Each spring, Papa/Grandpa/Daba asks for the current grandchild count – and then he carefully calculates. “Let’s see, one plant will yield an average of three pumpkins so therefore I need a total of seven plants for at least one pumpkin per baby.”
Pumpkin math is very important.
And then he plants He calculates the planting day to maximize the number of babies who will be available to assist with the pumpkin front-end efforts. One year, two Babies were living on site while Daddy waited for Army orders, so there was amazing help that year. So many life lessons can be shared during the plant: plant deep, water often, pay attention.
Babies become very interested when the first blossoms morph into small globes of future pumpkinness. Green at first, there is only speculation as to potential size and shape. However, when they reach a certain size, and start showing their orange character, Babies begin to manifest certain calculating behaviors.
The magic markers come out and initials appear on the pumpkins – marks of ownership. It is risky, though, to mark too early as another pumpkin may turn out to be more colorful, shapely or so weird that it becomes highly desirable.
Pumpkins often go home in the back of the Baby vehicles. But sometimes, the harvest AND the carving are completed on site.
And that is where fun and education happen. Older babies get safety lessons with sharp objects. And, if the sharp object tests are passed, sculpting lessons are offered. Finished products are named and displayed. Entire pumpkin families may appear with appropriate accessories.
And then there are requisite lessons on mold growth.
Pumpkin memories for pumpkin babies…followed by pumpkin cookies.