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Pumpkin Schmumpkin - The Halloween Scrooge

Bah hallowumbug! I am *not* gonna carve a pumpkin this year. Even if all the mommas do it, even if it makes me look like the least festive mother around, I absolutely refuse to do it again this year. I have my reasons.

1) No matter what super fancy pumpkin carving tools I purchase, it's still not sharp enough to make a nice clean cut on the pumpkin's facial features. That shell is hard, y'all. And thick. I honestly don't know how anyone does 90 degree angles on their pumpkin pictures with sharp, straight-lined precision. That's some surgeon-level skill right there. Mine always ends up looking like it belongs on those "Nailed It" Pinterest fail sites.

2) Using those carving tools is always a dangerous feat, no matter what anyone tells you. Those little blades aren't safe! (And if they are safe, they're not sharp enough to be piercing hard pumpkin shells). I'm always imagining the sharp little blade piercing through my left index finger or slicing the fingerprint right off as I'm gripping the orange melon with my left hand and carving with my right, squirting the blood everywhere, ruining the pumpkin, completely wasting my efforts and money, and traumatizing Little L in the process. Yep, my mind goes there. Every. Time.

3) Messy messy messy. The pumpkins must be hollowed, but that gloppy stuff, while fun for kids to slime up as they pick out the seeds, is no fun for me to clean up once the goo get smeared everywhere and ends up air-drying in place. Pumpkin guts are really just organic superglue, I'm convinced.

4) Because we live in a balcony-less high-rise and our windows face a lush green courtyard, there's really no place to put a carved pumpkin without it either rotting or becoming the newest fruit fly hotspot. If you recall, we get a lot of fruit flies. Too many. And they *love* vinegar, which is the product of choice for treating hallowed raw pumpkinheads and preventing premature rot, which, frankly, is an inevitability anyway because my hallway is always warm and a little damp, and not particularly well lit. So if I treat it with vinegar, I get the infestation. If I use nothing, then I get mold. Have you ever seen a moldy pumpkin? We had one a few years ago. It was disgusting, because the mold was black and the fuzz was white. It really was a frightening, Halloween-worthy sight. (I've heard of using bleach to treat the pumpkin as well, but bleach inevitably discolours whatever I'm wearing, and I pretty much only own black clothes right now).

5) I'm lazy. There, I said it. Carving a pumpkin with a toddler probably produces several hours of work for me, from the hollowing to the painstaking carving to the messy clean-up, and yields very little entertainment for Little L. I'd be lucky if she was engaged for more than 15 minutes, and in my mind I can imagine her splashing pumpkin guts all over the hardwood and slipping on it. I can also imagine me, elbows deep in pumpkin slime, having to assist her and prevent a meltdown after she has decided to go do something else instead. Yeah, no thanks. I'll just sit here quietly and sip my Pumpkin Spice Latte.

So in an effort to compromise and not be a total spoil sport, I've purchased 6 mini's for her to paint and repaint over and over again. We will also make the trek out to a nice pumpkin patch, and I'll buy her a pie. And in lieu of the rotting real pumpkin, I'll pull Pete out of the closet. You haven't met Pete yet? We got him last year. And he is made out of foam, which, though also unbearably messy, was at least a cinch to carve. :)


Happy fall! 

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