Tuesday, November 30


People aren’t meant to just ... disappear. It’s shocking to one’s heart and one’s soul. It’s not right that the last thing you say to someone is “See you Saturday morning”. Like you took it for granted that she would be there. Why on Earth would she not be there?

Yesterday morning, my friend wrote on Facebook that she was sick and throwing up. At 10:25am, she wrote “I feel like death”. And then she died. Melissa, age 28, died.

This is not how it’s supposed to happen. People get sick first. There are warning signs. There are doctor’s visits to attend and tests to be taken. There is time to plead with God for more time. You get to say “Forget all the bad stuff, I love you”.

I read over all the emails that Melissa and I have sent to each other over the last month.

Melissa to me:

You just made me cry. I am so glad that I have a friend like you!
I love you

Me to her:

“Let's be friends when we are old and grey, and our children will roll their eyes because we are so embarrassing when we get together!”

Melissa to me:

“Deal!! :) I look forward to it!!”

She looked forward to it. And to Christmas with her mother. And to babies with her husband. She looked forward to all the world had to offer, and to all of the things that a 28 year old women is entitled to experience. She looked forward to living her life... but, instead, she disappeared.

Melissa was funny, and fun to be with. Snarky, just the way I like my friends to be! Warm. Compassionate. Kind. Giving. She was my friend. And now she is gone.

There will be time for all the funny stories, for talk about the good times with Melissa. But right now, the shock is crippling. And knowing the grief that her husband and her mother must be feeling is simply overwhelming. And anger that this could happen, and happen the way it did, is all-consuming. Tonight, I will mourn my friend. Tomorrow, and every day after that, I will hold on to the good times. Because the good times were great!

Thursday, November 25

The Parent/Teacher Conference

The parent/teacher conference went well. Or, more accurately, well enough. I had planned to have all three children in daycare when I went to the conference. Instead, I had to bring Bethie with me, while my Dad babysat Sarah and Katie. Sigh. That's a super long story best saved for another day...

Miss N started off by saying that she thinks that Katie and Bethie should be put into separate classes next year. My response? "No". She went on to explain that Katie is more independent than Bethie. Bethie's self-esteem is wrapped up in Katie. Perhaps being in a different class would help Bethie "come into her own". Again, "no". We went back and forth for a while before I pointed out that the next school year is 10 months away, and we can worry about this later.

Miss N said that she didn't really have any concerns about the twins and asked about my conerns. I told her that I view kindergarten as an "introduction" to school. I want them to learn to respect others while continuing to respect themselves. I want them to learn the rules and routines of school. I want them to thrive socially. Miss N has higher hopes. She hoped that they would learn things like reading and writing and math. Yeah, I kinda thought that went without saying.

Miss N said that the girls were very polite, and helped clean up, and were a pleasure to teach. Super. Then she said to me "There are some characteristics that we think are excellent in adults: loyalty, fighting the current, questioning authority. But, in five year olds, we need to temper these qualities." I had to laugh. I know what Miss N means. My children have a lot of my characteristics. They are tiny versions of me. But I'm 27 (ish). I have earned some of my..."difficult" characteristics. They are 5 years old. They haven't earned bitchy yet. But I'm not about to un-teach their loyalty for one another (and for every member of this family). I pray every night that they stop questioning authority...okay, stop questioning my authority. But I am thrilled that they think for themselves. That they have an innate sense of how things should be, and what they want for themselves, and stand up for these things. I am proud that they do things the "hard way", knowing that the end justifies the means. I have strong daughters. Thank God.

Miss N showed me their journals. She said that most children simply scribble or write letters randomly. My little Mary Wollstonecrafts write phonetically. Both of them! The only ones in their class! I was thrilled!!! Miss N went on to say how well they were doing in math. They have a very good grasp of numbers and addition. Yup, my children are brilliant!

While wrapping things up, Miss N said that all of my children (I had brought Sarah with my for my "emergency" conference last week) were extremely well behaved. They play beautifully with others, and play quietly by themselves. She said that they are good-natured and easily pleased. They are an absolute joy to be around. Right. I told her to come by my house around dinner time. They're not so charming then!

Tuesday, November 23

Treats for My Sweets

Sunday morning began with me taking a child to the walk-in clinic. This isn't anything out of the ordinary. I like to swing by the walk-in clinic at least once a week. For laughs.

