With Halloween fast-approaching, we carved a pumpkin this weekend. While it may not be rocket science, I want to offer one bit of advice that I found made our whole process incredibly easier - if your child is taking an afternoon nap, use that nap-time to get all the gutting of your pumpkin out of the way.
It may not seem like much, because it’s such a small, simple thing, but it can make a world of difference if you’re little one is not quite at the age of carving themselves, but still wants to take part.
I’ve heard a lot lately about how pumpkin’s last longer if you carve them from the bottom, but I went for the traditional method of cutting around the stem and pulling it out to make my way inside.
Then, using the carving knife and an ice cream scoops, I gutted all of those seeds and pumpkin-innards until we were left with one big, hollow pumpkin.
This made things so incredibly easy when the little guy woke up from his nap and wanted to carve his pumpkin after dinner. We weren’t trying to juggle the circus of a 2-year-old wanting to pull everything out himself, getting it everywhere, or just losing interest.
With just the hollow pumpkin, ready to go, we simply put him at the table (with his little step stool) and he guided us through the process of what he wanted his pumpkin to look like, from the eyes, to the shape of the nose and what kind of mouth he wanted. (“Happy pumpkin!” was pretty much the description he gave us to work from for the mouth).
So, here we have it – our Little Carving Supervisor’s Pumpkin, made all the easier by getting the prep out-of-the-way during nap-time.
I totally recommend it.
Outside our window, the street lights brought some illumination to the pavement and yards below, but the thick, black darkness filled our home.
I moved my head to the left, seeing the glowing red numbers of my alarm clock. Not quite 5 a.m. I was curled in an odd, not very comfortable S-Shape, my body wrapped around the slumbering cats curled up in our bed throughout the night.
Then, I heard it. A tiny little voice from the other room.
Our son, talking in his sleep.
He called out the name of one of my parents’ dogs, the same playful way he does when he wants them to chase him around their house.
A few minutes later, I heard “Ernie! Elmo! Help me with...(a slew of words that were unintelligible).”
Shortly after that giggles and laughter.
Some time later, I heard “Dada, me take binky outside, peeaassse?” (we’re still working on weaning him off that binky. It only shows up at night for sleep currently as we try to lessen his dependence on it)
I just laid there in bed, smiling, trying to stifle my laughter at these wonderful adventures, laughs and lives he’s living in his sleepy little head.
It was wonderful.
As I’ve probably mentioned before, we’ve been incredibly blessed that our little guy started to use the potty when he did, which was around Christmas time at about a year and a half. We were shocked, surprised, a little overwhelmed, but completely over the moon that he decided to guide himself and tell us that he was ready to start using it.
Lately though, there’s been an odd little trend developing – the potty as a delay tactic.
Much like a well-planned army strategy, the little guy will very agreeably go to bed, per routine, after we’ve read a few books. All seems well until he begins to realize he doesn’t quite want to go to sleep. First, you hear the rumbling in the crib of a little one moving around. Next, the toys that talk as he plays, puttering around as we hope he starts to fall asleep. Then it comes.
“It’s sleepy time, buddy. Time to go to sleep.”
“Potty! Go potty!”
One of us enters the room.
“You’ve gotta go potty, buddy?”
“Uh-huh. Potty! Go!”
And it’s into the bathroom, plopping him on the potty (with his cushion-y little seat adapter for little buns) and away we go. Sometimes, yes, it is quite legit, and we’re very thankful that he tells us so that we can avoid the alternative. But there’s some nights, like a recent Monday night, where while legit, quickly turned into a 45 minute gab session as he sat on the potty, done for a while and just wanting to talk.
“I think you’re done, buddy. Are you all done?”
“Okay, well give it a try to get anything else out.”
And we sit and we talk, and we talk. And before you know it, a half hour or 45 minutes has flown by and you start to realize “he has completely played us.”
And I fall for it every time.