The kids had their costumes planned for weeks, maybe even months before Halloween. An octopus for David, a butterfly fairy for Mary Virginia (heavy on the butterfly, light on the fairy), and a hand-me-down dragon for Thomas.
Then the day before Halloween, Mary Virginia called an audible and switched to the most terrifying costume of all: child with a fever. It was a small fever, but still. A fever is a fever, and I would much rather she dress as something more innocuous like maybe the 2016 presidential candidates?
What I was really worried about was that her not trick-or-treating would reduce our candy haul by one-third. Thankfully that didn’t happen and she recovered in plenty of time for Halloween.
Lo! The triumphant butterfly, shock-topus and grumpy dragon!
Thomas started crying the moment he saw his dragon pants, and screaming when we put on the jacket. This isn’t normal for Thomas so I assumed he was morphing into Baby With Fever, but in hindsight I think he was just getting into character? Roar?
Thomas made it very clear that wearing a dinosaur costume and walking down the street was the last thing he wanted to do, until we put a sucker in his mouth. Then he was all, “Why don’t we do this every night?
The second house we went to was our across-the-street neighbor, and their eight-year old son answered the door wearing his gorilla costume. That’s something you expect if you’ve been around for 30 or so Halloweens, but if this is your third Halloween and butterfly-fairy costumes are more your speed, staring down a gorilla isn’t really worth a fun-size Kit Kat.
Even after he took off his mask, the image of the gorilla stuck with Mary Virginia, and it’s all we talked about for the next, oh, seven or so houses.
MV – But Mommy, gorillas aren’t real, are they?
Me – Well, gorillas are real animals, but there are no gorillas in Richmond.
MV – Are we still in Richmond?
I even tried to explain that not only are there no gorillas in Richmond, there aren’t many gorillas in the world. DO NOT WORRY, Mary Virginia. If you want to be devastated about gorillas, you’re taking the wrong angle.
The only thing that distracted her was when she realized that behind every door was 1) candy 2) a person that would talk to her.
This is how it went:
“TRICK OR TREAT! My name is Mary! That’s David and the other one is Thomas and that’s Amanda and there’s Tom and WE’RE THE KRIEDERS!”
At some point David would interject, “D-A-V-I-D!” Just to be clear that he uses the traditional spelling of “David.”
Then she would continue, “Well, we used to live in a house with bricks but now our house is white. I’m three, David is five, and Thomas used to be zero but now he’s one.”
One porch had a bench with a cushion, and Mary Virginia shimmied onto the bench and announced, “This is nice! We should visit here!”
At every house, David would ring the doorbell, and as we waited for an answer, Mary Virginia would inhale and her chest would inflate, filling with words and information. We were all careful to not touch her because we worried she might pop and all the letters and exclamations would spill out onto the porch, and who’s going to clean that mess up?
Mary Virginia has a long and fulfilling career in door-to-door sales ahead of her, and I fully support that venture. Just as long as she’s happy.
And never rings doorbells during nap time.
The kids were running full speed until one second after I said, “I think we should go home now.” Then they could not walk another step, and all their legs and antennae and squished had to be carried to the stroller for the ride home.
Even though we very clearly told our kids that only Thomas was allowed to cry, and that this would be an excellent time to thank Mommy and Daddy for a magical night of trick-or-treating, there was a lot of whining on the way home.
I’m tired! I want to sleep! Why aren’t we home!?!?
Tom and I continued with our captive audience, explaining to them that in the morning the best thing to do would be sleep a little extra. Children, when you wake up in the morning, just try closing your eyes again and sleeping some more. Just try and keep trying until 8:30.
We were all up by 6 a.m.
All of us, even the cat.
At 6 a.m., grumpy and exhausted and strangely sore from our less-than-a-half-mile-walk-through-the-neighborhood and eating York Peppermint Patties and Butterfingers for breakfast.
Oh, totally unrelated but before I forget — anyone need any red tights? We have a bunch of sizes. Slightly used.