Happy Halloween, 2016

Baguette has never been that into trick-or-treating. From her perspective, Halloween is when you knock on your neighbor’s door, and they answer it–but then they don’t let you in. What’s the point of that?

It’s always been a struggle. Not because it particularly matters to us whether she wants to, but because we want her to understand what it is, and see if she can find a way to make it fun for herself. There would be a parade at her day care that she had to be wrangled through–the teachers made those costumes–and then in the evening we’d try to get her out into the neighborhood.

Each year, it was harder than you’d think. There was the time she refused to wear layers (shirt and tights were fine, but not the elephant part of the costume). After many tears, she decided to wear all of her Elmo clothing. It worked. The next year, she rejected the costume we’d bought her AND the one from day care, finally settling on my shirt worn backward. The year after that, we laid out every costume and clothing item we could think of, and she chose soccer ball fleece PJs–although once she was done with her abbreviated neighborhood circuit, she added Anna’s ball gown from Frozen.

This year, we looked at the restrictions required by the school and settled on gray leggings, gray t-shirt, and elephant headgear (we bought two headbands with ears and a hat). But yesterday I pointed out that she’d spent the week saying “I am a fire fighter” and “I am a doctor,” following a LOT of viewings of Elmo’s World DVDs. And I remembered that at some point, someone had given her a doctor costume. So I unwrapped it, and she instantly fell in love with the idea. She wore it all afternoon, and tried to sleep in it, and put it back on enthusiastically for this morning’s parade at school.

Small girl in scrubs costume running
Paging Dr. Baguette

She was still wearing it when Mr. Sandwich picked her up, and didn’t take it off until they were in the store looking at fire fighter costumes. They brought one home, but its velcro fasteners proved unacceptable. Out of all of the costumes we’d spread across the couch, which one did she pick?

The elephant-ear headband.

So we headed out with our elephant for trick-or-treating, but it turned out that Baguette had no interest in that–she just wanted to go for a walk around the block.

The whole point is to have fun, and for the first time, Halloween was really fun for her.

I couldn’t be happier.

Made-Up Rules for Our Imaginary Children

When Mr. Sandwich and I were married, but before we had Baguette, we made many pronouncements, as you do. Some of them still hold, like leaving the restaurant when we cannot keep her quiet and calm. Some of them remain untested (we are not fans of demanding MORE candy from people when trick-or-treating, and yes, we’ve seen that happen, but she’s not really a fan of trick-or-treating). Others have fallen by the wayside.

“No junk food before age 2! There is plenty of time to eat french fries later, but they don’t need them that young!”

At just under a year, Baguette reached up and pulled a french fry from Mr. Sandwich’s mouth and ate it. She loved it. Now I just wish she’d eat fries, because that would mean one more thing she eats.

“No TV before age 2!”

At about six months, she came home from day care with a fever. She felt awful and was exhausted, but could not quite tip over into sleep. I looked for something age-appropriate and stumbled across Yo Gabba Gabba. I thought, “Wow, this show is awful.” A minute later, she passed out on her own lap, and I thought, “This show is GREAT.” From there we found Pajanimals and Sesame Street (well, I knew about that one) and Wibbly Pig and Stella and Sam. We have never watched Yo Gabba Gabba again. That show is awful.

“We will never get a portable DVD player or own a car in which one is installed, even if we have to take a hammer to it. Our children can look out the window and play the Alphabet Game like we each did.”

We are seriously considering buying a portable DVD player for the car.

Halloween Costume, 2013: A Brief Pictorial Recap

After last year’s Halloween costume experience, we tried to keep it simple, with a costume idea that was as clothing-like as possible.

The Plan
The Plan
The Backup
The Backup
The Reality
The Reality

You really can’t get more clothing-like than Mommy’s actual clothing.

I think we may not buy a Halloween costume next year. We may just amass some items, let Baguette pick, and then decide what she’s dressed as.

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Or, Costume Drama

Weeks ago–right after Baguette broke her leg–we went to Costco and explored the Halloween costume options. Mr. Sandwich brought her an array of choices, and she picked the elephant.

It promptly became a stuffed animal.

So we weren’t sure whether she’d wear it. But we weren’t too worried, because we had been given a tiny UCLA cheerleader outfit, and we figured that would work if the elephant didn’t.

What we utterly failed to consider was that somehow she has determined that she will not wear layers unless one of them is a jacket or a sweater. So both the elephant costume and the cheerleader dress led to crying and screaming.

Elephant and UCLA cheerleader costumes
Each of these looks delightful but is wholly unacceptable.

Not anyone’s Dream Halloween.

After we read a few books and calmed down (all of us, frankly), Baguette decided that she would wear her “Elmo shirt.” We added red pants and “Elmo shoes,” and then she topped it off with three hats. Somehow we made it to several houses on our block, but she went back and forth on whether or not she wanted to take candy from relative strangers, which, when you think about it, is probably not a bad thing.

Now, some might say she was dressed as Elmo, and others as an Elmo Enthusiast. But if you are a loyal watcher of old Sesame Street episodes, you would realize that she was in fact dressed as an entire episode.

La la la la, la la la la, Elmo clothes

Happy Halloween! Don’t be Scrooge McDuck

Ringing Doorbells

My mother always said, “I don’t care how old the person is, I’ll give them candy if they’re wearing a costume.” I don’t even draw that line. Seriously, I have given candy to the parents of trick-or-treaters. What, I suddenly can’t spare a tiny Snickers?

During my senior year in college, a bunch of my friends and I dressed up and went trick-or-treating in the extremely fancy neighborhood adjacent to our campus. We even had a theme, dressing up as characters from an epic–although since we were writing that epic ourselves, there is no way that anyone would have gotten the references. We were careful to stay out of the way of actual children, but we wanted to go out and have a harmless good time while we were still together.

Generally, we got a positive reception. But I still remember the exchange I had with one homeowner:

Me: Trick or treat!
Scrooge McDuck: I hope to God you’re collecting for UNICEF.
Me: Okay, I’m collecting for UNICEF.
But I’m only collecting candy.
Scrooge McDuck: Aren’t you a little old for this?
Me: Apparently not.
Scrooge McDuck: (holds out tray of candy) Just take one.
Me: But, ma’am, I’m exposing myself to the ridicule of you, and others like you. Don’t you think I deserve two pieces for my strength of character?
Scrooge McDuck: Just take one.

So she got to make her point, or save more candy for small children, or whatever it was she wanted. And I get to tell this story. For the rest of my life.

Happy Halloween, everyone! And don’t be Scrooge McDuck. Unless that’s your costume.

Photo by mia3mom, via Flickr.

Happy Halloween

Our new neighbor (new to us; technically, of course, we are the new neighbors) told us that we would need six bags of Halloween candy. We went through seven, and still had to turn away trick-or-treaters. I think next year we’ll get eight bags.

And on a completely self-indulgent note, at least a half dozen people told us that they really liked the house and the paint colors. But I think my favorite comment came from the little girl who said, “You don’t have anything in here!”