This year the order of the holiday was a little unhappiness, a serious candy shortage and smashing pumpkins—no, not the slightly fringe rock group from the 1990s. I’m talking about the street in front of our house on October 31. Apparently there were a few unhappy trick-or-treaters too.
It all started in early October when we decided to get an early start on Halloween rather than waiting until the very last minute. We visited the costume store, but unfortunately because of his size, all of the costumes that would fit Lucas were either furry animals or cute little monsters. Our little guy just isn’t the furry animal type. I think we are both a little sensitive to the fact that he is smaller than most kids his age. To us he seems more like a big boy in spite of his size.
All of the toddler cowboy, fireman and robot, outfits were huge on him. We tried on the ubiquitous Elmo garb and it would have been fine, but it just was not him or us. We decided instead to whip up our own concoction—he would be some sort of George Clinton, Linc from Mod Squad, Jimi Hendrix kind of dude.
We realized that we could never pull this look together for the traditional Halloween day-care parade (kids walking along the sidewalk in costume). So we put him in the hand-me-down bunny costume. He certainly was cute and he liked the floppy ears.
For the outfit he would sport for trick-or-treating festivities, we found some cool, slightly mod jeans. I added a peace sign and other patches. I ironed on a Love insignia and other 1970s decorations to a white shirt. I attempted to make a beaded macramé belt but ran out of time. We gave him some funky colored glasses; we found some faux alligator shoes; and then gave him hair, fabulous, funky, fro hair. After picking him up from day care, we went into action: dressing, undoing braids, finishing up details of the outfit. Actually it was the best we could do with a squirmy 2-year-old.
Since we were running late, we ended up opening the door to a lot of trick-or-treaters. So many in fact, that we ran dangerously low on candy, something that had never happened before. It didn’t help that teens sans costume or parents, took handfuls rather than a few pieces. Once we finally made it outside, we walked down the long lonely stretch of our street which was eerily quiet. Unlike last year, almost all of the houses were dark, except for a few doors at the end.
Trick-or-treating kind of went downhill fast. For one, the faux alligator shoes made our little wobbly guy seem downright inebriated. I was constantly pulling him up off the sidewalk, carrying him upstairs and pretty much steadying him the whole time. The trick-or-treating thing also seemed to be a bit of a mystery to Lucas. He liked the whole costume idea, and enjoyed the attention he got, but he wasn’t all that crazy about the candy. He is more of a cookie man. After going to a few doors he was spent. Two year olds are like that.
Having exerted so much time and energy on the costume and being used to our foster son who would have been pulling us to move faster and faster trying to amass a candy stash, I had a hard time realizing that we were done. The endurance that a four-year old might have, is not at all present in our two-year old. As we began to approach the fifth house, there were tears, unhappiness and candy hurled down the street by a frustrated Papa. The signs were upon us—it was time to go home.
After going inside, we opened the door a few more times to give out the last shards of candy and then had to start turning kids away. Our big, huge silver bowl was empty. There weren’t even a few pieces left for candy starved daddies to snack on. We shut off the lights and carried funky man up to bed. As we put him in his jammies we continued to hear the ardent knocking on the door, in search of candy. Once Lucas was in bed and we were retired to watch TV, we continued to hear people downstairs at the door. At some point the lack of candy resulted in pumpkin madness on the street in front of our house.
The order of next Halloween is:
- Buy more candy;
- hand it out ourselves;
- let Lucas pick out his own costume;
- remember that Halloween is mostly for the kids, mostly;
- and leave Milo on the front porch in case those pumpkin marauders come back