Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Thing #62: The final sacrifice of the brave and noble pumpkins

I would like to formally state, for the record, that I have had enough of whatever bug is currently making the rounds. I feel like everyone I know is sick right now. Just when it seems like it is making an exit, a new symptom manifests itself. Poor LP1 has developed a persistent cough. She mostly soldiers on with her usual good humour, but she has her moments throughout the day where it is obvious she is tired and just wants to rest. Or throw an enormous fit because I won't do something like give her raisins at the exact moment she wants them. It is hard sometimes, when you're two and not feeling well. I know that when I'm not feeling well, I often want to do the same thing.

Today was therefore another day where I wasn't sure how it would play out. I let LP1 do her thing this morning. If she wanted to lay in our bed and watch Treehouse, I let her. If she wanted to play in her room, I let her. I dressed her in comfy clothes and let her set the tone for the day. LP2 and I chilled together, reading stories and playing before he went down for a long nap that went from late morning to early afternoon. LP1 decided after lunch that she was ready her nap and she slept for a good two hours. Once both kids were awake, it seemed that they were not only in good spirits but wanting something to do. I buckled them into the ninky nonk and we set off for a walk. LP1 asked if we could get some licorice at the store. It seems that they have forgotten about the massive amount of Hallowe'en candy in the house. This is a good thing, as it means I can either pawn it off on Daddy or continue to leave treat bags for our mailman (I have sworn off all junk food until December 1 as I went on a major bender on Hallowe'en that has left me deeply ashamed of myself). It was unseasonably warm, the sun was shining and I know how much the LP love a trip to the store. We went and got some...gummy bears and some other sugar-laden thing. LP1 changed her mind once we got to the store and since I was in an accommodating mood, I let them have their treat. They had no candy yesterday and have been most excellent at eating all the vegetables, whole grains and fruits I push onto them.

I was pulling two very happy LP home and thinking about turning them loose in the back yard for a little while, looking at the pumpkins outside of other people's houses when I thought of the two pumpkins still on our front porch. Auntie K was due to join us at any moment. I knew exactly what our New Thing for today would be.

Aww yeah...that's right...we engaged in some PUMPKIN SMASHING!

We have a platform in the backyard beneath the clothesline. The idea is that you climb the stairs and stand on it to put the laundry out. As I mostly forget we even have a clothesline, we just call it "the stage" and it is usually a place for small children to put on a show. Next summer we intend to do big things to the backyard but for now, it is a sort of wild place, overrun with foliage, children's toys and a patio. Excuse the mess in the photos. I knew the stage would be a perfect launching pad for the pumpkins.

While we were waiting for Auntie K, we played a game of pumpkin soccer. The LP thought that kicking a small pumpkin around the patio was enormously entertaining. The pumpkin began to crack from the abuse we were inflicting upon it. Once Auntie K arrived, we explained what we were doing and she was immediately on board with this idea. In fact, she went up on the stage with LP1 and did the inaugural launch of the bigger pumpkin. It landed on the patio with a very satisfying THUNK. The LP looked at us for a moment and when they realized that yes, destroying a pumpkin was okay, began to laugh. LP1 was ready to continue. We let both kids take turns throwing pumpkin pieces and saved some of the bigger ones for ourselves. Let me tell you, it was fantastic. If you ever have a bad day, I highly recommend throwing pumpkins.

LP1 attempted to lift this. Obviously it was too heavy for her. She turned to us and said "can somebody please give me a hand?" It was the most adorable thing I'd seen all day.

The LP enjoy being given permission to destroy things and I knew that they were certainly enjoying our latest adventure. They would later tell Daddy all about how they smashed up his pumpkin with great pleasure. Baby giggles and peals of laughter filled the backyard. I'm not sure if LP2 entirely understood what we were doing but I know he liked helping me throw things into the air. LP1 kept asking Auntie K to help her throw more. Once we had reduced the two pumpkins to many bits all over the patio, the LP lost interest and wanted to move on to other things. Auntie K and I tried to engage them in pumpkin basketball but they were not interested in throwing broken bits of pumpkin into the green bin. We had been outside for quite some time and it was starting to cool off. I decided it was time to go in.

We had just come in for a snack when the phone rang. Although our call display indicated it was a local number, it sounded as if the call were coming from the bottom of the sea. And while it is possible that it was just a bad connection and the very heavily accented man on the other end was a newly arrived Canadian, I'm pretty sure this call was originating from the other side of the world. He launched into a spiel about a very special duct cleaning offer. Grandpa has probably told me about 850 times what type of heating to say we have whenever we get a call like this but I can never remember. I looked up in panic. "Auntie K!" I hissed. "What kind of..." And that is as far as I got before Auntie K began to laugh.

When you have a sister, there is a kind of shared connection that goes beyond words. Some sisters can tell when the other one is in pain. Others intuitively know things before they are told. And yes, there are times when Auntie K, Auntie J and I will call or send a message to one another and the reply will say "I was JUST ABOUT to send you a message!", our special connection is that we can make each other explode with laughter at the most inappropriate times, often just with a look. But not just any laughter. Highly contagious laughter that leaves you unable to speak. It can happen while in the middle of moving something extraordinarily heavy together, in places where laughter is frowned upon, like church, or while reading a message one of us has sent the other when we're in the middle of a meeting. Or, like today, when you're panicking because you can't remember what type of heat will make the duct salesman go away. I managed to choke out "Heat! What kind of heat doesn't have ducts?" as I covered the receiver. It felt like forever before she was able to gasp "ELECTRIC!" The man was saying "Hello? HELLO? MADAM?" from the bottom of the sea. It took all my might to recover enough to explain but by then Auntie K had started up again and I could barely speak. The man realized I was laughing and maybe he thought that electric heat was funny, too because he started to laugh before ending the call. Mr. Duct Salesman, whether you were just across town or hanging out with Sponge Bob, I apologize. I hope YOU had a nice day.

O brought us such joy. First we carved you up, then we stuck candles inside of you and finally we threw you onto hard cement. May your compost be a happy one. Thank you for your noble sacrifice.

1 comment:

  1. I'm laughing so hard just reading this!! Pumpkin smashing was almost as therapeutic as watching you panic on the phone with the Duct Cleaning offer of the century.
    Sisters! <3 Wouldn't trade them for ANYTHING!!