Sunday, November 1, 2009


My daughter had planned to dress as her hero, Curious George, for Halloween, but changed plans when Daddy got the flu and could not accompany her as the man in the yellow hat.  She was a dinosaur instead.  My son was a dog, and went around saying, "Woof."  However, he refused to wear his dog hat on his head even for photos.

As expected, trick-or-treating was a big hit. I was surprised to see the large cache even in my son's bucket, who appeared to eat every candy as he received it.

The only shaky moment was when we visited a very well-decorated house complete with animated decor like a coffin that opened up and steamed when you passed it.  My boy literally jumped up into my arms.  My daughter forged on, with my continuous assurance that it was all pretend, but she cried for a few minutes after we had left the yard. 

After that, I wanted her to be prepared for the annual Halloween visit to Grandpa, so I warned her that Grandpa would be dressed scary, but he would still be nice Grandpa.  When we arrived, I had trouble convincing her to enter, because she did not want to see Grandpa looking scary.  She finally came, but she scolded Grandpa regularly throughout the evening for being too scary.  In consideration of anyone else who might be scared, she followed him to the door whenever he answered to trick-or-treaters to inform them all that he was actually just her Grandpa in a costume.  At one point, she even came back to me with her hat off.  She explained that someone had thought she was a real dinosaur, so she had taken off her "mask" so that they would know it was just pretend and she was actually a very un-scary girl.

Grandpa's house was hoppin' with trick-or-treaters.  As he does every year, my dad kept fretting that he needed to go to the store for more candy.  Since my mom is out of town on her annual trip with her sisters, I took on her role of reminding him that it was perfectly acceptable to turn off the porch light when you run out of candy, especially if it is after nine pm and the only trick-or-treaters left are old enough to hold jobs and buy their own candy.

Meanwhile, at our house, I left a bucket of candy at the front gate with a quarantine sign so no one would catch my husband's plague.  It was an unnecessary precaution, since the neighbors all informed me that my kids and the next-door-neighbors' kids were the only ones who trick-or-treated our street all evening.  We live on a very unhospitable road without sidewalks and with very little lighting, the brightest of which lights our backyard, instead of any public area.  (It is actually very convenient for us to have the free backyard lighting, but I have no idea what the city was thinking when they put a street light there instead of at the street.)

Another big Halloween event for us is my daughter's annual Halloween preschool program, in which they sing songs and recite poems.  Last year, I was surprised at how serious and nervous my usually confident child appeared as she prepared for her first formal performance (especially in comparison to her beaming older cousin, who was in the same class).  This year, she seemed excited.  After the program, the kids trick-or-treat to the parents.  My son joined in on the action, first grabbing treats from my bucket and passing them out himself, and then jumping into the end of the line to see if anyone would give him some treats like the big kids.

My husband was devastated to miss the program because of his quarantined status, but my parents and brother came.  My mom tried to record the program for him to watch at home, but a technical problem meant that only the first song recorded.