Anyway, this time I took Katie. She didn't want to go because she said that she was "fine". This almost stopped me. Especially since I rushed Katie to the clinic two weeks ago and she told the doctor that she was perfectly healthy, and he agreed (ahhh!). But she has had a fever for a couple of nights, and I was out of coffee. Since the clinic was in the grocery store (yup, this cracks me up!), I could get the child checked and pick up more coffee. Easy peasy.

Except that Katie refused to see the doctor. As we sat in the exam room, she started giving me a preview of what she was going to say to the doctor when he walked into the room. I panicked. I told her that if she behaved, I would buy her a treat. Problem solved.

After collecting the prescription and three princess stickers (one for her, and one for each of her sisters) from the nurse, we headed towards the coffee aisle. En route, Katie announced that she would like a cake for a treat. Not a cupcake. A great, big cake. I laughed and told her that she wasn't sick enough to get a whole cake! She said, "It wasn't just for me. I wanted to share with my sisters. It's not fair that I get a treat and they don't".

Awww...wasn't that kind of her? So, I got a cake. A tiny wee Deep 'n' Delicious cake (for $1.10!), but a cake nonetheless.

Then Katie announced that she needed some eggnog. To share with her father. I pointed out that the last time she had eggnog, she wrote her name on it and forbid her father from consuming any of it himself. This time would be different, she promised.

It turns out that I couldn't find any eggnog. I offered to get some hot chocolate instead. This way she can share with Bethie and Sarah (who refuse to drink eggnog). Katie agreed, but added "You can't have hot chocolate without marshmallows...". So I bought hot chocolate and marshmallows.

We headed to the check-out. As I waited in line, I was amazed that I was buying coffee, a cake, hot chocolate mix, and marshmallows when I had only come in for coffee. Wasn't that good of me? I sure thought so! Katie did not spend the time reflecting on what a wonderful mother I am. Instead, she spotted a cooler containing bottles of 7 UP.

Katie announced that she was dying of thirst and had to have some 7 UP. I told her that I would be more than happy to buy her some 7 UP...but she would have to return something that I was going to buy. I may have mentioned that I am not an ATM and I may have gone on a little bit about how she and her sisters have one goal in life: to ensure that their father and I die poor.

While Katie ignored me, she examined each of her treats. Which one could she possibly part with? The agony! She decided to leave it up to chance, and started with "Eeny, meeny, miney, moe...". Her last "moe" ended up on the marshmallows. Without missing a beat, she picked up my coffee and said, "You can return this, Mummy".

Through gritted teeth, I snarled "Not. The. Coffee. Katie".

After a very heated discussion, "we" decided that it would be best if I just bought the 7 UP and "stopped talking so much". So, I did. Because my five year old runs the show.

Monday, November 22

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Teacher?

My Parent-Teacher interview for the twins is on Wednesday. And I am terrified. The teacher, Miss N, is kind. She has a good heart. My daughters think she is wonderful. They also think she's smarter than I am. That's not one of her selling points though...

I tried to schedule the interview for a time when Dan could go with me. Because people like Dan. He's friendly, funny, and easy to please. I'm...not. I'm the kind of person who sits quietly by herself in the corner making snarky (and highly amusing!) comments in her head...except my comments often find an escape latch and come out of my mouth (without permission!). And the room gets quiet. And no one laughs. Except for me. Okay, I guess I'm the one who is laughing hysterically in the back of the room all by herself. That's me!

I really want to impress Miss N. I want her to think that I am clever. That my opinions are worth considering. That my children are just super and should have a special place in her heart. At least until June. But I've already made an ass of myself several times since school began, two months ago.

I figure I have thirty minutes to wow her. To change her opinion of me. To make her want to give my little girls all the praise and encouragement that they deserve. All this without embarrassing them...or myself!

Thursday, November 18

'Tis The Season To Send Cards

I love Christmas cards. I love sending them. I love receiving them. I am interested in how friends and family are doing. I am interested in your updates on your kids, or your last trip, or your hopes for the New Year. I especially love receiving family pictures. I treasure them, and I save them. Even the photos sent by acquaintances. Nothing warms my heart more than photos of happy families!

A lot of people have stopped sending Christmas cards. I don't know if they can't be bothered, or if they think no one really cares, or if I've simply been struck off the list (naw, that's not likely at all). I receive e-cards, and I appreciate  them. However, there's nothing as lovely as discovering in the mail something other than bills. A Christmas card, with photos, and a little note highlighting the best bits of the year. We are reminded that although we have busy lives and don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, we are still connected. We are in each other's thoughts. We wish one another a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the New Year. I think Christmas cards are worth the effort.

