This afternoon I took my tired, teething baby to a church pumpkin patch for a quick photo session. I would have much rather spent the time sprawled out on the floor of her nursery while she chewed on the faces of her stuffed animals and crawled all over the place. Instead I felt compelled to squeeze in this seasonal photo. I intended for it to be quick as I did not want her skin exposed to the relentless midday Houston rays longer than five minutes. I did not intend for it to be miserable. We found a nice shaded patch and propped her up next to a sideways pumpkin about her size. My mom suggested I add another plump pumpkin to the shot. It took about as long for me to pick it up, haul it over and arrange it for her to realize that she did not want to have any part of this. I picked her up and tried to soothe her and kiss her tummy to make her giggle. The giggling was short-lived. You see, I kept trying to put her down amongst the hay bales and pumpkins to get the amazing photograph to start a long tradition of annuals photos with pumpkins and bluebonnets and whatever other prop one is supposed to photograph their child joyfully smiling amongst. The longer I tried, the more quickly she became upset at the prospect of being put down.
I suppose she figured out that if she remained calm in her mother’s arms I would foolishly try it again (and I would have) because she eventually reached for my mom and cried when I held her. That was it. I was done trying. By then I had wrangled a couple large pumpkins, so I hauled the wagon over and my mom generously paid for them. Maybe it was the prickly hay, maybe it was the lack of sleep or the emerging teeth or the heat. Or maybe Leila would have rather chewed on the faces of her stuffed animals and crawled all over the place. Whatever the case she seemed to have forgiven me by the time we got home. After a bit of milk and playing I tried for another photo. It was not in a patch, but everyone was happy.