Friday, November 02, 2007

Trick or Treating - the epic tale. It's a long one people.

After weeks of anticipation, Halloween finally arrived and the I ... err, the kids, could not be more excited. The costumes were all set to go, Monkey was having a party at school, we were going trick or treating in the neighborhood in the evening with friends, and Monkey Sr. was even coming home early from work to join us.

Little Monkey got to wear his costume bright and early.

Presenting - Little Monkey, firefighter extraordinaire. Yet another of my thrown together creations. Jacket - his yellow rain slicker, doctored up with red electrical tape, hat - courtesy of Jeff's childhood, pants, t-shirt, etc. - all regular play clothes. Firetruck prop - a gift courtesy of our favorite Floridian...Grace.

Miss Mina wanted in on the early morning photo-op, even without a costume. As she pushes the Monkey around on his firetruck, she learns a valuable life lesson. Women are always in the background doing all the unseen, unappreciated things. In other words - the hard work. Better get used to it Bean. Cuteness will only get you so far in life. Meanwhile, Monkey counts on one hand the number of times he has ever helped out.

A back view of the costume. They were pretty excited to get started.

Unfortunately for Miss Mina, we had a long wait ahead of us until it was time to go trick or treating.

While we sat around waiting, Little Monkey partied it up with his buddies at school. This is one of the pics they sent home for the parents to enjoy. In it, we get a sense of how far our tuition dollars are stretched in the name of education. I was very pleased to see Jordan eating his snack. Considering it was a cupcake with a mound of sugar on it in the shape of a ghost...I should not be too surprised. I did have two questions though.

One - what's up with the kid and the breadstick? His sentiments regarding his snack - as it compares with that of his classmates - are pretty clear.

Two - considering I supplied the majority of the juice boxes on that table, I'm curious why my kid is without a freakin beverage. Not that he seems to give a crap. Again, his priorities are apparent.

After snack, it was time to let the demons/kids loose on the playground to burn off some of that artificially enhanced energy. This was one excited kid.

So excited, in fact, that he skipped his nap that afternoon. Anyone who knows me well, knows how fanatical I am about that time of the day known as "nap." It is a sacred time at our house. And much like any other shrine, I expect the sanctity of our walls to be blessed with peace, quiet, and obedience.

And that means two sleeping monkeys for at least two hours. That did not happen. For over an hour, Little Monkey lay in his crib shouting, "Happy Halloween!!"

Over and over again.

Then, he moved on to other holiday inspired variations, such as "Trick or Treat!" He proceeded to catalog everything we would be doing after nap, what he had done before nap, what he ate for lunch, the contents of his crib, the contents of his room, the contents of his diaper, etc.

In contrast, Miss Mina snored away for an epic amount of time. When I finally heard her begin to stir, I raced in. She was almost groggy from the sleep, and in no frame of mind to begin the process of getting dressed.

Hence the grumpy face.

But finally, we were out the door. Joining us on our first Halloween adventure - our good buddies, David and Julia. Here Julia and Mina show off their wings.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this adventure. It was a learning experience for me too. At some houses, we were greeted with smiling faces, babies dressed for the occasion, and loads of candy.

Some people got into the spirit of the night with decorated houses. At this house (one of my favorites on the block), the couple waited outside with treats, and their dog Casey - a Scottish Terrior, dressed as a skunk. Forgot to get a pic of that, but anyone who dresses their dog for Halloween wins extra points in my book.

I love the people who don't skimp on the good stuff. Halloween is a time for chocolates. Not toothbrushes, apples, or play dough. Sorry. Just sayin.

And even when the little ones were too tired to go up to the door themselves, some neighbors insisted we take something for them anyway.

But, as we all know, every party has a pooper. Our block had one big poop.

To these people, Monkey Sr. and I have this to say... BWAAAA!!!

Which brings me to the question of our own house. What's the etiquette for Halloween night when you are out trick or treating and can't be home to give out candy to people at your door? Do you do nothing and hope the kids understand? Do you leave candy out for them and hope they will take a piece or two and not the entire bowl?

I decided to leave a bowl out, with an explanatory note. Of course, as Monkey Sr. pointed out, my note was riddled with spelling errors, so who knows if anyone could actually make sense of it or not. But, when we got back, there was still candy left over, and no egg on our door.

Despite the fact that we practiced the trick or treat protocol, when it came time to execute, Little Monkey froze up. In fact, he bailed out after about three or four houses. Monkey Sr. took him back to our door for a bit to have a chat. They rejoined us as we continued around the block. Goes to show you, you just never know what to expect with a toddler.

Thankfully, our man David got the hang of the game quickly and executed all the door ringing like a champ.

Eventually, Little Monkey made the connection between the door bell ringing, the greeting, and the getting of candy. I think Pavlov's dogs might have figured it out a little faster, but once the epiphany registered, there was no stopping him:

"Next house!" He roared. Unfortunately, he was not able to pick up on the subtle cues of who was home and who wasn't. No lights, mailbox full...probably not a house worth visiting.

And by the time Monkey was totally into it...the rest of us were totally exhausted and ready to call it a night.

So, the little firefighter had to content himself with a close examination of our lit jack-o-lantern, a quick dinner, and an expedited bedtime routine.

Of course, the task of examining the holiday loot was left to me. Enough said on that point.

Happy Halloween everyone! (congratulations, you made it to the end!)
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