This is how pumpkin-carving works in our house:
First, I give the kids a list of web sites where they might find some interesting pumpkin designs.
I say no, I’m not going to spend hours on each pumpkin.
They come back with a list of finalists.
I tell them to pick the simplest two from that list.
Then we end up with some variation of last year’s designs: a cat and a bat. They scoop, I carve, and as long as they recognise that I have my limitations, then we’re all happy.
The kids don’t have too many demands for this day (or any other special occasion, for that matter), so we get along just fine. For example, we’ve gotten away for nine years with homemade Halloween costumes of some sort, and no whining, crying, or demanding. This was the first year that we bought an off-the-rack costume for either of them. Even these storebought items weren’t bought because of whining or begging; they simply saw some things they liked, and I said that these would be all right for this year, but to not expect something storebought every year. They agreed.
So this year, the Boy is a Bumblebee Transformer, complete with full bodysuit and mask. The Girl is going halfway, with storebought wings and headpiece but a homemade tulle skirt, as an Evil Fairy. They made good use of their costumes not only for today, but no doubt will also use them for many dress-up days to come.
They demanded very little, but got a lot out of the day.