Last year, my high hopes for Halloween were dashed by teething pain and over-tired crankiness. This year, celebrations went a little more smoothly. By that I mean, we took a bunch of feral cats, tied their tails together and took them trick-or-treating. In the end, we had candy... and not a few wounds.
Thea was a little more obliging this year. We prepped her for a few days, anticipating the reluctance we'd face trying to suit her up, and it worked. I try to script everything with her anymore because her toddler sense of control and independence is so easily corrupted by unexpected events. She does not at all like being yanked out of her busy busy world without warning. For candy included. We've been a mini-mob here, call-and-responding not for peace, nor for economic equality for the 99% (though we do want that, very much) but for the ritualized menace that is Halloween!
WHAT DO WE WANT? Candy
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW
Just before dark, John and Anita came down with Leo in the stroller for the evening's event. We decided, fuck it! Let's bring two riotous dogs with us as well! Add to that the task of chasing Willie back in the house, posing toddlers for pictures at dusk thereby forcing the first waves of trick-or-treaters to march across our Brand-newly Seeded Lawn to get around our camera tripod -- and oops! there goes Willie again! PETA will not approve if she is sacrificed! DON'T LET THE KIDS CHEW THROUGH THE GLOW STICKS. WHO THREW THEIR BEER CAP IN THE CANDY BOWL?
We finally left to do our own trick-or-treating, dragging the kids, the dogs leaping, leashes twisted around each others necks. Predictably, it didn't take long for Thea to figure out exactly the perks and limitations (as in, how badly I wanted to be out trick-or-treating with her and therefor how infirm my stand would be, if I even dared to risk the taking of one) and when she did, she informed me with a pert NO that she was NOT going to say "thank you" for candy. She looked so sweet and shy at the door that invariably each adult indulged her, charmed into replying "oh that's okay, you don't have to say thank you" to my milquetoast prompts. Thanks for the back-up adults! Come on! Let's stand here uncomfortably in the cold with this stranger until her darling little mouse can find her manners! Whaaat! Why not??
My sweet sweet revenge is that whatever I don't eat of this candy myself, that you spent your hard-earned money on, is going straight into the garbage. In fact, most of it will. THANK YOU!
After just about an hour of trick-or-treating I gave Thea a half of a mini kit-kat bar as we were headed home. I've read that science has debunked the cocaine effect of sugar on children, but what then would explain the next few hours of my life?? The excitement alone? Perhaps. Once we got home it was a full-on fracas. Our bedtime routine proceeded as it usually does, at vastly exaggerated volumes. It wasn't a fight exactly, just a exuberant howling child whose willingness to go through the motions of brushing her teeth, potty, jammies, and good-night kisses was secondary to her otherwise completely consuming, rapturous commotions.
Clark and I retired to the front room to drink beer and pass out candy to whoever was left still knocking on doors. The storm raged from her crib. The trick-or-treaters stopped coming. The howling did not. I fell into bed, exhausted. The child waged her war against all things peaceful. Just before 11pm the chattering yammer stopped, mid-sentence. A booming vacuum of Silence! I waited a few minutes and snuck downstairs to see her tucked in proper. She'd been sitting upright in her bed when, apparently having stopped to take a breath, fell forward into her own lap, dead asleep.