Monday, November 8, 2010

Hit or Miss

Planning activities with Ryan can be a challenge because it's hard to predict how receptive to participation he'll be on any given day.  I've come to anticipate either magic or disaster, but nothing in between.

The Halloween season is filled with opportunities for fantastic adventures and/or utter failures.  We experienced the full range.

Halloween weekend, my mother suggested we take Ryan to a corn maze at a small teaching farm.  Warily, I agreed, knowing Ryan would either love running through the corn, or he would freak out and demand freedom and we'd have to figure out the shortest route out of the corn field.

I'm pleased to report, the day could not have gone better.

Our first stop at the farm was a petting zoo, in which kids could pet and feed pigs, goats, sheep, llamas... Well, they could feed the animals as long as their parents were willing to spend $1 per lettuce leaf;  I was not willing to do that terribly long.
Goats are not easily amused.  I am.
The biggest hit of the day was the mice.  Ryan was totally focused.  I think he would have played with them all afternoon if we had let him.  I'll let the video speak for itself:
Stu and I have since brought Ryan to a pet store to let him visit some mice, but we've decided to hold off on any pet purchases until we've sold our apartment.  Somehow, Stu thinks the sight and smell of rodents would be a turn-off to potential buyers.

In the corn maze, Ryan was delighted.  The maze featured nine numbered mailboxes, each of which contained a piece of a map of the maze.  Ryan loved running through the maze looking for numbers, and taping together the little map sections.  Truly, I can't imagine that day going any better.

The next day was Halloween.  Ryan had given me zero indication of what sort of costume he wanted to wear, so he wound up like this:

Stu and I have debated whether Ryan was a Pizza Monster or a slice of pizza being eaten by a monster.  In any case, he was gluten free.

Ryan was reluctant to leave the house to go trick or treating; he kept asking to watch cartoons.  Once we dragged him outside, he was happy to run down the sidewalks and look at decorations in the dark, but he gave no indication of noticing any costumes or caring about what people put in his plastic pumpkin.  When we got home, he dutifully dumped out his candy on the floor and ate one piece, but the haul has gone largely unnoticed since then.  He does, however, like to hide random toys in the pumpkin.

Another annual fall tradition around here is The Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze near Sleepy Hollow.  Every year, thousands of hand-carved pumpkins are lit and arranged in a dazzling display at an historic mansion.  There are full-size dinosaurs made of pumpkins, a sea of pumpkins carved with pictures of fish, a plot of undead pumpkin people rising from their graves.  Quite spectacular.

Ryan cared for about 2 or 3 minutes.  Then he spent the rest of our tour of the pumpkins sitting on Stu's shoulders, asking to go home and reciting scripts from computer games.  This was far preferable to last year's experience, which involved dragging a crying, whining Ryan past the sights in a cold wind, but it still wasn't a great time.

And I have nothing to say about my building's annual Halloween party, because Ryan walked in the door, turned around, and walked right out.  But since we knew to go into the situation with no expectation of success, we were not disappointed or surprised.  The highs of one day balance the lows of the next.


  1. Sounds like a perfect day! Go Ryan!

  2. im sooooo happy you guys had a great halloween
    i love the gluten free pizza monster
    i know all about the hit or miss feelings

  3. Love it! Your mom's right on - hampsters!!

  4. Great blog, the corn maze is always a hit with our little ones as well, something about the farm I guess. Pizza monster is awesome by the way!


Keep it civil, people.