It seems like just about everyone in the blogosphere has written a Halloween-related post over the past couple of days. Not wanting to feel left out, I decided to do the same. And since there’s just too much Halloween-related goodness in my life, I will treat the post like a Kit Kat bar in those old commercials and break it into two pieces.
Halloween is one of the best times of the year to be a parent. I think many people miss our youthful days of Halloween-related activities like carving pumpkins and going trick-or-treating. Now that I’m a parent, its socially acceptable to do them again! (Assuming that I actually bring the child along.)
Halloween also gives kids extra incentive to behave. You can make threats like, “If you don’t clean your room, then there’s going to be no trick-or-treating!” I am not looking forward to the day when my daughter starts calling my bluffs.
Our first order of Halloween-related business was to find some pumpkins for carving. We headed to a nearby pumpkin patch, but by the time we arrived late on a Sunday afternoon, the patch was mostly picked over. I suppose I could have gone earlier in the day, but…football. Although considering how the Eagles game turned out that day, I would have been better off skipping it.
Despite a limited selection, the Cutlet and I managed to find a couple of pumpkins that were suitable to our needs. Once we got them home, the Cutlet was excited about the carving process. Or at least she was until she reached inside the pumpkin and encountered all of the “gook” inside. After that, she no longer wanted to help scoop out the insides.
She did help her mother cook up some of the seeds that were scooped out. They made one batch salty, while the other was coated with cinnamon. The salty ones were better, although I’ve had a tough time resisting either kind.
Once the pumpkins had been cleared of the “gook,” I used a stencil pattern to carve a cat design into one of them. We placed it outside, but after a few nights in the unseasonably cold weather, it shriveled up. The Cutlet was disappointed that the cat went away, but we told her that it was too cold, and the cat just had to go someplace warm.
For the next pumpkin, I wanted to carve a “classic” face, but the Cutlet requested that I carve Ariel from the Little Mermaid instead. I am far from an expert pumpkin carver, but I thought I did an admirable job.
The consensus is that it’s good, but without context, most people would have a tough time figuring out what it was supposed to be. Guess I’ll have to practice for next year.
Last Sunday, we took a trip to Summer’s Farm where they have a pumpkin patch as well as many other Fall-related activities. Since we had already acquired our pumpkins, we were able to skip the patch and get right down to business. We saw farm animals, rode in a tractor train, climbed on giant bales of hay, and bounced on a giant trampoline.
The farm’s chief attraction may be the giant corn maze. There are two potential routes through the maze, and we opted for the shorter one. After about fifteen minutes, we felt very thankful that we had, because it seemed like we were pretty far in with no real clue as to how to get back out. It would have been a real nightmare to have gotten trapped for any length of time. Sure, there would have been plenty of corn for us to eat, but considering how disgusting I find the stuff, I think starvation might have been more appealing.
Eventually we managed to escape and I was spared that horrible fate.
The Cutlet has been very excited about going trick-or-treating. Just about every night, she asks to go down into the basement and “play Halloween.” Apparently, you play Halloween by dimming the lights, putting on costumes, and running around.
We’ve also practiced the act of trick-or-treating. I had asked her what she should say when someone opened the door, and her response was, “Hello!” We practiced by knocking on the closet door a couple of times, and by the end she was able to say “Trick or treat” with the necessary enthusiasm that will earn her lots of candy.
It’s almost time to pick her up from day care, and we’ll soon be off to visit the neighbors and see if that practice will pay off. I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know how it went.