Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ewww Pumpkin Guts!

I love so many things about Fall. I love the crisp weather (so long as it's sunny, with a mild breeze and about 72 degrees) and the leaves changing colors. I love making leaf piles and jumping in them, and oh the smell of them burning! Plus there's football and Halloween and all sorts of great stuff.

Today was our official pumpkin carving day, and it was quite entertaining. I have a small pie pumpkin from the field trip I chaperoned with Mister Man. He has a similar tiny pumpkin (whoo hoo - a tiny pumpkin and a single apple for $18.50!), and Little Miss had a slightly larger pumpkin from her field trip. That simply won't do. Fortunately, Aldi had gigantic pumpkins for $1.99, so the wee ones each chose one to bring home.

The first order of business was to dry them off from the soaking they've gotten over the past day - and yes, we need the rain. My husband was in charge of finding our pumpkin carving kit. He told me that it wasn't in the Halloween bin where it belonged, which saddened me. If it isn't there, it is gone. He insisted it might be in a drawer in the kitchen and proceeded to rummage through a few despite my repeated insistence that I use the drawers often enough and keep them clean enough that they aren't there. And that something like the pumpkin carving kit doesn't just "appear" in a drawer.

He came back upstairs a few minutes later hiding a bad that contained the pumpkin carving kit. That he found in the Halloween bin. Where it belongs. Ahem.

Our kit also includes the oh so cool patterns that make for a truly awesome looking pumpkin. The wee ones each chose a design for their large pumpkins. I ignored the designs and simply began hollowing out my pumpkin for my freehand carving. I'm just fine with my just-the-same-every-year pumpkin with eyes, nose, mouth with teeth, ears, and eyebrows. And you know what? Carving a pie pumpkin is a whole lot easier to do than my usual big one.

After my husband transferred the patterns, I cut off the tops of the wee ones pumpkins. After explaining to Mister Man that either he cleaned out the inside of his pumpkin or it didn't get carved, he put aside his sensory issues and gingerly began removing the guts. (And yes, I know he has sensory issues. I know it's not easy for him, but I also know what he can do and that he needs to be pushed to realize that many things aren't as bad as he thinks they are in his mind.)

Little Miss had no such issues with her pumpkin.

While he didn't exactly enjoy cleaning out his pumpkin, he did a pretty good job of it. Once he finished, he decided he wanted my husband to do the carving of the design so it would look better rather thna doing it himself (probably a good call considering how long it took my husband to do the carving).

Instead, we began work on his little pumpkin, which he decided he also wished to carve. The top again came off, and he proceeded to clean it. This one, I made him carve himself, reinforcing that this was for fun and that he should just have fun with it because pumpkins aren't supposed to be perfect anyway.

That went well for awhile until he accidentally broke the mini-saw he's using (it works on pumpkins but it isn't sharp enough to break skin if you run it against your hand - and I was standing a foot away watching carefully). After replacing the broken saw with another one we had - yay for cheap carving kits! - he continued carving with a little help from me since he wanted to do lots of curves.

He quickly completed his and waited patiently for my husband to finish carving the big, special pumpkin. The look on Mister Man's face when he finally saw the completed product was priceless. He loved his pumpkin - and my husband insists it was worth his time (and the lack of the wee ones' involvement) for that reason alone.

Little Miss also has a very cool pumpkin carved, but by 1:20 I could see that she was fading and getting unusually crabby. I sent her upstairs for a nap, and she is currently sound asleep. If she wakes up soon, I'll add pictures of her with her pumpkin, too.


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Pat October 24, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

Little Miss's expressions always make me chuckle--she is just too cute!!

Bravo and kudos to Mister Man for his bravery in pulling out the pumplkin's guts. I love his serious expressions on that part and his delighted smile as he displays the carved pumpkin. Good job, Dad!

Hyacynth October 24, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

Oh, good job, MM! It's not easy to do those things.
And, Michelle, I feel the same exact way you do about fall. And tomorrow seems like it will fit the bill exactly. How awesome is that at the end of Oct?!

Tara R. October 24, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

Pumpkin carving is one of the few things I miss about Halloween.

I'm glad the kiddos had such a good time.

Michelle October 26, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

Pat - She does have some great expressions, doesn't she? She reminds me of a friend of mine from college. And Mister Man? That wasn't serious - that was disgust!

Hyacynth - Ugh, today is definitely an end of October day unfortunately. I miss the low 70s.

Tara - Just because your kids are older doesn't mean you can't carve a pumpkin. I plan to always carve them no matter my age!

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