Last week, Noah and I went to the grocery store looking for pumpkins to carve. Five days before Halloween and they were completely sold out. Now, I don’t want to rat this store out for destroying every chance we had at being happy, but I will. It was Walmart.
So, we headed five miles down the road to the next closest store where they had giant bins full of pumpkins. The pumpkins were absolutely gorgeous. Symmetrical and sexy. Exactly what every professional pumpkin carver wants.
I pulled Noah out of the cart and told him to pick any pumpkin he wanted.
You’d have thought I was letting him choose his future wife or something. He studied each pumpkin for flaws, broken handles, and scuff marks. Whenever he found one he liked, he would insist that I show him the other side so that he could make sure it also was perfect. We must have walked around that stand (which was freezing, I might add) for 20 minutes and no fewer than 320 times, yet he never could be satisfied with any one pumpkin.
Then out of nowhere he grabbed his crotch, looked at me with a burst of panic, and said as he pointed to a random uninspected pumpkin, “Dad, I want that one! But I gotta go potty.” I picked it up, it was probably among the most perfect of all the pumpkins he had looked at.
Right underneath it was a very imperfect pumpkin. I wanted to pull it out of the stack for a closer look, but Noah’s strained face told me that would be neither acceptable or without dastardly results.
After a sprint to the restroom, a race to unload, and our usual contest for cleanest hands, we headed back out to the pumpkin bins. I asked Noah if he still liked the one he had picked on the fly. He studied it over carefully and declared that he did. I went back to the spot with the imperfect pumpkin.
Noah started laughing. “Dad, look at that one! It looks like a butt!”
So I bought it.
I guess you can say I’m a champion for the underdogs.
Now, our original plan had been to carve these bad boys, but after picking out a butt-pumpkin, I felt like paint might offer more creative opportunity, so I mentioned it to Noah. He quickly decided carving was the very inferior approach when dealing with our squashes.
I pulled some paint out and Noah jumped right in as if he’d been painting for years. He knew what he wanted and he got to work.
“What ya paintin’ pal?” I asked him.
“I’m painting mine to be a guy in a hat!” he sqealed.
I told him that was a great idea. He didn’t hear me. He had already shifted back into “the zone.”
Then he suddenly sprung away from his work, excitement pouring from his expression. “Dad, I want to paint mine like a butt so it looks like yours!” I started laughing and told him he could paint it however he wanted.
“Dad, you paint yours like a butt, too!” he said. “Let’s paint butt pumpkins!”
I mean, how could I not?