In a move that caught me so off-guard I had to pick my bottom jaw up off of the ground, Luz and James shrieked with excitement and begged for a chance to sit on Pumpkinhead's lap for a picture while we were at the mall after their dentist appointment this afternoon. There was just so much that was wrong with the request - James has screamed every year we have put him on Santa's lap, he hated the guy dressed up as the Easter bunny standing outside of church, he barely cracked a smile at the characters in Disney World, he only somewhat tolerates Gumbo and only from a distance and, with much urging, he lightly hugged Clifford last weekend. But it was not just the past behavior, this Pumpkinhead character is frightening and Luz and James have been a bit jumpy with the start of the Halloween season and all this talk of ghosts and goblins.
No matter, it required no pumping up, no steeling of wills, no waiting in lines (there are not too many kids at Lakeside Mall on Wednesday at 1:15, and even fewer who care to sit on Pumpkinhead's lap), no coaxing for smiles....they just saw something they agreed looked like total awesomeness and went for it. It was worth the $24.99 for the memories and the hope that, just maybe, the reaction to Santa might be a bit more enthusiastic this year: