered over to the corner and started reading some books by herself.
Portent of attitudes and relationships to come? Self-fulfilling prophesy? A one-act dramatization of teenage social shenanigans with Sam playing the tall, thin, and outgoing cheerleader trying to put Mandy’s shorter and less developed character in her place? Simple blog fodder?
Yes, probably. At any rate, I like the bee costume, too.