Each year, I carefully choose Christmas cards. Then I choose the pictures I want to order and then pick up and then insert inside the cards. And I think "Next year, I am going to order cards from one of those online places". You know, the ones that print the cards with your pictures already on it. I have done this for birthday invitations and simply LOVE it! But I never get around to it at Christmas time, and the opportunity slips away.

This year, Double the Giggles introduced me to Shutterfly. I checked out the Christmas cards and was amazed. The selection was incredible! So many different themes, which can be viewed based on colour, or the amount of pictures needed. I was in Little Gweny Heaven! So, thanks to the special offer extended to bloggers, this is the year that I am going to send out fancy cards to all my friends and family (or rather, to all of my friends and family who update their addresses!).

And if there is anyone who is still searching for a Christmas gift for me, let me direct you towards the calendars or the photo albums. They're fancy!

Wednesday, November 17

Toilet Tag

As a little girl, I loved recess. I used to jump rope, play hopscotch, sing little songs with my classmates, and play Freeze Tag. Ahhh, the good 'ol days....

My twinnies are in kindergarten. When the school year began, they loved recess. In fact, when we asked about their day at school, they would only mention the games they played while outside with their classmates. We would get blank stares when we asked, "But what did you learn today?".

Things started changing a couple of weeks ago. Bethie stopped playing with her classmates at recess. When I tried to find out why, she said that she didn't want to play with her class because they would play "inappropriate" games (yup, that's how my kids speak. Sigh). When pressed, she told me about Toilet Tag.

Here's how to play: One person is "It". This child tries to tag as many children as possible. "When a player is tagged, he/she must assume a toilet position (one knee on the ground and the other knee up, one arm straight out to the side).  The tagged player must remain frozen in this position until they are rescued by another player.  To be rescued, a player must sit on the knee of the frozen player, grab their straight arm and make a WHOOSH sound while pulling the arm down to simulate the flushing of a commode.  Once a player flushes the toilet of a frozen player, the frozen player is freed." (Mr. Gym).

I was horrified to learn that the children play this in the school yard. This is a disgusting and scatological game! I was proud of my daughter. She had decided that she didn't want to be used as a "toilet" and did not want children to pretend to urinate and defecate on her. At age 5, she stood up to the crowd. What a strong and proud daughter I have!

There were other problems for Bethie at school, so I wrote a note and asked to speak with the teacher. Yesterday, Miss N and I sat down and talked about the issues that Bethie faces in school. When we came to the games of Toilet Tag being played in the school yard, Miss N said "I think that may be my fault. I taught the children to play this in gym class".

I was, truly, speechless. I was shocked. Miss N is about my age. She's a mother. She's an experienced teacher. How is it that she and I have such vastly different views on the appropriateness of this game?

In my shock-induced silence, all I kept thinking was that this is a "Tribes School". This means that there is a super heavy focus on the "four agreements": Mutual Respect, Listening, Appreciation, and Participation. How can the school foster "mutual respect" when asking the children to pretend to be toilets?
We kinda glossed over the whole Toilet Tag because we moved onto matters that I thought to be more serious. But it haunted me. Am I being a prude? Am I so out-of-touch? Should I just keep my mouth shout?

I don't know what to do. I am at a loss. If any of you have any thoughts about Toilet Tag, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 16

The Princess, The Bride, and The Pumpkin Head

The other day, someone asked me what differences they should look for in the twins. I told them that Katie wears the tiara. All the time. She is a princess, you know.

Bethie isn't so flashy. She wears Sarah's tu tu on her head thereby transforming herself into the Bride...of Christ. I'm not kidding.

Sarah was jealous. She had no tiara and no longer had a tu tu. So Dan put a pumpkin on her head and cheered her up.

You're laughing, but these are the people I am relying on to fund my retirement. It's not looking good!

Monday, November 15

Finding Joy - In Curtains

Despite living here for four years, I have never put curtains up on the ground level of our home. Well, that's not entirely true. Once, Dan hung up some sheers for me in the bay window. The twins pulled them down. It wasn't difficult for the girls to do this. Dan had hung up the curtains using ... wait for it, ladies... thumbtacks!

The lack of curtains never bothered me. I like sitting inside and having an unobstructed view of my gardens. The outside became a part of the inside. I found this to be very relaxing. It brought me joy. What I did not enjoy was when people would walk by our house and wave at me. While I was inside. Having dinner.

I decided that the time had come, and that we needed some curtains for the sliding doors in my kitchen.

 Mum, who was absolutely ecstatic that I was joining the World of Grown Ups, was eager to come along and offer input. Mum is very good at decorating. She has an eye for these things. She has taste, and class, and preference for the finer things in life. Better still, she loves going shopping. I hate shopping.

Mum and I went to about 15 stores over the course of 2 days. In each one, she showed me a million curtains, highlighting accent colours and types of material and other things that I don't really understand. It thrilled her (not really) when I would say things like, "That one looks like a dead fish" or "I'm not THAT old!". It became clear that Mum and I had drastically different ideas about what would look good.

I had given up hope of finding what I really wanted. I had already found a perfectly acceptable substitute. Something that I could live with. Something that would give us some privacy. Although the curtains were nice, they lacked ... joy.

In the last store, I found "joy". Mum was speechless (probably overcome by my excellent taste). We bought the curtains, took them home, and hung them up.

Ta da!


And the children like the curtains, too. They like peeking through the curtains.

And "hiding" behind them.

Oh. That's the only fault. They aren't quite long enough! But they don't have to be perfect to be wonderful. And I love them.

Wednesday, November 10

The Bribe

My kids have worn me down. They have zapped any resourcefulness and creativity from me. After 5 years, I have thrown my hands up and begged for mercy. And that didn't work.

So, I've started to bribe my children.

I realised how effective it was last night. Bethie announced that a little boy in her class would like her to buy some toy (it has a weird name, I don't know what it is, you'll have to ask Dan) so that they can play together at recess. I said to her, "Did you tell him that you don't have a job? Either get a job so you can buy the toy, or you'll have to go without". That went over well (not really). Apparently, 5 year olds are not "allowed" to have jobs. With all the sympathy I could muster, I said "Bad luck, kiddo". All that got me was some tears and yelling.

The next request from the twins was for $2 - each! They had some bizarre story about the school raising funds for the Grade 6 field trip and selling popcorn. I didn't really pay attention ... until I was asked to hand over money. Sigh. I am soooo sick of handing over money. So, I gave my list of demands: they had to have a bath and get into bed as fast as their little legs could take them. If they did this, I would "pay" them each $2. If I heard any whining or resistance of any kind, the Coffee Fairy would transform the coins into coffee for me (there's a new Tim Horton's near my house and it's costing the Coffee Fairy a small fortune!).

All three girls raced up the stairs and hopped into the bath. They behaved beautifully, and I handed over my coffee money. Totally worth it!

This morning, the twinnies were waiting for the bus. Bethie mentioned for the 100th time that she would like a poppy. Remembering last night, I told her that if she and Katie were super good after daycare, their father would buy them each a poppy. They were thrilled! As they got on the bus, they told another little girl, "After school, Daddy is going to buy us a puppy!".


As the bus door started closing, I shouted "A POPPY! NOT A PUPPY! A POPPY!". They waved at me and blew kisses as the bus pulled away.


I said a little prayer, "Please, let the twinnies be really, really bad after daycare so I don't have to buy a PUPPY!". After Dan breaks the news to them, I am quite confident that they will, in fact, be really bad!

Friday, November 5

Attack of the Lint

Our change table is in our laundry room, off of our kitchen. It's a handy location. I never have to run up and down stairs to change a diaper. Or to change the children's clothes. Despite the fact that each child has a dresser in their bedroom, no clothes are actually kept there. All of the children's clothes are kept on the change table. For my convenience.

This morning, I had taken Sarah into the laundry room to get her dressed. She noticed that on top of the dryer was a rectangular clump of dark blue/blacky lint. She had no idea what it was (because I am such a good housekeeper that my child, in her 2 1/2 years, has never seen lint), and she mistook it for "poop".

I giggled and informed the child that I, typically, prefer not to leave poop on the dryer. I picked it up and said, "It's lint. Here, look!". Sarah went ballistic and backed away from me. I said, "It's soft, like a Fluffy (what we call Katie's cotton balls)" and then I tickled my cheek. Sarah was horrified!

I thought if Sarah could just touch the lint, she would understand. This is a "Teaching Moment", or whatever they're called. But the closer I inched towards her, the further she would move backwards.

Then, I got annoyed. I just wanted her to feel the lint. I don't know why. I thought that she might like it. But she refused!

