Last year our pumpkins looked like Rorschach blots.
Actually, I wish. Symmetrical? Not so much. And I know pumpkins are supposed to be a fun thing, not art work (not when they're seven and four) but when they look like three/four-eyed wild Picasso prints as interpreted by a Morse Code enthusiast, it's hard to praise the kids and play guess the expression at the same time.
But there's something about transferring a thought in your head to the curved, unforgiving blank face of the pumpkin that....doesn't translate well.
This year, I was prepared. Armed with one big and two smaller 'pumpkin knives', I cut the tops off while the kids decided what face they wanted on their jack o' lanterns. The air was thick with 'And his eye should be pointy!' 'I want a BIG smile on mine!' and finally I went and got a Sharpie and some blank paper, drawing one rounded silhouette, and one squared. The kids got busy with crayons while I gooshed the guts out, and then....then....
then we carved then up. And there were shrieks and groans (although not from the pumpkins) and the rich smell o'guts and seeds and delighted squealing.
Tomorrow we'll light them up and I'll show you the carnage we have wrought.