"I hate the spiders! Everyone puts up spiders! But pumpkins are good."
"Yeah. I want my mom to get one of those big inflatable pumpkins."
"Cool. You should get an inflatable black cat, too."
"Mummy, could we -- ?"
"Never," said the driver of the loaded minivan with seraphic calm.
Once upon a time, she had hemmed and hawed and evaded these annual questions. Personally, she didn't much like...