So, naturally, I make a quick dive towards Sarah, caught her, and started rubbing the lint on her belly...kinda tickling her. Sarah responded by screaming and running as fast as her little legs could take her away from me. Because she thought I was trying to smush poop all over her body! But I wasn't! It was just lint. I chased after her. Waving the lint in front of me. Making serious attempts to catch her. While shouting, "IT'S NOT POOP!".

The twins, not having witness the lead up, only saw Sarah shooting past them while crying, and me chasing her with the "poop". Bethie, not in the least bit fazed and not even looking away from the TV (!), said, "Why are you chasing the baby with poop?"

I stopped. Why was I chasing the child with what she believed to be poop? I don't know why I was doing it. Things just kinda went badly. But I said to Bethie, "Because, with the school bus being only minutes away from arriving, and no one being anywhere near ready-to-go, I guess I thought I would have a little fun". Bethie response? "Oh". In Bethie's five year old brain, she thought that it was plausible that I would chase the baby with poop for my own amusement. Really, kid?!

Wanna know how I responded? I went up to Bethie and tickled her with the lint/poop. Turns out that I do antagonize children for my amusement. And, boy, was it fun!

Thursday, November 4

True Love

Katie stayed home from school today as she was quite ill. Actually, I have a kind of embarrassing story about that (who is shocked?).

I had to call the school to advise them that Katie would be staying home because she was sick. However, once I had the secretary on the phone, I couldn't remember which twin it was that was home sick. I looked over at my little sicko...and I couldn't tell who I had in front of me! I panicked because I didn't want to sound like some dippy  mother. Also, I do go on a bit that, despite being identical twins, they don't look "identical" to me. In the end, I had to ask the secretary which child she had at school! Yup, embarrassing. I blame it on exhaustion.

Anyway, while at school, Bethie coloured a picture of a squirrel. Then, she coloured one for Katie. Isn't that sweet? But it gets better!

Bethie got off the school bus, and raced inside. She shouted, "Katie! I have something for you!". In her rain soaked boots, she ran across the living room floor and presented Katie with the picture of the squirrel. Katie was delighted! Bethie said to her, "It was raining, so your picture got a little bit wet. Mine got a lot wet. Know why yours was only a little bit wet? Because a sick baby is more important!".

Bethie had put Katie before herself because Katie was sick. She understood that when people are sick, we go out of our way to please and to accommodate them. And she did this on her own accord.

Another great bit? Katie had spent a long time today creating a very colourful fan for Bethie so she would have a surprise when she got home!

My daughters may have their faults, but their compassion is endless. And that warms my heart and makes me proud.

Update: I have learned that the compassion doesn't extend beyond the three sisters. I had a coughing fit. Katie ran into the kitchen, where I was, and yelled at me "Don't throw up on my picture!". Gasping for air, I made my way to the washroom to get some water. Katie then shouted, "NO! I have to use the bathroom BEFORE you throw up!". Thanks for the concern, kiddo!

Wednesday, November 3

She Who Laughs Last...

When Dan and I decided to have children, we realised that there would be a lot of sacrifices. Sleep, vacations, our savings account, natural hair colour. Little things that we loved we would have to do without.

We understood that we would have to baby-proof our home in order to protect the children and our personal belongings. We would have to be careful about leaving things lying around. Little fingers do big damage.

And so, I will accept full responsibility for the library book that Sarah coloured. Not just a little scribble, but rainbows on every page. I shouldn't have left it on the shelf out of her reach. It was just too tempting a challenge. But I am sure that it will please and delight the next person who reads "Forty Ways To Look At Winston Churchill". Ha! Now, there's Forty-One ways to look at Winston Churchill!

But I will not accept responsibility for the children colouring the couch. Because, really, what on Earth would possess them to colour my couch? I guess it was the same nasty instinct that made them colour the living room table. And the living room floor. And the bedroom door. And the kitchen cabinets (a little jack-o-lantern sketch for Halloween!).

I know, I know, these things happen. You can't expect the children to be perfect all the time. Some things are going to get bumped and bruised. I accept that.

What I don't accept is how Dan's much adored, flat screen TV, given to us as a gift, and is 4 feet off the ground somehow, "accidentally", got crayon on it! When I asked the three blank-faced children how the orange crayon got all over Daddy's TV, they seemed confused. They looked at the ceiling, and then at the door, and said "I don't see any orange crayon". To which I sweetly replied, "LOOK AT THE TV!". When further pressed, I was informed it was "an accident".

