Addie is a penguin.
Let me explain: My daughter was named after the Adelie penguins of Antarctica, themselves named after the wife of the French explorer who discovered the region, and its penguins, in the 1880s.
I read an article in the New Yorker about this dying breed long before she was conceived and thought Adelie would be such a perfect name for a second girl, were I to have one. (And I secretly hoped I would have one, because I had her name; boy names never came so easy.)
Enter Addie, as we call her for short, and she looked like a penguin – the way all babies are more creature than human-creature in the beginning with their snorts and wheezes, misshapenness, spots and ooze.
Today though she is a year old, this baby of mine, biggering by the second. And she is rounding out from penguin to pumpkin.
It’s inevitable that with a birth date so close to Halloween, she was bound to be thematic. Her birthdays – when she starts having one with friends, will invariably be costume-inclined. For now, this weekend, it was all about the pumpkins.
She looks like a pumpkin, with those giant cheeks, and that almost-orangey blonde-brown hair, and just the overall rotundness of her being. She’s the rare one-year-old with no interest in crawling because she’s so invested in sliding around on her butt; a good-natured baby whose only vice is sucking on her stuffed lamb’s foot.
With these two interests (scooting, sucking lamb feet), her birthday was more for the adults in attendance (three friends) than for her. I’m not a big believer in first-year-birthday hoopla for a kid who won’t remember anyway, so we enjoyed a haphazard holiday of all-things-pumpkin more on her behalf than for her pleasure.
We went to to procure an assortment of pumpkins for carving. All proceeds go to charity at this annual event. There were many pumpkins to choose from, from little-smooth to big-knobby, misshapen, creature-like, green, white, other-gourdly. There was a plastic house and slide for the kids, baked goods (cookies, pumpkin bars), and the simple but beautiful 1800s church open for viewing with its prized Bolton-made stain glass.
We got back to our backyard, carved our pumpkins, drank our pumpkin beer. Addie slept through it all with her lamb foot in mouth, waking up just in time to eat a fresh-baked pumpkin cookie. How far we've come from penguin to this.
In need of a bigger pumpkin fix? Here are some pumpkin-infused treats from around town:
offers three pumpkin ales – from the Southern Tier Pumpking (9.0%) at $7, Greenport Leaf Pile (6.3%) for $6, and Smuttynose (6.1%) for $6 – and might I recommend the sugar/cinnamon rim.
has pumpkin spice cheesecake at $3.75 slice, pumpkin scones for $3, and the occasional pumpkin soup for $4.50.
Order anything from the menu at – like risotto-stuffed winter squash ($17) or roasted butternut squash soup with a dollop of maple cream ($6) – and your food comes with free pumpkin bean dip and a basket of warm bread.
Of course you can top this off with pumpkin ice cream from just about anywhere. There's no shortage of pumpkin at our many .