And yes, my three-year-old is indeed carrying his bathing suit with him, in the middle of a pumpkin patch, without a pool in sight, in the middle of October.
Don't all three-year-olds exhibit this kind of behavior?
And don't all sisters direct their uncooperative sibling's faces to the camera, while encouraging them, "SMILE!"?
On Halloween, we set about carving our pumpkins.
And then we got dressed in our costumes.
I absolutely adore how my Carolyn is such a big helper. Here, she's at it again. "LOOK! SMILE!"
And yes, those are the same exact costumes our children wore last year.
1. The costumes still fit;
2. The costumes are in great shape;
3. The children didn't protest. At least not too much;
4. We live in a brand new neighborhood and no one has ever seen our adorable Wizard of Oz cast and perhaps most importantly,
5. Mommy is
Daddy was the King of the Forest. (As in, "If I were the KING of the Foooreest!") Although most of the neighbors who saw him thought that he was The Burger King.
I was the Wizard. As in, The Great One of Oz. Except in blue, not green. And with a much different style hat. (Thanks Kathy!)
Quick show of hands for anyone who has consumed their body weight in "Fun Size!" candy bars over the past few days. Note to self: In a neighborhood with less than 20 children, it's best not to invest in two-150 piece Costco bags of candy.
Henry, surprised me greatly, when he opted for the cozy and warm Scarecrow, over his ripped and shredded Buzz Lightyear costume. Of course, it might have helped that I had hidden the torn Buzz costume in the attic earlier in the month. (Shhh!)
I sincerely don't remember, Halloween being as much fun as it was this year. Maybe I'm just getting old and I forget all the fun Halloweens I've had in years past ... but this year, we unexpectedly rendezvoused with some of our new neighbors and we spent the next six (as in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) hours canvassing the neighborhood.
"I got a buck burning a hole in my pocket. Who knows where can I buy some lollipops?"
"I need CANDY, Man!"
"I need CANDY, Man!"
In California, trick or treating would typically consist of Charlie or I, completing one lap around the neighborhood. We would visit approximately 30 houses, in approximately one hour, and then we'd spend the rest of the evening sitting on the front steps of our home, eating roasted pumpkin seeds with neighbors, and handing out candy.
This year, because our neighborhood is not nearly so densely populated, and neither of us expected that we'd have many trick-or-treaters, nor did we want to miss our own children's trick-or-treating experience, we left a basket of candy on the front steps and set off as a family.
For the first two hours, we were making very good time, going from door to door. I thought for sure we'd be home and have the kids in bed by no later than 9 PM, 9:30 tops.
But then, as we started to get further and further away from home - and the roads became more hilly, and the night increasingly chilly, neighbors would invite us inside to warm by the fire. There was a momentum that kept carrying us from open door to open door. We couldn't stop it. We just had to go with the festive flow.
Everyone had something to drink for the children, and an abundance of "adult beverages" on hand. "Something to warm the core," they'd tell us, "on a cold, cold night!"
Burger Meister. Meister Berger.
Halloween went on. And on. And on.
We crossed paths with so many fun people that my sides hurt from the laughter. We crossed paths with one man who was toting a 12-pack of Bass Ale in a small wagon, handing out cold ones to whomever he met.
And then, moments before we met one of our other neighbors, Charlie and I had been discussing how terrible we felt that we had sent our children out on Halloween night, without a well-balanced dinner, beforehand. (I was just reminded we did the same thing last year. Oh, oh. I see a trend...) I'm pretty sure I handed them each an apple at 4 PM, and then we were so busy trying to get them dressed and out the door, we totally lost track of dinner.
We tried hard to rationalize and justify our oversight. "We'll get home in good time! And uh, let's see. There's peanuts in Snickers. That's protein right?"
Right about then, we met Bill, whose daughter rides the bus to school with our children. As we stood chatting about the neighborhood and how much we're enjoying living here, I asked, "So, Bill, your daughter goes to the same school as our children. Who is her teacher?"
He chuckled as he said, "Look, I know that 1) I have a daughter and 2) She goes to school. That's where it ends!"
OK, so it might not seem so funny now, but at the time, Charlie and I almost fell down we were both laughing so hard.
After about the fourth hour, the children could hardly walk - but they didn't want to stop.
So they rode ... either in our neighbor's golf cart ... draped with warm blankets ...
Or in the wagon with the cowardly lion, that completed our Wizard of Oz ensemble.
We finally decided, at ELEVEN PM, it was time to go home. Our kids were in the middle of playing duck-duck-goose in the middle of our neighbor's lawn (with their children) and they were visibly upset that this most awesome of all nights ever was coming to an end.
That's the latest I can recall keeping our children up. But seeing as they were out of school for the next two days, I figured that they could make up on their sleep. When I left yesterday morning for a parent-teacher conference at 9:30 AM, Elizabeth was still in bed snoozing.
Her brothers and sister, meanwhile, had just pulled themselves out of bed and were gathered around the table enjoying a breakfast of lollipops and M&Ms. And look, I see Orange Juice! Hooray for OJ! That stuff is loaded with Vitamin C and fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium!!
That's definitely what the GOOD parents feed their children!
But come on...
At least I know who their teacher is!