Yesterday was October 1st, and I thought perhaps we'd squeak by without the kids noticing. You see, typically we decorate the house for Halloween around October 1st (at the crack of dawn), and the Halloween haunted house remains until November 1st, by which time I've had enough of rubber rats, fake spiders (we have plenty of real ones in the house already), and pumpkins rotting on the porch due to the inclement weather which begins today and will not cease until July 5th.
But I underestimated my children. They are an observant lot. Even our youngest, who is usually absorbed in his own world (or waxing poetic on the atrocities of others impinging on his world), noticed the pumpkins dotting the landscape on our way home from school yesterday.
"I want a pumpkin," he started.
"First we have a snack, then we can decide about pumpkins," says the sensible mom (that's me).
He turns headlight eyes upon me, brings his massive-for-a-five-year-old hands together in a pleading grasp and asks, "Please can we go buy a pumpkin?"
We've barely entered when he announces his intention to his thirteen year-old sister. She turns her Bambi gaze upon me too with a dramatically quivering lower lip, "I want a pumpkin, too."
OK, I can either be a grouch, or turn this into a grand outing.
We drag our jumbo-sized "Little Red Wagon" to the store and come home with four pumpkins, a plastic container of pumpkin-shaped fruit jellies mysteriously tasting of orange, and a Diet Coke for me, literally "off the wagon" in my soda pop addiction.
The Halloween season has started, and the kids are happy.