Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin

I grew up in a nearly symmetrical family: big brother & big sister; my twin brother and me in the middle; followed shortly by little sister & little brother. The biggest age difference was the six years between my older sister Peggy and "us four little kids." So, as you can imagine, Peg got landed with a lot of babysitting. Now, I could be wrong about this, but she nearly always seemed to love it!

She took us shopping and to the movies, helped us bake cookies and plan parties, played Peter Pan with us and let us jump on the bed, wrote out treasure - hunt clues for us and took us for walks past the haunted house in our grandparents' neighborhood. Not to mention teaching us all the best old childhood songs like "Pony Boy" and "On the Good Ship Lollipop," and playing "Heart and Soul" duets on the piano with us whenever we wanted.

She also had a unique punishment for those times when we were not getting along nicely. The guilty culprits were required to sit on the floor with crossed legs, look each other in the eye, and say, "Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin." We might resist the first time through, but before long our begrudging smirks gave way to giggles and laughing fits: Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin!

I don't know where Peg came up with this magic formula for making kids behave -- I've never read about it in any book or seen it in a movie or known of any other family who subscribed to the "Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin" methodology. But it charmed us every time and remains one of my best childhood memories ever! Thanks Peg!

Happy Birthday to my big sister Peg -- always there for me!

1 comment:

  1. My pleasure! And I really did enjoy spending time with you 4 little kids. Also, the trick came from Daddy who used to make me say "Cabbage, cabbage, cabbage." I think I probably just made it seasonal once and it stuck.