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BOTD 10/31/15 "Roast Pumpkin?" A mahoover Halloween Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Roast Pumpkin?
A mahoover Halloween Production

You took a half day off from work today to go to the pumpkin patch with your three sons, Jake (5), Paul (10), and Adam (11).  You supervised while they worked together to carve the three pumpkins.

Jake - 5, Adam - 11, and Paul - 10
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After they finished carving the pumpkins, they wanted to light them, so you went to get the votive candles you use in the pumpkins.  When you get to the cupboard, you discover you are out of votive candles.  You always use votive candles in glass holders for safety reasons.  The boys are disappointed, but you promise to pick up some candles on your way home from work tomorrow.

You leave the boys to admire the pumpkins and play outside while you deal with some other house chores.  Later, when you go to get the boys for dinner, you discover them clustered around the lit pumpkins.  When you ask the boys what is going on, Adam says that they found some candles in a drawer in the dinning room and used them.  The boys used the pumpkin carving tools to cut down to size some tapered candles that are used as part of centerpieces on the dinning room table.

The boys have broken three standing rules, two of them safety related.  The first is going into the dinning room drawers and using the candles without asking.  The second is using the sharp tools without adult supervision.  And the third is playing with fire without adult supervision.

What happens next?


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Pi Beta


Deputy
I sympathise with their excitement but they have broken the rules - or, I suspect, the older two have broken the rules, taking Jake along with them. Though he may have been the most eager to see the pumpkins lit, I'm not going to be punishing him unless I find out that it was he who raided the drawers for the candles.

The older two will get a spanking, though, with no harm done apart from the destruction of my expensive candles (?!), it won't be more than a few each with my hand.

AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with Pi. Playing with matches/candles (or using them properly without adult supervision) is the major rule here for me. By 11, I was cooking dinner for my parents unsupervised. Besides, for the past 20 years, I have used pumpkin carving tools that are sharp to pumpkins, but quite safe even for 5 year olds.

db105


Trailboss
Safety rules broken equals spankings for the two eldest. The little one is too young to be more than a follower here.

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John Boy


Sherrif
ditto they get small spankings even though a lot of safety rules were broken.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm not going to spank them, as I really think 10 and 11 is old enough to light a candle. I can't imagine my parents referring to lighting a candle at that age as 'playing with fire', and I'd hope to raise my own kids to handle a match before they reach the age of 21. Same thing goes for the pumpkin carving tools. The loss of the tapers just isn't that big a deal. If I'm concerned about actual candles, I should have bought LED candles or some other form of battery-operated light: far safer and no mess.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
I might apply a couple of stingoors to the older boys, but am not going to ruin Halloween for them as a result of something I consider to be pretty minor.

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Jack


Admin
I'm really torn on this one, because the boys did break the rules, but I also agree with Kat that this isn't really playing with fire, nor especially unsafe. Considering the size of centerpiece candles, cutting those was probably more dangerous than lighting them (oh, just looked back and saw these are tapered, not center centerpiece, so even that wasn't so dangerous).

I think Jake will get a reminder that he is NOT to use matches or lighters, and that doing so will be big trouble. I'll then send him to play. Adam and Paul are probably going to get a quick lecture on following rules (staying out of those drawers) and following instructions (I'll pick up candles tomorrow), but I don't see it requiring more than a couple of swats.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
Mild handspanks for the older two to remind them about safety rules. May be a stinger for the little onebut even that I'm not sure I hear Kats point about ten and 11 year olds and matches but the rules were there at this point and they DID break them. May be we can negotiate new ones for next time

mahoover


Cowboy
Like Jack, I am going to give Jake a reminder about matches, lighters and sharp objects, then send him on to play.

The other two are in a bit more trouble. In addition to the standing rules violations, I see this as disobedience. I told them that we would have to wait to light the pumpkins until I could get the right kind of candles. The tapered candles they cut down are only 3/4 to an inch in diameter, and are not very stable in the pumpkin. So I will talk to them about why using those candles isn't safe. They will get a normal hand spanking and have their allowance docked some to replace the candles they used.

I was late in getting this to David, so in my mind I saw this happening several days before Halloween. If it had been the day before or the day of Halloween, I would probably have reacted differently and taken the boys with me to get the candles then. So if others were seeing this happening when it was posted, I can see how that can make a difference.

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