Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Pumpkin

Halloween was Tuesday. We have had pumpkins for carving since way back at the end of September. So there we were this past Sunday night, after Harper had gone to bed, going, "Hmm, I guess we'd better carve a pumpkin tomorrow." Matt wasn't going to be able to get home until seven-thirty or eight, after Harper's bed time, but we decided to bite the bullet and keep her awake because carving pumpkins is not my strong suit. While it is fun to dress the kid up, I would never loose a moment of sleep if Halloween ceased to exist. Anyway. . . I was worried about keeping Harper up too late, so she and I started cleaning out the pumpkin before Matt even got home.

I hadn't carved a pumpkin in about eighteen years or so, and I was a little uncertain where to begin. I knew I needed to put newspapers down on the table, and that was about it. . . Harper was fascinated when I took the top off the pumpkin. She kept looking inside and asking, "Wha is dat?" Which is actually a question I am hearing a lot these days.

She also kept insisting, "Hawpur do it!" So I would hand her the scoop, she'd wave it around inside the pumpkin for a minute and then thrust it back toward me saying, "Hewp (help)!" We finally reached a compromise in which I would scoop a bunch of pumpkin goop and she would empty the scoop into the bowl. She did not enjoy the orange mush on her hands much, and I can't really blame her.

When Matt arrived home, we just about had the pumpkin hollowed out and I handed the knife over to him for carving. He and Harper had some discussion about what shapes to make things and whether the mouth should have teeth. Harper considered all her options carefully.

As the minutes past bedtime stretched on, we hurried to get things finished up. Matt was going to skip a nose altogether, but Harper insisted. Then, at one point during the carving of the mouth, she inexplicably freaked out.

Perhaps this was Harper's way of reminding us that purposefully ignoring bedtime is never a good idea for anyone. She needed to be removed from the carving station and taken into the living room, where she demanded rocking and the singing of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

When the crisis had been calmed we returned to the kitchen and the finished jack-o-lantern!

Then, since we knew Halloween night was going to be terrible weather, we hopped outside for a few more pictures.

If I knew more about photography I might have been able to get some better shots. I liked the lighting better with no flash, but everything came out a little blurry.

All things considered, I think this year's events added up to a successful Halloween experience.

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