Right. Someone accidentally got a stool from the other room, and carried it all the way to the living room. Then, that child accidentally climbed that stool. Then, she realised that she accidentally forgot her crayon, climbed down the stool, found a crayon, climbed back up the stool, and accidentally coloured the TV because she thought it was a colouring book.

I totally buy that.

So tonight, I am going to "accidentally" think the clock reads 7pm (bedtime) when it's actually 6pm. That's right, my babies, check and mate.

Tuesday, November 2

Goodbye, Brain

I used to be smart. Honestly! I used to be a lot of things. Then I had children, and everything changed. However, I miss being smart.

I try to keep up with current events. For instance, I check TMZ everyday! Kidding. Well, no, I guess I'm not, but I check out newspapers, too, and I have Anderson Cooper tweeting me ALL THE TIME! And I read. A lot. I just finished "A Thousand Sisters" by Lisa Shannon (you should read it, too!).

So, maybe I'm not as clever as I used to be, but I am trying. I, now, realize that all my efforts are in vain. Why? Because regardless of how many books I read, or how well versed I am in world politics, my children think I'm stupid. Because I have demonstrated this over and over again.

Here's the latest:

On Sunday, I was very busy (okay, I was writing snarky comments to my brother on Facebook...and I was on a roll!) and not really paying attention to the children. Sarah came up to me and asked for some popcorn. If I hadn't been so engrossed in my own humorous online musings, I would have suggested something else. But I took 2.75 seconds and filled a  Tinkerbell bowl up with popcorn for the baby.

After a moment or so, she requested a spoon. Okay, whatever. I handed the child a spoon. I went back to Facebook, reading aloud to Dan all my witty comments that I knew would irritate my brother.

Again, Sarah interrupted me. AHHHHH! Can't she see that I am busy? Now she wanted milk on her popcorn (kinda like cereal). Dan told me that I was not to put milk on her popcorn. Umm...seems to me that Dan has done worse than this to accommodate this child (I am not going to publicly state what the baby has demanded of Dan and what he has done to please her...you know what I'm talking about Dan!... but if everyone else must  know, email me). So, I got the milk and poured it over the bowl of popcorn.

To tell you the truth, I was a little bit pleased. I was pleased because it annoyed Dan. I was pleased because my baby knows what she wants and demands it. And I was pleased that Sarah was finally happy and I could return to Facebook and not be interrupted again.

Thirty seconds go by, and Sarah starts screaming for me. I shout back, "Are you kidding me, kid? There are TWO adults here. Shout for your father!". No, no. Daddy would not do because Daddy is not an idiot, according to my 2 year old. She shouted at me, "I said Corn Pops, NOT popcorn!!!".


Sarah was ticked off! It was never her intention to have a bowl of milk-drenched popcorn. She simply wanted a bowl of cereal, and her mother responded to her requested by morphing into some sort of batty bonehead.

To add insult to injury, I was laughing hysterically while scooping the milk-soaked popcorn out of the bowl and replacing it with Corn Pops. Sarah was not not amused. But we all know that this was not her first encounter with her befuddled mother. And it surely won't be her last. Because I stopped being smart the day the children were born!

Monday, November 1

Bonding Through Pumpkin Carving

Dan bought three pumpkins, one for each girl. And the girls were happy with this until, one morning, they realised that Emilie had FIVE pumpkins on her front steps. Bethie was green with envy. She absolutely loves pumpkins. No worries, Dan and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch. They got to pick one more pumpkin each. Now, we had six pumpkins. Everyone was happy.

Yesterday, Dan decided to bond with the girls and carve the pumpkins. I wanted nothing to do with that mess. This was his big chance to be Super Dad. I thought it was a bit ambitious, but who am I to judge. I am simply the photographer.

Dan, in his infinite wisdom (yeah, not so much), decided to carve one pumpkin at a time. I would have given each girl their own pumpkin to "gut", but I guess the "Fight It Out And Splatter Each Other With Pumpkin Guts" way will work, too. And it did...for a while.

The thing is, carving six pumpkins takes a long time...like a couple of hours. My children have the attention span of maybe 7.5 minutes, if we're lucky. This bonding exercise was more like Dan carving the pumpkins...

...while the kidlings lazed around watching Dora.

Dan, realising that he had been ditched by the children, asked me to help. Sadly, I had to decline. I didn't have an excuse, other than I didn't want to get dirty.

Anyway, Dan did a fine job on all six pumpkins.

You notice that there are only five pumpkins pictured. One of the candles blew out, and I couldn't be bothered to light it again. Turns out there is very little about pumpkins that interests me!