Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

4 November 2016

Carving the Pumpkins...

Halloween fell on a monday this year.
Which is a bit crap. Far nicer last year. When it was on saturday.
Far easier to stay out late with the munchkins having fun last year.

And it was the first Monday of the school term.
There was no chance any of my lot were staying out late. Going from house to house demanding chocs from people trick or treating...

[Bing Bong]
<Door opens>
Kids: 'Trick or treat!'
Twonk: 'Treat!'
<Confused looks all round>
Boy9: 'Dad! This guy said treat!'
Twonk Cool. That's his choice...
<Whispers to Boy9> Send in the little boy
<BabyBoy2 pushed to the front, not dressed up as he refused again>
BabyBoy2: <Sticks out ickle hand> 'Choc? Pweeease???' <Big imploring eyes>
Twonk: <Cracks> Oh you're just too cute! Here, here, here <Hands out lots of sweets>
Kids: 'Thank you'
Team Parents: 'Thank you twonk'

Halloween prep started on Sunday.
Carving time. We had been out having a right laugh visiting trains and the such. Poop-poop etc. We got back, ate, rested. And then Team Parents (yay!) suddenly remembered it was Halloween tomorrow.
It had nearly slipped our minds. Because Mrs. Amazing was full of cold and not her normal self. And because I wasn't full of cold and was my normal myself.

Still we did remember.
In your faces! And Team Parent (yay!) instantly sprung into action and became an efficient pumpkin carving unit.
I'll make a cuppa...
Mrs. Amazing: 'I'll get something to nibble'

Mrs. Amazing was chief scooper.
Because our knives are not sharp. Eons ago I spent a lot of time working in restaurants for cake. And I was taught that a safe knife is a sharp knife. <Cackles>
Yet in our house we have eight six little hands reaching into drawers without looking. Awesome.
So keeping knives beard trimmer razor sharp seems a bit like leaving pens on the floor in a star shape... A pentangle if you will... And then being miffed when a demon shows up...

(Cup of tea?
ScaryFlamingDemon: 'TWO SUGARS PLEASE’
ScaryFlamingDemon: 'AND CREAM IF YOU’VE GOT IT’)

ScaryFlamingDemon: 'YOU SUMMONED ME MORTAL!'
<Pauses Bake off on tele>
Wothca. No. Sorry. <Picks up tea> There must be some sort of mistake.
We didn't order a Demon
<Glances down> Oh... that. Miss5! MISS5! You've left your colouring pens on the floor again! Come clean them up!
Miss5: <Scurries downstairs> 'Hello' <Waves>
ScaryFlamingDemon: 'HI' <WAVES BACK>
Miss5: 'Silly me!' <Picks up pens> <Manages to get pen on her face, hands, legs and nose>
ScaryFlamingDemon: 'I SEE' <LOOKS A BIT LOST>
Sorry. Is there anything else we can help you with?
Uh-huh... Miss5? <Has a sip of tea>
Miss5: 'FREEZE' <Freezes the Demon on the spot just like Elsa would>
Boy9? <Has another sip-a>
Boy9: <Appears armed to the teeth in Nerf guns> 'Yes Dad?'
Help this gentle...er... demon out will you...
Boy9: 'What?'
Pardon <Gives look> Shoot him / it!
[Lots of shooting and missing, eventually the Demon explodes into a million pieces]
Mrs. Amazing: <Is walking though>
Mrs. Amazing: <Whips out magic wand and says her magic words> 'Diamonds and shoes' <Doesn't stop>
[All pieces of Demon are sent back to the demonic portal they emerged from, rug is straightened, sofa cushions are fluffed and a fresh cup of tea appears]
<In awe> You are a-maze-zing!
<Unpauses Bake off>


I cut the tops off the Pumpkins.
With a blunt knife. Mrs. Amazing scooped like a boss. And then, foolishly I feel, we asked the children what they wanted carved into / onto their pumpkins.
They had one each. Like little red riding hood, but with pumpkins. Sizewise (not bear and porridgewise obv.).

BabyBoy2's pumpkin:
Well he didn't have any requests. He was pretty confused why we had huge vegetables on the table and knives out.
Babyboy2 just wanted to play with his fire engine. What was all the full about these orange thingys?
So he went floorward and played with his (was Boy9's) Fireman Sam fire engine. Happy days. Happy loving firemen and their big powerful engines days...

