Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Awkward Mom vs. Halloween (part I)

The evil computer virus of doom (mostly) defeated, Awkward Mom can turn her attention to more important matters, like nurturing confident and emotionally balanced sons, locating the source of that weird smell, and telling you all about Halloween. Buckle up; this one has goblins, ghouls, and more than a couple gaffs.

Sometimes it feels like every day is Halloween in the land of Awkward. I mean, Super Toddler wears costumes pretty much all the time. The Halloween pumpkin bucket has taken up permanent residence in the boys’ room (Where else are they gonna store all their magic wands and toy cars?) The decor in here resembles Neo-Munsters, what with all the cobwebs and dust. And then there is the matter of the secret candy stash in the top shelf of the pantry. Yeah, that is there pretty much all year. You know how Popeye has his spinach and Superman has the rays of the sun? Well, Awkward Mom has to get her super patience and super endurance from somewhere. Chocolate seems a little more socially acceptable than tequila, but I digress.

Now, one aspect of Halloween that isn’t year round is the trick-or-treating, obviously. And this is also the one aspect of Halloween that Super Toddler has yet to experience. Halloween 2008, year 1 of Super Toddler’s eventful life, was spent sleeping in a stroller while Awkward Dad and I attended a Halloween party. Halloween 2009, or year 2, was spent in his Elmo costume, at least 10 minutes and 42 pictures of it was. The rest was spent in bed with a nasty cold. Therefore, Super Toddler has no idea what trick-or-treating is, and we have decided that we need to mark this massive moment in his childhood. Mark it is style, ceremony, and Snickers.

Luckily for us, our town has multiple trick-or-treating options, with emphasis on the treat. Today, the downtown stores are where to be; apparently it is like one big Halloween festival over there. We decide that this will be a great trick-or-treat introduction for Super Toddler and practice for the main event on October 31st; a trial run, as it were. Now, we just need to get there, and for some reason, this is proving to be a challenge. After spending all morning as a variety of fairy characters from the frog prince to a fairy godmother, Super Toddler has decided that all he needs to leave the house is his sweat-top and a Cubs hat. My entreaties to just put on a crown are met with an indulgently bemused look that I thought I wasn’t going to see until he was 13. Now, I can’t exactly blame Super Toddler for his confusion. Usually, when he wants to wear his dress-up clothes outside, we tend to discourage it. Subtlety, with an eye roll, if it is his cape, crowns, or any of the wands. Actively, if it is the sheer Princess dress with Mommy’s heels. Today, I am begging him to head out into the world decked from head to toe in sequins and fake-ermine. Being a mom means knowing which battles to pick, and I know that the day is young. Therefore, I pack his costume into a bag, pack Super Baby into a hooded pumpkin sleeper, and head out to get Awkward Dad.

Now, I am not entirely sure if taking Awkward Dad with us, after his 30 hour shift, is a wise idea, but when was Halloween ever a time for wisdom? We circle the hospital 5 times, and we wave at the robed gentleman smoking on the bench 4 times, before Awkward Dad emerges. He is none too pleased to find out that we are not going home for him to change. I tell him he can pretend that he dressed up as a doctor for Halloween, but he mumbles something about student loans and falls asleep.

The downtown is truly a festival for the ghoulish and the slightly garish; the stores are bedecked with orange and black balloons, set out to proclaim their participation in the dental decay of our youth. Little ghosts, giraffes, and the kids from Glee abound, dragging in their wake wild-eyed parents, clutching to-go coffee cups and an assortment of debris that have fallen off costumes. Super Toddler has a conniption when we drive past a horde of princesses and insists that I roll down the window so he can shout something about frogs at them. Some stores seem content with their sedate black and orange balloons, but for some this simply won't do. These over-achievers have fastened mini-mausoleums and carefully crafted crypts, overrun with skeletons (or pieces of them), friendly ghosts, and an arm or two. Most have some cast member from True Blood guarding their candy bowls and all are in high spirits (pun totally intended). Holiday excitement fills the air, as well as the melodious strains of The Monster Mash. The music seems to be actually emanating from the parking garage I am pulling into and it wakes Awkward Dad, saving me the pleasure of doing it myself. Thank you Monster Mash!

I throw Super Toddler's costume on him while restraining him from throwing his little body in the path of the Evel Knievel drivers that are whipping around the corner. His king costume consists entirely of dress up clothes that a talented friend of mine made for him. (Thank you, Krista!) Awkward Dad decides that he doesn't want to be mistaken for a fake doctor, so he leaves his lab coat in the car, covers his scrubs with a large sweat-top, and rapidly downs my Diet Pepsi (Awkward Mom's other special weapon in the war against exhaustion). Our pumpkin (AKA Super Baby) doesn't even wake as we transfer him from car seat to stroller; guess he is immune to the power of The Monster Mash. We head to the elevator and ride down with a robot, Hannah Montana, a fairy (who Super Toddler quickly chats up), and twin skunks. I love Halloween.

We interrupt this Awkward Mom broadcast for a test of the Super Baby emergency system. Back tomorrow with more Halloween high jinks from the Awkward family. We get candy from the courthouse, have cape malfunctions in a crosswalk, and dine without highchairs; stay tuned!

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