Do any of you ever have those days that go down in your family scrapbooks as THIS WAS THE DAY THAT MAMA WAS ALMOST DRIVEN IN THE BUICK TO THE ASYLUM, SO SHE COULD HAVE SOME SHOCK TREATMENT AND PUT ON THE LOGO-BEARING BATHROBE?
Friday was one of those days.
I should have seen it coming, since Thing 2 walked into my bedroom while I was making the bed and loudly announced at 8:30 that morning, “That sucker is YUCK-EEEEEEE!!!!! Yucky!! Go away, sucker! Yuck!!!”
Y’all… he didn’t have a sucker.
I took him by the hand and said, “Show Mama the sucker.”
He walked me straight out to the living room and showed me a jumbo, over-sized, just-right-for-tiny-toddler-hands Crayon that was chewed halfway down. And then he pointed to all the spit-out pieces between the living room and my bedroom, that looked a whole lot like Hansel and Gretal had been leaving a trail of clues behind them.
So we cleaned up that mess and had a little discussion about how eating Crayons isn’t always the best judgement call, because YES! They ARE yucky, and how will you EVER get a date if you’re a Crayon Eater?!
And then I crammed Thing 2 (who is built like the next Denver Bronco lineman) into his Halloween costume, so that we could go trick-or-treating very early at Grammy and Papa’s office.
In the end, we had a totally ripped Spider-Man. I’m afraid that the Superhero Council of Superpower Regulations was a bit concerned that he may have been using steroids, because who needs to shoot webs to catch bad guys, when your arms look like THESE guns?!
The only real problem was that the toddler wasn’t in love with having his costume ON. Oh, he was enamored with it while it was ON. THE. HANGER. But, once we put it on, he was all about voicing his displeasure.
That’s when I laid down my full house of cards and said, “Listen. If you want candy, you have to wear your costume.” And that, people, sealed the deal, although he did make some attempts to ditch the mask, because apparently he wasn’t worried about Uncle Ben and Aunt May realizing his true identity.
I don’t know why, but this NEXT snapshot…
Our trick-or-treating commenced at 9:30 in the morning. Regardless of the fact that Thing 2 really did want his costume OFF, he wore it long enough to have Grammy fill his pumpkin-shaped bucket to the brim with chocolate, and then we came home.
I had a load of laundry to fold, so… while I was doing that… Thing 2 was very busy playing at his big train table in his bedroom. I folded some jeans, and peeked into the bedroom to make sure that all train crashes were being handled according to state regulations. They were. I folded some shorts, and poked my head into Thing 2’s bedroom to make sure that all fatalities from the train wrecks were being reported, and that the next of kin were being called, as trains were flying off the tracks, right and left and also sideways, because Thing 2 doesn’t just DRIVE the trains… He stages train wrecks and hurls them from the tracks, until the cows grow tired in the fields and come home.
And then I just decided to fold the entire laundry basket, as I listened to the crashing and shouts of, “Whoa!! Hold on!!”
When I finished the folding, I walked into Thing 2’s bedroom to see that he had actually abandoned his train table, and he was standing on the ottoman to his rocking chair, which he had pushed over to the twenty-gallon fish aquarium in his bedroom. He was EXTREMELY BUSY. Twelve Thomas the Train engines were sunk to the bottom of the tank. The debris floating at the top included a tube of Desitin, a bottle of baby powder, a diaper, and a sock, and Thing 2 was completely focused with filling a small cup with water and carefully walking it over to his bed, so that he could POUR IT OUT ALL OVER HIS POTTERY BARN QUILT.
Bless. His. Heart.
The two giant, elderly goldfish in the aquarium were alive, but very nervous that the Apocalypse was in full throttle, and WHO WAS AVAILABLE TO GIVE THEM THEIR LAST RITES? They looked at me with eyes of terror and mouthed the words, “What have you unleashed upon us?” to me through the glass.
What I needed at that moment on Friday morning was for the President to declare Thing 2’s bedroom a Natural Disaster, so that the National Guard could come in and help me with the cleanup.
We went through three beach towels and a hand towel in the mopping process. Trains were recovered, Thomas had CPR, the flotsam was fished out, the quilt was pitched into the laundry room, and I wondered if Starbucks offered a Valium-Infused Chai Latte for folks who really needed one.
Our two elderly goldfish said, “YOU need Valium??!! YOU???!!!! You didn’t just swim through a train wreck, Lady! You didn’t just have your tail fins clipped by a coal car!!! YOU DIDN’T HEAR THE SCREAMS OF THE TRAIN PASSENGERS!!!!”
With the bedroom dry and looking normal again, we had a nap.
