Halloween 2015

Before Hubs and I had kids, the Sunday when the clocks fell back an hour was my favorite day of the year.

Seriously.  It trumped Christmas and all the fireworks and fanfare of the 4th of July.  It always made me sad that no one decorated for the big day or pinned special recipes to make to honor the incredible holiday that it was.

(Except, in the defense of pinners everywhere who failed at that… I guess pinning wasn’t a real thing in the ’90s.  We still scrapbooked and cut pictures of our child wearing a Batman costume into ovals with scalloped edges.)

(Bless our crafting hearts.)

Then the boy was born, and the whole concept of falling back was ruined for me, because the boy was an early riser.  And by early riser, I mean that he was up before 7:00 in the morning, which my college self would have been stunned at, because I never took a child development class that had a textbook chapter called YES, THE CHILDREN WILL BEAT THE ROOSTER AWAKE.

Then, about the time that the boy was fairly independent and self-sufficient in the mornings (meaning that he was able to get up quietly, pour himself a bowl of cereal, and shove a DVD in to watch, all by himself, so that Hubs and I could keep on with all the sleeping), Thing 2 arrived.

Thing 2 rewrote the definition of early riser, because Lord have mercy upon us.

IMG_5175Yesterday morning, Thing 2 got up at the crack of 4:50.  This would certainly be helpful if we were a farming family, who had eggs to gather and hogs to slop and hay to put up, but we just aren’t.

4:50 in the morning is nothing but ridiculous, but once Thing 2 is awake, nothing short of a little ether on a cloth to his nose is going to convince him to go back to sleep.

So, we let 4:50 AM play into our favor yesterday morning, thinking, HALLOWEEN, and THE CLOCKS ARE CHANGING TONIGHT!  We simply decided to wear that boy out.

So… he raked leaves for the better part of the afternoon yesterday, because Hubs and I didn’t have sons to see them sitting in front of the Wii.  Some may refer to it as child labor, but Hubs and I use the friendlier term of everyone in our family pitches in to help.

By late afternoon, when our preschooler was trying to flop on the living room floor and say, “I just need to take a nap,” we said, “Nap?  Oh.  Our bad.  We thought you wanted to go trick-or-treating.”

Just like that, the second wind was fully caught, and it was all systems go for Operation Get The Candy In My Bucket.

We had some discussions on Thing 2’s costume this year.  The boy dug out his old fireman jacket, and we offered that to the preschooler as a choice for candy-getting attire.

IMG_7119 IMG_7127 IMG_7128It didn’t take him long at all to declare that the jacket was itchy, and JUST NO.

So, we decided that he’d use his Spider-Man costume from last year, because LOOK!  IT STILL FITS!  AND IT’S FREE DOLLARS THIS OCTOBER, BECAUSE WE PAID FOR IT LAST FALL!

The day before Halloween, when we were out and about, Thing 2 announced that he really just wanted to be a soccer player, and why couldn’t he just wear his cleats and shin guards?  Why was his mother so mean?

So… a soccer player it was.

IMG_5141 IMG_5142I felt like I was winning at Momming, because how’s that for cheap and easy?

While we were running errands on Friday, a complete stranger stopped Thing 2 on the sidewalk and commented that he looked like a powerfully fine soccer player, which is when our kid replied, “Well, my mom wants me to be Spider-Man, but I just wanted to be an astronaut.  My mom never listens to me.”

An astronaut?

I had no idea that he even knew the word.  It was the first time I’d ever heard him say it out loud.

This is the exact reason that earning the Mother of the Year award is so stinking difficult.

But last night, we crammed Thing 2 in his Spider-Man outfit, and the results were pretty decent.

IMG_7132He spent some time flexing and shooting webs…

IMG_7134… and then he spent a greater portion of his time standing on a bathroom stool to admire himself in the mirror.

IMG_7135And then we set out.

IMG_7136 IMG_7139We ended up at Sister’s house last night, because she’s not a city dweller.  She lives outside of the city limits, which means that YES!  CHILDREN CAN DRIVE A FOUR-WHEELER WHILE THEY PULL A WAGON LOADED WITH MORE CHILDREN AROUND THE SUBDIVISION.

It’s a small town thing.  You’d never see this sort of thing happen on the streets of NYC.

There was some pumpkin carving shaking down before we all headed out…

IMG_7147And then plenty of indoor photos of everyone, while the kids chomped at the bit and whined, “Please!  Put the camera away and let’s go get the candy!”

IMG_7149 IMG_7150 IMG_7152 IMG_7153 IMG_7154We ended up with a pirate, Katniss, a pumpkin, a piece of candy corn and Spider-Man.  The boy, in his embracement of the entire teenage movement, chose not to dress up because THAT’S SO LAST YEAR, MOM.

IMG_7157 IMG_7159 IMG_7160And then we shoved the smaller children into the wagon, where they could breathe in the toxic exhaust fumes all night, as Cousin L drove them around, from house to house, with the parents trailing after.

IMG_7161 IMG_7163 IMG_7167 IMG_7168 IMG_7169This is really the first year that Thing 2 has trick-or-treated.  We have always tried to take him out, doing our civic duty as parents and dressing him up, but he would never have anything to do with it in the past.  He always hated his costume and bawled his head off, which is why we seldom got further than the houses of his grandparents, before we threw in the towel, cut our losses, and released the boy to trick-or-treat on his own, with his buddies, as we headed for home.

This year, however, Thing 2 was a genuine trick-or-treating professional.  That kid of ours can sprint faster than an Olympian.  Seriously, Hubs and I have NEVER seen a preschooler in all of our years who can run faster than Thing 2 can.  It didn’t matter who managed to bail out of the wagon first; Thing 2 was ALWAYS the first trick-or-treater to the door, where he would enthusiastically pound the doorbell button 29 times before the homeowners could grab their bucket of candy and answer the summons of Halloween.

IMG_7175 IMG_7178 IMG_7179We joined Sister’s fun neighbor kids for a while.  They went as a mommy with a baby and Waldo.

I’m pretty sure that Addy, in her effort to be a mother, never had to worry about how early her baby was going to get up the following morning, as the clocks rolled themselves backward, after a long night of frolicking in the dark.

IMG_7170 IMG_7171We even had the children take a halftime break, so that we could feed them something other than Twix bars and peanut butter cups.  We opted for the nutrients found in cheap pizza.

IMG_7186And then, at the insistence of our gang, we went back out for Round Two.

We followed the child-driven four-wheeler from house to house, laughed our heads off, waited for someone to (ahem!!) tinkle on the side of the road in the dark, and had THE VERY BEST HALLOWEEN OF EVER.

IMG_7187When we finally called it a night, because THE EXHAUST FUMES!  WE’RE GETTING LOOPY ON THE EXHAUST!  AND COUSIN H IS FALLING ASLEEP IN THE WAGON!, we went back to Sister’s house, where I checked the pedometer I’d set on my phone.

We had walked 2-point-8 miles.

It felt more like 14,000, but that’s just because walking is difficult when you eat too much pizza in your unladylikeness.

By the time we got home last night, Thing 2’s head was spinning around with exhaustion.  All he could do was mumble incoherent words of “So… Tired… Must… Sleep.”  We put him to bed, and BOOM!

He slept until 5 AM.


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