Let's all face up to an important fact: if you are a parent to a 5-year-old, the tradition of pumpkin carving is not carried on for your child; it is planned and executed for your enjoyment. And only yours. Past the initial act of stabbing the gourd with a huge butcher knife and extracting the first handful of "orange guts," your child doesn't give a rip about the process; in fact, those dreaded four words - "Mommy, this is boring" - are within minutes of being uttered.
I selected three pumpkins for this year's carving and I couldn't get B to commit. Finally, today, he relented and saddled up to the bar for what would be the shortest pumpkin carving session in our household's history.
Seriously, he was outta there in 10 minutes flat, leaving me with three faces to carve and a mess of seeds and "orange guts." I enticed him back to the kitchen, briefly, by showing him how to pop out an eye with the knife. He was mildly amused, for about a second, then asked, "Can I watch a movie now?"
To top it off, once I had three completed, albeit not pretty, faces completed, I tried one last time to capture the memory. "One picture," I begged. "Pleeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeee?"
Ten M&Ms later, I had B's mug, along with the other three, cataloged under "Halloween 08."
My girlfriend, S, upon hearing this story, passed on a great tip. Virtual pumpkin carving. We're so in on that next year.