As some of you may know, Halloween has always been a weird holiday in our house. This is because Connor hates dressing up. He has no flair for it, and only picks a totally pre-made costume with the standard plastic mask and branded character. Then he wants to wear it as little as possible, because it feels weird and is everyone else dressed up? and I already got enough candy today at school, I don't want to knock on strangers' doors! I mean really, even free candy didn't motivate him. On the other hand, we have Chloe, who will dress up for dinner if the mood strikes her. (Oh, we're having tacos? Let me grab my sombrero!) This month, she has gone to school dressed as a teacher on Career Day and as a hippie on Seventies Day. She's eaten dinner at Huey's dressed as a "Chinese lady/Ninja," this year's "official" Halloween costume. And let's don't forget the full leotard/tutu/leggings/ballet shoe ensemble she sports each Saturday for ballet class. She can't wait to help me put Gidget in a costume and prowl the neighborhood looking for candy later tonight. Costumes- with a purpose!
This year's Halloween celebrations have gone as follows:
Last Wednesday, Chip and the kids went to the festival at Idlewild Presbyterian, like we do every year. I was still getting over my cold, so I stayed at home. Connor doesn't even have a costume this year, so he wore the "This T-Shirt is My Costume!" shirt that I bought in hopes of shaming him into a costume. Nope- he's nine years old and he's DONE with costumes. Whatever.
Then over the weekend we went to Zoo Boo. In the interest of full disclosure, I was given free tickets by the Zoo. We went last year for the first time, and it was pretty fun. This year, Chip and I had been wavering on spending the money for it when we got the ticket offer. So that decided it for us. The kids and I (Chip was busy) chose to go on Saturday night, as did EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Seriously- that was at least everyone in Memphis, I'm sure of it. Before we left, asked Chloe if this was a costume or non-costume affair. "Just regular clothes," she stunned me by choosing. I didn't mind. As we headed towards the Zoo, I let the kids know that since we hadn't paid for it, we could stay as long or as little as we wanted- there was no "getting our money's worth" to worry about. That took the pressure off, and helped us enjoy it. Naturally we spent a ton of time playing on the playground, and we enjoyed the decorations and the candy, but the star of the show was Magic Mr. Nick. We've all seen his show before, but we loved it just as much as ever. Chloe even went to sit right down front so that she could volunteer for things, but she wasn't one of the chosen few. Someday! We ended the evening in the animals of the night exhibit, which was awesome because it was actually night, so everyone was real active.
Sunday, we went to the Trunk or Treat at Emmanuel United Methodist in our neighborhood. Mom and the Millfills joined us, which was great because my kids LOVE their cousin Maisy! Here is a picture of them making fun of her sour face during the pumpkin patch portrait portion of the evening.
As you can see, Chloe and Maisy dressed up, but Connor did not. I had come to terms with it by then, and adopted a new motto: any time I pay for the kids to collect candy (festival, Zoo Boo, etc), they can wear whatever they please. The kids played every game they could, then went inside to jump in the bounce house. It was fun and we ended up with lots of good candy.
Tonight, I plan to dress Chloe and Gidget up to walk the neighborhood in search of lit porchlights. Our neighborhood is generally pretty lame on Halloween, since there are a bunch of old people who seem to be scared of 2012-model schoolchildren. (Some of the kids are black! Hide!) Connor has agreed to stay home and help hand out candy. I really think there were only two years that he actually trick or treated, and one of those years he was a toddler and only went to one or two houses. Just not his thing. On the other hand, last year Chloe had a stomach flu but STILL costumed up to go to the one house with all the cool decorations. Then she came home and passed out for like two days until she was finally better, at which time she woke up and ate that one piece of candy right away. She will not be denied!
Have fun and be safe out there! Happy Halloween!