And by we, I mean Thing 2, because I had more laundry to wash that looked a whole lot like thick towels and a Pottery Barn quilt.
On Friday afternoon… after we had picked up the boy from school and hauled his friend home with us… I dressed Thing 2 in his Spider-Man costume again. He protested again. He told me that the mask was going to be the very death of him. I told him that he needed to wear it, if he wanted to secure more candy. He agreed, and we reached a truce.
I put his shoes on his feet.
And then, when my phone rang just then, I answered it. I chatted for all of six minutes. I could hear the enthusiastic shouts of train wrecks being staged on the train table again. I could hear the laughter of the boy and his buddy. It was turning out to be the perfect Halloween afternoon, until I hung up the phone and the boy hollered, “Mom!! Come quick!!”
When boys shout that, there’s usually an issue that’s going to require wine.
Spider-Man was in the fish aquarium. Again. Twelve train engines were on the bottom of the tank. Thing 2 was using a piece of train track as an oar, and paddling water onto the floor by the GALLON. The elderly goldfish were backed into a corner, shaking with fear and mouthing the words, “Nemo never had it so bad with Darla, the Fish Killer!”
People, the damage that can be done to a bedroom in six minutes with twenty gallons of water and a twelve-car train is roughly equivalent to Hurricane Katrina. The Red Cross arrived, in the form of the boy and his friend and two giant bath towels. They rescued trains and potential passengers from the deep. They dried things up on the floor. I stripped a soaking wet Spider-Man down to his Pampers and put the costume in the dryer, fish smell and all. I rubbed the sides of my head to keep a headache from showing up, and decided that I could probably go trick-or-treating as a Basket Case, by hot gluing wicker baskets to my jacket.
In the end, the costume dried. The bedroom was mopped up AGAIN. Thomas the Train and his other eleven train cars were recovered from the bottom of the ocean, before they could be covered with sponges, inhabited by sharks and discovered by deep sea divers, and they received their second Clorox bath of the day. Thing 2 was dressed again in his costume.
It smelled slightly of fish.
And then we hauled him over to Mam and Pa’s house for more trick-or-treating. He saw some kids in costumes on the way over, and wanted NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING to do with them. He kept yelling, “Too scary!” He wanted his Spider-Man costume OFF! Our two-year-old, who knows no fear of heights or climbing or jumping off enormously-high ledges or swinging wooden croquet mallets in a battle against boys FIVES TIMES HIS AGE, was afraid of all things Halloween.
And that is when we made the executive decision to collect our Hershey’s bars at Mam and Pa’s house, and call it a night, even though the boy and his friend were disappointed about not being able to escort Spider-Man around the neighborhood for cheap pieces of candy that would never be eaten at our house.
(We’re a snooty house of chocolate lovers; the Sweet Tarts and Laffy Taffy bits just get tossed.)
It’ll go on the record books as the quietest Halloween evening ever.
(Notice I didn’t say the quietest Halloween DAYTIME ever. No. Trains that crash into the water… not once, but twice!… do not make for quiet daytimes.)
But our Halloween night was quiet. I had thought that we’d be out trick-or-treating most of the evening, but we were home early. I brought home Wendy’s burgers for the boy and his friend, because they made the decision that they were too old to go door-to-door, begging for candy from strangers, without holding Spider-Man’s hands. I have no idea HOW this happened, because WHERE DID MY FIRSTBORN BABY GO?
So… we all just sat at home, laughing our heads off at the events of the day.
Because? In looking BACK on it, I COULD laugh. I could laugh at the trains being at the bottom of the fish tank and the looks of DEATH IS IMMINENT!! REPENT NOW!! on the faces of my geriatric fish. I laughed out loud. And Hubs and I gave thanks that we have a healthy toddler who completely makes our lives UN-boring. We gave thanks that we have a healthy teenager, even though he’s a big kid now, who didn’t trick-or-treat. We gave thanks for those two boys, because those two boys are our hearts, walking around outside of our bodies.
In other words… MAN! WE LOVE THEM!
The rest of the weekend panned out with no major water damage.
The boy went to Kellen’s Day of the Dead party on Saturday night. They may have been too old to trick-or-treat, but those 8th graders ran around in the dark at Kellen’s house like little boys, playing every manner of hide-and-seek game known to mankind. They sat around the fire pit and ate Polish dogs and S’Mores. They laughed and they laughed, and they were thankful to be creating such a fantastic memory. The boy came home late Saturday night. He smelled like a campfire, and he was completely happy.
How was all y’all’s Halloween weekend? Are we the only family who experienced train crashes and floods and floating bottles of baby powder that day?