Did you know that there are rules for almost three-year-olds and Halloween? First and most importantly, there should be no pumpkins—with the corollary of definitely no jack o’ lanterns.
This was the first year we actually went trick or treating with El Guille. He got to dress as Thomas the Tank Engine and after much coaxing, was extremely excited. I was extremely excited that I only spent ten bucks and made a cool costume that did not involve a sheet.
Yes! That IS a pop-light as Thomas’ face. In an effort to weigh the back of the costume down (pop lights are heavy I guess) I attached a couple metal electrical box covers and a carabineer. Inadvertently, if Guille ran, the carabineer would swing back and forth hitting the metal covers and clang-clang (like the trolley!) This produced much excitement, shrieking, and attempts to duplicate the running. We hit my neighborhood first which went well once Guille figured out that if you go to a door and ring the bell people will actually give you candy to put in your bucket. After a horrific encounter with the five-year-old next door dressed as Spiderman replete with mask (Guille had to take off the train so that he could climb into my arms and sob gigantic fear-tears into my neck,) we went to nana’s house.
In nana’s neighborhood people really go all out with the decorations. Elaborately carved pumpkins, light and fog effects, outdoor diorama-type displays with skeletons arranged in witty poses (“Look! They’re on chaise lounges with sunglasses!”) I wasn’t at all surprised when someone had Evil Knievel jumping over a pile of women dressed like Morticia Addams.
However appreciated these displays of holiday cheer are to the general populace, El Guille did not approve. Scary lights, out. Fog machines and flying objects, out. Jack o’ lanterns, out, out, out! We could only talk him up to two houses. I guess a kid has to be really frightened to turn down candy because of a pumpkin. He chose the house across the street because they had one small pumpkin that was not carved and obscured by a column. That's him being scared. We then had to walk an entire block (it was freezing) to a brightly lit home with no apparent decorations of any kind. After that house, it was my job to walk up to a given home and to caress the pumpkins (to show him that I would not be eaten by the evil gourds) before he would venture up the pathway holding nana’s hand to beg for a sucker.
Nana’s neighborhood was crawling with people we’ve never seen before. I think the annual rumor (even popular back when I was a kid) that the folks in her ‘hood hand out full-size candy bars still persists to this day. Here’s a hint: they only hand the big stuff out if they know you—they have two bowls of candy, those for interlopers, and those for people from the ‘hood. Sorry, guys, you don’t cut it! I didn’t see a single university student out on the rounds this year—what? Did they all grow in maturity?
At 7:30pm I realized, upon intense personal reflection, that I had not eaten a single piece of candy the entire day. The shame of a Halloween passing without eating crap wracked my soul. I immediately ate a small Almond Joy, a Now and Later (green apple) and a Pay Day (better than you remember!)
El Guille, on the other hand, had been on a steady sucker diet for four hours (chupa-chupa.) I have never seen him in the full grip of a sugar high: the screaming, the uncontrollable bouncing off walls, the shaking, a wild glazed look in his eyes, running full-force into inanimate objects. Halloween: the only day where a parent can’t say ‘no’ to a pure sugar diet (or at least ‘yes’ with no guilty pangs.) I knew I was witnessing a rare sight when on the drive home Guille actually did the 60’s dance The Pony in his car seat. Behold the powers of refined sugars and small bodies.