Every year, my children ask if we can carve a jack-o-lantern (or a "punk-o-lantern", as the four-year-old calls it).

And every year, I say "Yes, but I'm not cleaning out the pumpkin guts–you have to do it yourselves."

And every year, they say "Sure thing, mom!"

And every year, I open up the top of the pumpkin, they get a good look at the guts, and then they run for the hills.

And every year, I am left to finish the job, because I paid $3.98 for that pumpkin and I should be a good steward. (Also, because I am a pushover.)

But not this year–for real. When the kids asked for a punk-o-lantern last week, I told them yes, but then I gave  an Oscar-worthy speech about how they are growing and maturing and they should be able to handle pumpkin guts, and how the fact that God gave me three strapping sons is surely a sign that He never intends for me to kill another bug, move another piece of furniture, or clean out another pumpkin for as long as I live, The End.

They agreed, and when I finished the carving, they took a deep, courageous breath and looked into the bowels of the pumpkin.

They gave me a look.

I gave them A Look.

And in a moment of creative, problem-solving energy, they decided to minimize their contact with the guts by involving those guts in the final design. They took spoons and pulled the innards out through the mouth, leaving them in a small pile. Internet, meet the end result: Jerry the Barfing Pumpkin.

The fact that they are less grossed-out by barf than by pumpkin innards just goes to show how much I still have to learn.

70 thoughts on “Blech.

  1. deanna says:

    oh my goodness that is stinkin’ hilarious!!! I totally understand. I tell my kids the same thing every year and every year I end up doing it (though hubby does his fair share I admit, when he is done with his own masterpiece of course).
    I don’t mind it too much though and I do want those precious seeds of course, so I have to get ’em if I want ’em.
    Aren’t boys fun! LOL

  2. Amy Hannon says:

    Having a less than stellar day, I should’ve known I could count on your for a real-life chuckle. This is fantastic, and I can’t wait to show MY boys. They’ll love it as much as I do. Love ya, friend.

  3. Colleen says:

    We’ve made a barfing jack o’lantern for years….they are my absolute favourite to make.
    The only drawback is cleaning up all the rotting, slimy innards the day after Halloween.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that is hilarious. We have the same situation, though my kid really do try (and I have girls, go figure). In the end, though, I’m still the one making the final scrape.
    I highly doubt we will ever have a barfing pumpkin, though. That’s some real creativity. Or something. *grin*

  5. Megan says:

    Oh, that is hilarious. We have the same situation, though my kid really do try (and I have girls, go figure). In the end, though, I’m still the one making the final scrape.
    I highly doubt we will ever have a barfing pumpkin, though. That’s some real creativity. Or something. *grin*

  6. Janmary, N Ireland says:

    Hilarious – shows some great creative thinking!
    Be glad you actually HAVE pumpkins. Here in Ireland, we used to have to carve out turnips! – imagine carving out a large solid brick! – many a spoon of my mother’s was bent in the pursuit of a lantern for Halloween.
    When I first bought a pumpkin for my kids I could not believe how easy it was to scoop out.

  7. Lauren says:

    This is totally off topic, but I was reading this month’s Real Simple and YOU were mentioned! It was in the section about what you can put in your dishwasher, specifically the part about whether or not you should put vacuum attachments in the dishwasher.

  8. mizbear says:

    Wow…$3.98 for a Halloween pumpkin. I saw them in our local fruit and veg shop last night. *From* $15!! A tiny puny little pumpkin was $15…want abigger one and you’ll be forking out big bucks.
    Love the Barfing Pumpkin though. Kids think differently from adults and for that we can be very grateful.

  9. Jenn P. says:

    There’s a house in my neighborhood that does the barfing pumpkin every year, leaving a couple of empty beer cans nearby. Which should tell you a few things about my neighborhood. 🙂

  10. Lee-Ann says:

    funny! there is an email going around with three pumpkins surrounded by empty boose bottles, and they look like the are getting over a bender, one looks something like this one! Sooo funny!

  11. Trisha says:

    Reading your posts about your boys gives me glimpses into my not to distant future. May I have your grace and “eye” because apparently my life is never going to be the same. After growing up in the land o’women(my poor dad), this crash course into boydom has been quite a ride! Glad to say I’m still loving it:)

  12. Anne says:

    This is my first time here…and that picture absolutely cracked me up. We are going to buy pumpkins tomorrow…so you might just have a copycat in Mississippi!

  13. Amy says:

    I’m a mom to three little boys and I can just imagine their glee at seeing this. Very funny pic, might have to set as my desktop background. Ha!

  14. Sherry says:

    I feel the same way about pumpkin innards. Yucky and gross.
    We have two pumpkins from our garden this year that both weigh 50 lbs,. You can see their pics on my blog.

  15. Julie Stiles Mills says:

    Very cute – and we’ve done it before. Just so you know, that “barf” is going to get disgusting VERY quickly. Blech is right. You should quickly designate pumpkin barf cleanup as a kid job before they figure it out.
    I like PAINTING pumpkins better.
    Cajun seasoning is great on the roasted pumpkin seeds, and we make “jack-O-bread” with it too!

  16. Cousin Matt says:

    A couple of years ago my friends did a similar thing with multiple pumpkins, and ringed them with beer bottles. The effect, obviously, was on a slightly lss mature level than your sons.

  17. Kari says:

    Love it! I am thinking we are going with the Pumpkin Head kit. You don’t have to clean out the pumpkin at all, no cutting, easy for two little kiddos to do. It’s a bucket of parts that look like Mr. Potato Head parts. You pick what you want, poke them into the pumpkin, voila, mess free pumpkin carving.

  18. rachel says:

    i don’t have kids…but i teach 4th grade and they would LOVE this! my dad always had to clean out our pumpkins because i am allergic to pumpkin guts. he is too, but he would risk it to make us happy!

  19. Mary Larson says:

    I saw your pumpkin from a link on my daughter’s blog (mustard seeds) I am the grammy. I loved your story! Having had 3 girls my husband has almost always cleaned out ‘the pumpkin guts’ but I love the creativeness of boys!

  20. Mama Pea says:

    Kind of am absolutely in love with your blog. I make my husband gut the bad boys, the girls and I draw and I have fun with the knife. But the puking pumpkin just kind of cuts out the middle man!

  21. Jana Crawford says:

    This is sooo funny! I hate doing it too, and my husband always tries to pass it off to me! Not this year! I put my foot down and he scraped the insides and then my 3 yr old had a blast digging the guts out with tongs! But I did have to touch the slime to get all my precious seeds out….added some olive oil and salt and baked them – so yummy – they were gone in 2 days!

  22. Sarah says:

    love it!

  23. TRS says:

    Funny – I don’t remember that even being negotiable when we were kids.
    Mom did do the scraping until we were capable.
    We cut a hole in top, scrape out the guts and THEN carve.
    I say next year… do it my mom’s way… and tell them there will be no face carving until the guts are scraped out. I bet that’ll get results!
    Funny – as an adult, when I dig in for pumpkin guts I get hives. No really I do. Maybe that should be your back up ploy for next year!

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