Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween: A Postmortem

Superman and the strawberry had a fine time. They each got parades and parties at their respective schools, and then came back here and dragged me halfway around the neighborhood, and then had pumpkin macaroni and cheese for dinner (sounds odd but is good), and eventually we were able to get them to bed.

I took a half-day from work to catch kiddo's parade and to handle trick or treat duties. (There was no way I could make both parades unless I skipped work altogether, but skipping work altogether seemed like a bit much. DH and MIL attended kiddette's parade.) I'm always kind of fascinated by what the neighborhood is like during the day, when I'm not there. It's like a glimpse into the stay-at-home moms' world. Although actually there were quite a few dads at the parade too; either they all work two minutes away from the school, or they skipped work.

At any rate there was a crowd of adults lining either side of the sidewalk outside the school along with MIL and me, and then "Monster Mash" blasted out from the speakers and out came the kids. ("Monster Mash" continued to repeat, scratchily, for the entire parade. If there's one song you shouldn't listen to 10 times in a row, this is probably the one.) Kindergarten first, then the first-graders, and as I was frantically fumbling with the camera to capture Super-kiddo I heard a happy shout: "Mommy!" And hearing that made the whole half-day worth it.

Trick or treating went ... well, pretty much as I should've expected. Kiddo refused to go up to one house at all because there was a fake dead guy in the driveway. He was nearly scared off a couple other places because of dogs. (We are clearly never getting a dog. Okay by me, since I'm more of a cat person.) He insisted I walk him up to all houses after that, holding his hand. The irony of a kid in a Superman costume acting less than brave was not lost on me. I pointed this out to him, but it didn't help. I guess dogs and scary decorations are his kryptonite.

One of our neighbors was giving out whistles instead of candy. I'm sure she thought she was helping break the candy cycle, or something. I'm also sure her house was soundproofed. Because throughout the neighborhood, you could tell which kids had been to her house by the piercing sounds echoing through the streets. Kiddo, adorably, thought they were all sending messages to each other via the whistles. Sure, and the message was: "All I got was this lousy whistle so I'm going to break some eardrums!"

Really the kids around here are pretty nice, though. They all say thank you when taking candy and they ask before taking extra (I always let them). At one point when kiddette was coming down the steps of one house, she slipped (it had been raining) and fell. One of the older boys passing us stopped to ask if she was okay, and helped pick up her dropped loot. Very sweet.

(Incidentally, I was totally kidding about parents driving the kids from house to house in the rain, but I swear some parents were doing just that. It wasn't even raining that hard. Wusses. Work for your candy.)

I managed to more or less keep the kids together until we visited a family we're friends with, and then fell in with the son and all his buds as they went back out. Bunch of boys together, running ahead of their parents, and you can guess what happened next: Kiddo ran off with them, kiddette and I were three houses behind, it was getting dark and I started to panic because I couldn't see him. There was a point where I was in the middle of the street, kiddette at the house behind me, kiddo at the house across the street in front of me, and I wasn't sure which one to go after. That was when I finally hauled him out of the group, and we headed back shortly after.

We were home and he was already out of his costume when we noticed the fire truck lights outside. No fire, just the firefighters roaming around the neighborhood, giving out thick glow necklaces to the kids. (Cute, I know.) Kiddo ran back outside. I was in the middle of making a salad, but I ran out after him, minus my coat. The truck drove off and kiddo nearly had a massive meltdown, but I pointed out that it was going to stop again up the street. We were on the sidewalk and I thought it might be safe enough, so I let him run. Man, he is fast. I'm thinking we sign him up for track as soon as he's old enough. Unfortunately the truck made a bit of a rolling stop and kept going, and kiddo kept running after it, and at this point I couldn't see him and realized there was no way I could catch up to him, ever. But then the truck did stop, and he scored a necklace and came bounding back to me, like the world's most fright-inducing boomerang. I even got him to get a second necklace for kiddette, who unlike her brother had come back to the house when called. So everyone was happy, and it could've been worse, I suppose.

And my next source of worry will be the parent-teacher conference next week, because while kiddo is doing just fine academically, behaviorally, not so much. At least one incident of lying on the floor and refusing to do something or other. I suspect there have been meltdowns, since he's been having them at home. Not sure yet what we do about it.

But at least we had Halloween without any major incidents. Oh, and that salad? The kids ate it. I figure that sort of offset the candy.

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