Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 1460 - Pumpkin Carvings

Since Halloween is coming up next weekend, I decided it was about time to carve the pumpkins.  I asked the kids what they wanted on their pumpkins.  Emma said she wanted Minnie Mouse; Andrew said he wanted Mater.  Both are much more complicated than your typical triangle eyes and bucktoothed mouth which incidentally is how I was described while on a blind date. 

After looking at some pictures of Minnie Mouse and Mater, I grabbed a dry erase marker and started to draw on the pumpkins.  Lisa and the kids were sitting around the dining room table while I prepped the pumpkins to be carved.  It was one of those rare times around the dining table when nobody was shouting "Eat your veggies!" and "No!  You eat your veggies first!"

I must admit it was nice to have the entire family gathered around and helping out.  Lisa was helping the kids clean the inside of the pumpkins while I continued to sketch the cartoon characters.  As soon as the pumpkins were cleaned, I began the process of carving the pumpkins.  The kids and Lisa watched intently as I began to slowly cut the pumpkin.

But probably no more than five minutes past when everyone left me.  Andrew was off playing with his cars.  Emma was off playing with her doll house.  Lisa was off down the street boozing it up at a tavern.  Poor daddy was left alone with his knives and gourds.

For the first thirty minutes, I found carving the pumpkins a little relaxing.  It was relatively nice to be able to focus on something without anyone around you.  But after thirty minutes passed and I wasn't even finished with the first pumpkin, I began to get a little grumpy.

Why did I let the kids pick what they wanted on their pumpkins?  I could've been finished with both pumpkins in thirty minutes if they let me pick the design.  You know what I would've picked?  A square for Andrew and a triangle for Emma.  That's it! 

After I finished Minnie Mouse, I still had Mater to carve.  By this time, my right index finger was a little raw and numb from all of the carving.  But I took it like the man I am:  weak and whiny.

I continued my internal rants by wondering why pumpkins were chosen to be carved on Halloween.  Pumpkins are stinky and are damn hard to carve because of its thick skin.  Why couldn't we carve something simpler like a cardboard box or even better just put stickers on a container?  What says Happy Halloween more than scratch and sniff stickers on a L'eggs container?

Ninety minutes later, I finished carving both pumpkins.  I called the kids into the kitchen and called a taxi to pick up Lisa at the bar.  Despite my raw and stiff fingers, once I saw how happy the kids were with the final results, it made me realize that it was at least 35-45% worth my efforts.

Here are pictures of the kids with the pumpkins:

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