Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Lazy Parent's Guide to Halloween Decorating

Most people are more clever than I am. Especially when it comes to holiday decorating. I don't have a knack for it, and I've made my peace with that fact. Currently all of the Halloween decorations adorning our walls are pumpkin-related. They were also all made by Una. At preschool. I love abdicating most of my kid crafting responsibilities to preschool. I just don't have the energy for initiating craft time most days.
Today, however, the clock was ticking and something had to be done about the absence of a pumpkin on our porch. I decided a couple of years ago that I didn't want to go the pumpkin carving route with our kids. I don't particularly enjoy the process (time consuming, messy, smelly) and I didn't see how it could be much fun for my kids when they are relegated to observing the entire process due to their lack of knife handling skills. So for the past couple of years we've done a lazy version of pumpkin decorating and have let Una paint her pumpkin instead. It's the easiest activity and I highly recommend it to all. Put down some newspaper and get out some paint and brushes. The bib is optional (we don't have any smocks so I thought this would be a good substitute. I was wrong. The bottom half of her shirt is now splattered with purple paint), but the 80's-style sweatband with the NBA logo is a must. Obviously. When I asked her why she was wearing it, she remarked "I just like the picture. What's it a picture of, mom? Someone holding something. I guess a ball or a bubble." That would be a man dribbling a basketball, but holding a bubble is a good guess.
This year she was so into the pumpkin painting. I can't emphasize enough how much she loved it. Here are some direct quotes gathered during the 75 minutes she spent painting her pumpkin (I kid you not, she was occupied for over an hour with this activity).

What an artist! (I must have heard this line at least a dozen times)
I just love artists.
I'm a beautiful artist.
I'm such an artist. Uh-huh. I am.
I just love this pumpkin so much.
Won't it be beautiful?
It will be beautiful with colors all around it.
I want everyone in the world to see it.

She then started a discussion about Santa Claus that continued for several minutes. I don't know about you, but pumpkin painting on the eve of Halloween always gets me thinking about Santa.

I spoke to a good friend of mine on the phone last night and told her about my blog. In doing so, I specifically said it wasn't entirely about my kids. However, I've been writing an awful lot about them lately. I think it's because Halloween is coming up and that's such a kid-centric holiday. For those of you who are more interested in reading about me (honestly, who could blame you?), I will be returning to more Mary Poppins-centric posts after Halloween.

Spending Status: yesterday I went to the grocery store and only spent money on groceries. I then went to the gas station and filled up my car with gas. I should disclose that I bought a sandwich for dinner (I was out by myself for the afternoon--thank you Bert--and I had to grab something to eat before going to teach a night class), but I used a gift card that I have had for a while so I kept my spending to a minimum. So far in my attempt to keep the compact I've been avoiding shopping trips. That strategy has been working well, but I fear the day I have to make a run to Target for some essentials. I'm hoping that day doesn't arrive soon.


Dodge Party said...

I absolutely love the sweatband! LOL. She is so funny. I'm glad that you were finally able to paint your pumpkin. Santa at Halloween huh? Maybe it has something to do with all of the Christmas junk already out at all the stores. Gotta love the shopping industry. Good luck at Target. I can never walk out of there with just what I went in there with.

Mary Poppins said...

dodge party--maybe she'll let you borrow the sweatband. if you're lucky.

klortz said...

I thought of you today while at Target. You know we have always been frugal but I've been spending more lately than I'd like to admit. After your frugality post I have been inspired to reign in. Unfortunately, today was MY trip to Target. I stuck to the essentials but, honestly, D NEEDS a belt. Seriously, the child has no fat on her body and I am tired of watching her crack waddle around all day. That's ok, right?

Mary Poppins said...

klortz--yes. i'm with you. a belt for D is a necessity. I'll be breaking down shortly and buying some dress shoes for Duet. She needs some. i can't let her go barefoot. i'm hoping to find them at a second-hand store first, though. this is a gray area. i've been thinking about it and i've decided that althought it's not consumable, but it's a clothing item that she needs. it's not like she has 5 other pairs of shoes.