Ben with pumpkins before they were carved.

Today, among other things, we carved our pumpkins. I didn’t get any photos during the process as I was up to my elbows in pumpkin guts. But Dom did put together the following video.

I was a little nervous about this activity as there isn’t actually much for the little ones to do. But I tried to make it as interactive as possible. I let Bella and Sophie choose the shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth and then I cut them out. I let them help scoop out the guts.

They weren’t actually much help, of course; but boy did they have fun and I don’t think they noticed at all how little of the work they actually did. Bella picked out seeds from her pumpkin and put them into a bowl. After a while I helped her with the remaining seeds and then scooped out all the pulp.

Sophie gave up on her pumpkin fairly quickly and began to play with the bowl of seeds. She used her spoon to stir it and made “soup”. Bella eventually joined in and pretended to add salt and pepper and more water to the soup.

Ben’s contribution to the activity was mostly to be distressed by the newspapers on the floor and by the bits of pumpkin on his hands. He also fetched spoons and straws and sippy cup lids from the drawers and threw them into the bowl of pumpkin seeds.

Bella counts the pumpkins.

I think they came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

From left to right: Bella’s pumpkin (she wanted a sad pumpkin), Sophie’s pumpkin, Ben’s pumpkin.

I followed up this horrific activity with an experiment in cutting Dom’s hair for the first time with the new clippers we just bought. Even with him guiding me and choosing the clipper attachments, it came out much shorter than he usually wears it. At least it will grow back in.


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  • Thanks, Charlotte.

    I can’t quite regret buying the wings; but they were definitely one of those parenting lessons learned. We saw them and thought they were cute and that the girls would love them and rashly promised they could have them and even encouraged the girls to pick out their favorites… before we checked the price (which was, of course, not written down anywhere. You had to track down and ask the salesperson.) So we had some sticker shock but were already committed at that point. And of course the delicate nylon of the wings began to rip after just a week of being played with so I had to put them on the shelf and monitor their use, which seems unfair.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my desire to see pretty expensive playthings stay pretty and the desire to let my kids be kids. The girls’ favorite storybook, Dahlia by Barbara McClintock, takes on that question and comes down firmly on the side of the argument that dolls exist to be played with and not as museum pieces. Still, I struggle. But I’m glad we got to use them for Halloween. That does make the expense seem a little more worth it than just running around in the backyard. Which is probably silly of me but is the compromise I’m comfortable with right now. In a few more years I’ll probably be much more comfortable with letting things get used and abused.

  • my oldest two are your girls’ ages and this was the first year we trick-or-treated, too.  but being sick all this week and knowing the boys would be sad if they realized what could have been…i totally got the cheap-o, off-the-rack target firemen costumes at the last minute.  but they love them.  love.  oh well.  who knew cheap and tacky could be so cute when sported by excited kiddos?

    and my husband and i say that it’s trick-or-treating and hurricanes that bring neighbors together.

  • I am having a (much-needed) glass of wine and catching up on some blog reading—what a treat on both counts! I am picking a post at random to say: you have the loveliest smile and the calmest, kindest eyes! Will you move to MN and be my friend?

  • Aw, Margaret, you are so sweet. I’d love to be near you and be your friend. I’m not sure my thin Texan blood could survive a Minnesota winter, however. I’m barely able to handle New England. Maybe I could just live there in the other three seasons?