Children of the corn maze
“Thanks,” I muttered, following Peanut into the maze. Loaf sauntered in behind us. Peanut ran about the maze willy nilly – excited when she came to the end of an aisle to see there wasn’t a dead end, almost more excited when there was one.
As for me and Loaf? We just followed her around blithely. Loaf picked up long pieces of broken corn stalks from the ground, dragging them behind her for a few feet before dropping them and picking up another.
We walked deeper and deeper into the maze. We passed the same groups of people again and again. We changed direction repeatedly, backtracking when needed.
15 minutes passed.
We could no longer hear the sounds of the Fall Farm Festival behind us. In fact, we could hear nothing at all. The maze seemed to have an insulating affect against all sound.
20 minutes passed.
Loaf started to whine.
”I’m hot. (Did I mention it was close to 90 degrees?)
And then finally, a demand: “PICK ME UP!”
So I did and we walked on. We got stuck in an endless loop of dead ends, walking in circles for what seemed like forever.
I started wondering how many people needed to be rescued from the corn maze. I pictured Mark wondering why I never came to meet him in Morristown like we planned. I envisioned them running the plates on my minivan – the last one parked in the field – hours after the festival ended. I pictured a search and rescue team moving through the maze late in the evening with hound dogs and flashlights, looking for the dumb lost mother and her two poor children, who by now were hunkered down in the dark trying to stay warm and were sucking on old corn husks for nourishment.
30 minutes passed.
I started paying attention to the position of the sun (on my left, on my right, behind me, etc.). And most importantly, I took charge and stopped letting Peanut lead. Clearly, that had been A Very Bad Plan.
35 minutes passed.
My arm was falling asleep from carrying Loaf, I had sweat dripping down my back and my throat was as dry as sandpaper. I began eyeballing the rows of corn, wondering if we could cheat by pushing straight through them to get out. They looked pretty thick. I started wishing for a machete. The sharpest object in my purse was my car key and something told me that was not going to be very effective in sawing through the thick stalks. We kept going.
We passed a large group that had walked in ahead of us.
"Do you have any idea where you are?” they asked desperately.
Crap. So much for following them. They’re as clueless as me.
I could hear the sounds of the festival again. This had to be a good sign, right? The exit must be close.
We exited the corn maze!
Smarmy Teenage Boy looked at me and my hot, sweaty charges and smirked.
Just then, Peanut started cheering: WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE SOLVED THE MAZE!
Smary Teenage Boy then stood up and raised his hand to high-five her. "Good job!" he called, slapping his palm against hers.
He then looked at me. ”Don’t sweat it. It took me an hour and a half and I was running at times."
Which just goes to show, even the Smarmiest can sometimes be charmed by the Smallest.
Labels: Adventures in Parenting