Jack-O-Lanterns

We carved pumpkins this week.  Zachary had been begging for weeks to carve pumpkins.  Both boys were excited to carve a pumpkin and put a candle in it.  Then Paul brought three pumpkins home a week ago.  The pumpkins have been sitting, waiting, asking to be carved ever since.

Finally the day came for the carving.  We covered the table with a vinyl cloth.  The boys excitedly watched and paced and jumped and spun around while we gathered the supplies.  Chloe came in the room, took one look at the pumpkins, and said, “No way,” and went back to playing.

P1010063Zachary accompanied Dad to the knife drawer and started grabbing the long, serrated, sword-like knives, claiming them as his own.  But Dad said, “NO!” and directed Zach to the smaller, red-handled, not-even-close-to-looking-like-swords knives.  While Zach tried over and over to claim himself a kitchen sword for the deed, Dad insisted that it was the small knife or no knife.  Period.  So Zach chose a boring little knife and went and sat at the table, disappointed already.

Paul cut the tops of the pumpkins off (too small, we realized later), and I literally watched the excitement drop lower and lower in the room.  It was odd.

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The next step:  digging out the goo.  This step was not an enjoyable one.  Both boys were grossed out and unexcited.  Again, carving pumpkins fell lower on the excitement scale.  We knew we’d better get the fun knife part started quickly or we would completely lose the boys.

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Zachary gave his pumpkin a couple of good stabs, bringing back some of his joy.  But when he heard the advice to draw the face he wanted to carve, his excitement fell again.  He asked Dad to draw some triangle eyes and a triangle nose.  “No mouth.”

Elliot regained some excitement while he drew two different faces on opposite sides of his pumpkin — one mad and one happy.

And now . . . for the knife part of the activity . . . finally!

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It was harder to carve the pumpkins than anyone had been expecting.  It was frustrating and difficult.  Zippy carved his pumpkin for 20 seconds before tossing his little weenie knife and telling Dad to finish it.  Elliot carved one eye and then asked me to finish his.

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So Paul and I carved pumpkins at the kitchen table while the boys played outside with friends.

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Not quite the family experience I had pictured . . . .  but the Jack-O-Lanterns turned out cute!  And Elliot talked again about putting a candle in them on Halloween night.

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The next day when I picked the boys up from school, the first word from Elliot was a report from the school nurse.  Seems that the nurse had joined in on the morning announcements and had a special caution about pumpkin carving:  NEVER use a kitchen knife to carve pumpkins and NEVER put a candle in a pumpkin.  “She said not to do exactly what we did and were going to do!  Isn’t that funny??” Elliot asked.

Ugh.  Not very funny.  But then, maybe a little bit funny.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kelsey G. on July 3, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    I always beg daddy to carve them. All I do is take out all of the goo stuff.

    Reply

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