Monday, October 31, 2011

This May Be Our Last Year Carving Pumpkins

I love Halloween. I love the costumes and the excitement. I love the decorations and the costumes. I love the parties and the trick or treating. And of course, I adore carving pumpkins.

I have carved pumpkins almost every year I can remember, and that includes long before children, long before my husband. I remember giggling with a friend shortly after college when we gave our pumpkins bubble baths in the bathtub before carving them - just to be silly. I remember finding those way cool toys that are essentially miniature hacksaws that let you create your pumpkin with so much more detail than my giant knives ever could.

We've made pumpkin carving with the wee ones a tradition. They get pumpkins every year, and we clean them and carve them and roast the pumpkin seeds. When the wee ones were little little, my husband and I did all the work ourselves. As they've gotten a little older, we've expected a little more from them. They can help empty the pumpkins of seeds. They can decide on the design of the pumpkins, and this year we put Mister Man in charge of helping to poke the design into his pumpkin.

We made a mistake a few years ago, however. My husband discovered he could make extra cool pumpkins with patterns the same year we discovered those awesome tools. It's possible that they're packaged together and thus the discovery was made at the same time. The wee ones absolutely adore the very cool patterns, and now they want their pumpkins to have those same cool patterns. Yep, the patterns that take my husband forever to do instead of the fun freehand scary faces that I can make in fifteen or so minutes.

This year, as we prepared our pumpkins for the first cut, Little Miss announced that she wasn't going to clean out her pumpkin because it made her itchy. Mister Man started to clean his out but gagged and had to hold his breath every time he went near his pumpkin. My husband and I ended up cleaning out the pumpkins.

Mister Man was put in charge of poking holes into the pumpkin for his pattern. Twenty-three holes and less than five percent done, he decided he was tired and needed a break. He wandered off into the homework room, picked up a book, and we couldn't entice him to rejoin us.

Little Miss drew a traditional face on her pumpkin for my dad to carve - yay, no patterns - but she used a Sharpie. Did you know Sharpies don't come off pumpkins? It's an interesting look. She oversaw the majority of the carving after having overseen the cleaning of the pumpkin. Then she was done, too, and she disappeared until after it was time to put our pumpkins outside for display.

I'm thinking next year they don't get pumpkins. I think next year I get a pumpkin and my husband gets a pumpkin. And we carve them at night after the wee ones are in bed. It's the end product they love anyway because how awesome do pumpkins look as they glow in the night?


Melisa Wells November 1, 2011 at 7:43 AM  

Give her a ball point pen or a stylus next year. :)

Michelle November 1, 2011 at 9:55 AM  

Melisa - Ironically, I don't care about the Sharpie leaving marks at all. I'm all for uniqueness and creativity with the pumpkin carving. It was the lack of involvement that disappointed me.

Christina November 1, 2011 at 10:17 AM  

I hate Halloween - everything about it EXCEPT carving pumpkins - mainly because I love pumpkin seeds! It is disappointing when the kiddos aren't interested - luckily - my girls were ALL about carving the pumpkins this year! There is always next year :)

Anonymous November 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM  

We went to a pumpkin carving party. I was distracted by the wine and home made guac so my 6 year old carved ours herself. Needless to say it was not nearly as beautiful as yours but the kids had fun and someone else was left with all the glop!

Michelle November 7, 2011 at 8:12 PM  

Christina - I'm with you on the pumpkin seeds! And yes, I roasted them and they're 95% gone now. You're right - there is always next year, and I'm sure I'll want to carve them by then ;)

Sheila - Huh. I think I like this party idea. Can I come next year?

tiarastantrums November 9, 2011 at 10:30 PM  

we do not carve our pumpkins - we paint ours (want to know why - I gag, my son gags, my girls refuse to touch the inside) I find the entire process disgusting and won't touch a carved pumpkin at all (wonder where my son's SI comes from haha)

Michelle December 15, 2011 at 9:32 PM  

Teresa - Yeah, it's amazing to see our quirks magnified and passed down to our children, isn't it? I did see some VERY cool painted pumpkins this year. We may do that next time.

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