BabyBoy2: 'YAYYYY! NEE-NAR!'
Mrs. Amazing: 'Quick! Quick! Pull over'
...I was...
Mrs. Amazing: <Leans out of window and starts whoopering and hollering>
Must you do this every time?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Just showing them some support'
What are you holding? Is that a sign? IS THAT YOUR PHONE NUMBER?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Er... Return of the Jedi, Leia in a gold bikini'
Er... <Is distracted> er... <Returning to reality>
What?... What were we talking about?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Pie'
Mmmmmmm... Pie

(Yeah but can he do this? <Does insane amazing dance>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘You know... I bet he can’t’ <Smiles>

I sit and think about what to carve for BabyBoy2.  
And then carve him a pirate themed pumpkin. He has started saying shouting 'Ahoy' and 'Arrrrr matey' lately so I figure it could be a hit. Plus I feel confident I can carve an eye patch.
It goes so well I get cocky. And add more things round the side. They go wrong.
And the scar on the left fails. It was supposed to be a hash mark.
I stop carving anything more. But overall I'm happy. I show BabyBoy2.
BabyBoy2 cares not.
That's just a weird vegetable that you've cut bits out of.
You weirdos.

Miss5's pumpkin:
As Miss5 actually cares what is on her pumpkin. She was given paper and asked to draw what she wanted. Mrs. Amazing did this. Not me.
Had it been me Miss5 would have been given limited, pre-approved, options.
A square. A line. At a push a triangle.
Miss5 shows me her picture when she's done.
I am expecting to see something so complex and abstract that I would have to defy the laws of physics to even carve a shallow copy of it onto a pumpkin.
I fear the worst.

It's fine. Phew.
It's just two big eyes. And a mouth full of thin sharp and very pointy teeth.
The eyes go well and match Miss5's design. But the teeth go badly.
My first cut is a big mistake. I cut the bit I want to keep, as it were. Smeg.
And there's no going back. So one design change later, I carve it with one huge tooth instead.
Miss5 isn't very cool about the change.
Until... I show her the Bat(ish) logo I did on the back.
I get a Miss5 high five.
Life is brilliant.

Having spend a while on BabyBoy2's pumpkin and Miss5's pumpkin. It is only now that I realise Boy 9 has been online. All this time. Searching for the pumpkin design he wants to carve.
OMFB! Get him off the internet! ARGHGHGH!
There's loads and millions of pictures of amazing pumpkin carvings everywhere!
Is that Darth Vader riding a wookie?
That's disgusting

Boy9's design choice is complex.
Way more complex than I was hoping for. It's way past my square, circle and triangle hopes.
There's letters for bacon's sake (FBS)!
I express my concern...

No way. I can't do that!
Boy9: 'Don't worry Dad I'll carve it'
Really? Re-ealllly? Cool!
Boy9: <Does one knife cut>
Boy9: <Does another knife cut>
Boy9: 'It's too hard' <Passes me back the knife>
Boy9: 'Can you do it for me?' <Does big pwease eyes>
No No chance How about a nice square shape? But I was gonna starting eating chocolate
... er... Fine. Sure mate
<Should have seen that coming from a mile off>
<Everyone else leaves to go do fun stuff>

I am not a carver.
I have meagre skills at best. The last of the sun light has gone by the time I am finished and my beard is touching my toes.
Upstairs I can the sounds of a fun bath time going on. Lots of heavy thudding and BabyBoy2 shrieking with delight.
I know it sounds a lot more fun that it is at the end of tiring day. And given the choice Mrs. Amazing would swap in a heartbeat and then ask me to carve it later.
Finally finished. I look at what I have achieved and hope that Boy9 likes it.
Or he will wear it.
I don't want to disappoint him.

(Toothy, Arrr! and Boo!)

I put candles in the three pumpkins.
And line them up in the fireplace for when everyone comes downstairs.
Then I go wash all the pumpkin off my hands. Off my trousers. The floor. The table. My top. My hands again. More floor. My hands once more.
Turns out I'm quite messy when carving.

Pyjamed and ready for milk and cartoons.
They all bundle downstairs and have a look at their pumpkins.
Boy9 gives me a hug thank you when he sees what I carved for him and my heart sings.
Miss5 points out the Bat logo on hers proudly to Boy9. He doesn't care.
And just in case I wasn't feeling the Dad love enough and all Dad-Done-Good about it all...
BabyBoy2 shouts 'Ahoy Matey' when he sees his.