The Farmer & The Barnyard Dog

Life with children just amplifies everything, doesn’t it? Whatever there was before, now there’s more of it. More joy, more worry, more chaos, more, more, more. Well, except sleep and sex. There is not more of that, but I digress. I’m trying to talk about Halloween. I thought Halloween was pretty fabulous before kids, but now I’m hooked. Perhaps it’s the social psychologist in me, but a culturally sanctioned opportunity to play with a new identity is brilliant. Looking for a little more power? Be a superhero for the evening. Eager for competence? Be a doctor. There’s no harm in it. It’s just good clean fun. Plus there’s candy.

This year Halloween lasted an entire week at our house. We kicked off the week with a Monday morning party with our playgroup that was both fun and almost painfully cute. The party was attended by two pumpkins, a pirate, Curious George, a fairy princess and one small Superman. In addition to friends there were the kind of Pinterest-y snacks that in spite of their cuteness I will never actually get around to making. Again with the village. Thanks to other Moms my children get to experience craftiness. Go team!

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On Wednesday our central library hosts a party with a Halloween themed story time and trick or treating with the librarians. The boys loved wearing their costumes and seeing their favorite puppets dressed up alongside them. Yogi is still laughing about it. It’s pretty packed, but it’s been a good introduction to trick or treating. Familiar, lighted surroundings and not a candy in sight. Just erasers and whistles and book-related tattoos. This was our second year and we’ll definitely be back next time.

IMG_1465Halloween was a stormy, howly-wind kind of night for us. Perfect for the holiday, not so perfect for the holiday activity. Our neighborhood decided to postpone until Friday. After the vomit-fest that was Halloween last year, I was a little leery about striking out in the dark with two kids. We live only blocks from one of the trick-or-treating mecca’s in our town which means crowds of people and entirely too many cars. My wife suggested a to-go cup and I was immediately glad she did. Alcohol does help.

Both boys were in rare form. The Monk was focused like a laser on the candy. He knew exactly what it was and what to do with it. While his older brother when handed a pack of Nerds gleefully shouted “Shaker!”, Monkey gnawed through the box before anyone could stop him and downed the whole thing. There is no way of explaining how he understands exactly what to do in novel situations except to imagine that he just feels it in his bones. The Monk knows things, particularly things about food.

Yogi had another focus.

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I know! Can you believe it?! And that expression?! What possessed him to do that with his mouth? Admittedly, this little pumpkin is one of his favorite people, but this was a little much. He grabbed her hand as soon as we spotted her family in the crowd and they took the houses as a team. Yogi appeared considerably more enthusiastic about the hand-holding then she did, but she didn’t resist. They helped each other navigate tricky steps and agreed entirely on which houses to pursue and which ones to skip. It’s wonderful to be surprised by your children, but it’s also unsettling. Who are these people? Hoping I’ve got a long time to work on figuring that one out.

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