It’s really my own fault. I am easily swept up in the idea of doing certain things with my kids. In my mind I come up with this perfect image of us laughing and enjoying said activity. Then, I go even further into my fantasy and imagine years later that they will pull me aside when they’re grown (I’m old, but still looking fabulous. I said it was a fantasy, right?) and say “Mom, I never said thank you. But thank you for making our childhood so wonderful. I see you and I love you.” A tear forms in my eye as they pull me in for a big hug. The type I haven’t had in years, and then I will sigh and know that all of my efforts to curate this wonderful childhood for them were completely worth it.
But, as my husband likes to point out as we’re exhausted and driving home from another thing I dragged us to with high hopes, things rarely turn out the way I envisioned. Reality has a way of giving my fantasies a “wake up, bitch!” slap to the face. Pumpkin carving is the latest of my well-laid plans to fall victim to this phenomenon that plagues me.
Honestly the idea of pumpkin carving with small children is a bad idea from the get-go. A 5 and 3-year old cannot be trusted with a knife. Hell, I’ve already had to hide the scalpel from Olivia’s play doctor kit because she slashed the throats on her baby dolls in the “name of science”. So yeah, letting them handle a butcher knife as we hack into our over-priced pumpkins isn’t happening. This is perfect because using a knife is 90% of what pumpkin carving is.
I started by optimistically cutting the top off of the pumpkin and calling them up to scoop out the pumpkin guts. Fantastic! This is something that they’ll be able to do. WRONG! Scooping out all the pumpkin goop causes them to dissolve into hysterics. It’s yucky! It’s gross! I don’t want to touch it! YOU DO IT! Great, so the one thing you could do you have zero interest in at all.
Next step is trying to carve out the elaborate design they chose with nothing more than those small carving knives that come with the kit you bought. Inevitably the plastic handle snaps off midway, which is perfect because now you’re definitely going to get blisters on your hand. I also forgot to mention that the kids are trying to climb on your lap the entire time you’re carving asking if you’re done yet and trying to grab the knife from you so they can “help”. Thankfully, they saw how tedious it was and quickly left to do other things. These other things consist of them screaming at you from other rooms in the house to get them snacks, beverages, or “come look at this” while you’re elbow-deep in a pumpkin that has you muttering swear words under your breath as you sweat profusely.
An hour later you and your husband finish not one, but TWO pumpkins. Because God forbid they actually have to share a pumpkin. Triumphant, or just relieved, you stand back to admire your handiwork to discover to your horror that you’re surrounded by gory pumpkin destruction. The wound stings a little more when you realize that you willingly created this messy hell and now you have to clean it up.
But fear not, your work is all worth it when you turn off the lights and show your children their spooky Jack-O-Lanterns. Snap a photo and post that shit to Facebook and no one will ever know the pains you went through to get this photo! Halloween fun – NAILED IT!