Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I wasn't intending to get a costume for Jackson. He is a little young yet for trick or treating. But friends saw the chicken costume at Old Navy and bought it for us. And it is really cute. It's the kind of costume you can only put a kid this young in, cause any older and he would refuse to be seen in it.
I dressed him up and took him over to the bank near the Palace this afternoon. They advertised pictures with a scarecrow from 2 -4, so we headed over. Jackson took one look at the human-sized scarecrow doll sitting on a hay bale and refused to get near it. Smart kid, really if you think about it. I don't blame him. So I sat on the hay bale next to the scarecrow doll thingy and he sat on my lap and we got our picture. A Polaroid, regrettably, so I can't share it with you. But in it, my little chicken boy had a wary look on his face. As if he wasn't sure we should be sitting so close to the creepy doll man, but he was willing to trust me for the time being. After the picture all the ladies at the bank oohed and ahed over him and he relished the attention and held court as usual. Adoration comes easy to the child. He takes it as his due.
This evening, he was much less cooperative. Being nearly his bedtime, he was less interested in getting into the chicken suit for pictures. He required a paci in his mouth to suffer the indignation. It took both me and David to get the thing on him. I kinda feel bad now for forcing him into it when he clearly just wanted to wind down and go to bed. Sorry Jackson. The family demands pictures and that means the chicken suit. If I had it to do over I would have gotten all the pics this afternoon when he was post nap and happy.
Once he was dressed and allowed to wander about the front porch with us he was content. Then he got into the candy bowl and managed to get into a Butterfinger bar. Then he was really happy. He helped us greet trick or treaters till he was ready for bed.
In my neighborhood there are a couple of Halloween trends that are really starting to bother me. The first is the caravan of cars driving through the streets. These are parents following their kids as they go house to house. Really, there is car after car of them. And the kids periodically run back to the car to empty their loot buckets. I really think this is not a good idea. There are so many kids out there walking and it is dark and it only takes one kid darting unexpectedly into the street to make a tragedy of immense proportion. Is this a fat American thing? A lazy thing? Or are all these kids from a different neighborhood that requires them to be driven here. That doesn't bother me, bring them on over. But park your car and get out and walk your damned kids around the blocks. And Elaine pointed out that all these slow driving cars could mask a pedophile hunting for the kid that wanders off. Just not a good idea all around.
The second bothersome trend I have seen the past few years is the number of 12-16 year olds trick or treating with no costume and carrying a backpack for loot. This baffles me. As a kid living in the middle of nowhere we didn't often get the chance to trick or treat, but on the few occasions that we did, I would have been mortified to go without a costume. Even now, David and I make an effort to put on something costume-like just to hand out candy. But these kids seem to have no shame. They are a little old for the pasttime anyway, but to do it without even an attempt at a costume seems to reek of teenage entitlement and that attitude always gets my blood boiling. They don't have to make an effort, they don't have to do anything but open their bookbag to get the candy that we bought with our ever dwindling single and a half income bank account. I really am thinking of implementing a no costume - no candy policy at my house.
But two things stop me: the thought that some of these kids may be from poor households with nothing extra with which to buy luxuries such as costume supplies. And the fear of retaliation for turning them away. There is nothing more scary to me than teenage anger. Probably the worst I could expect would be a severe toilet-papering, but in today's world fifteen-year-old boys are scary creatures. They can kill and maim without regard for consequences or reprisal. Not a likely scenario, but one that makes me not turn away the costumeless teens. I did only give them a couple pieces of starlight mints and dum dums this year, but I am not brave enough to chastise them for their laziness and send them away empty-handed. Maybe next year.