Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Great Puddle Jumper

It all started with a trip to Goodwill. Jude spotted the frog costume, and Daddy picked up a pair of cute bunny ears for Ada. The costume turned out to be a little bit too small for Jude, but he loved it, so it didn't matter.

Then came the first costume-wearing event, then the second, then the third. By the fourth one, Jude had had enough. It was a long day, with no nap, and we didn't push it. He missed the photo, but had a good time at the party nonetheless. We left after an hour, pumpkin in hand, with no major meltdowns. Given the circumstances, Jude did as well as we could have expected.

The next day was Halloween. Jude had a great morning at the Children's Museum with Ama. He spent three hours leading her around to all of his favorite nooks and crannies. We got him home and down for a three-hour nap, and he woke up in a wonderful mood. It was a lovely evening, and I took the kids out for a short walk before dark. The house about ten up from us had a few Halloween-themed decorations out front, including a life sized man holding a tray of candy. Jude approached bravely, pointing at the spiders, pumpkins, and ghosts. Reaching for the candy triggered some unexpected movement and spooky noises, designed to scare children. It worked. Jude is rarely scared, but he ran back to me crying and begging "Mommy hold her!". I carried him halfway back to our house before he was willing to get down and ride his bike the rest of the way. He had a lot to say to Daddy about the "scary man".

After an early dinner, we got things in motion to go out trick-or-treating for the first time. Our plan was for Ada and Ama to stay home to hand out candy to the hoards of children roaming our neighborhood, while Mommy and Daddy and Jude ventured out in search of treats.

Jude was not interested. He'd spent enough time in his costume and resisted putting it on again. We thought about just letting it go and remembering to attend fewer Halloween parties next year, when Daddy had an inspiration: Silly String. He pulled out a can and started shooting everyone in the house. Jude loved it. When we suggested going outside to shoot the neighbor kids, he was enthusiastic. He even put on the costume.

Out we went, knocking on doors and demanding treats. Jude walked right inside for the first few houses. He thought he had to stay and make conversation to get his candy. "I love your costume, Jude!", said neighbor after neighbor. "I have a FROG!", he would reply. As we approached the Scary House, Jude started to get a little bit nervous, so we decided to turn around and make our way down the hill, looking for Jojo. This is when he really got into it. At every house, we would knock and as the door opened, Jude would announce "I wants candy!". After he took a piece or four and we made our way back to the sidewalk, I would ask if he wanted to keep going or head home. "Keep going!". In the end, we probably made it to about fifteen houses. Daddy said he would consider it a success if we made it to five, so Jude exceeded expectations...

We eventually ran into Jojo and family, and covered them with Silly String. That was fun, but by then Jude was already enjoying our Halloween adventures. We made it home after being out for about an hour, and Jude got to pick out one piece of candy to eat. As he sucked on his Tootsie Pop, he stacked and sorted the rest of his candy, and picked a few pieces to take to bed with him. We got the rest of the candy out of sight, and he hasn't asked for it yet.

All in all, Halloween night this year was a fun community event. We got to see a bunch of our neighbors, meet a few new ones, and Jude got to do something new and exciting. Being outside when it was SO DARK! Asking people for CANDY! We also could not have asked for better weather. I think that next year we'll try to forgo most of the Halloween parties, and also make sure that Jude's costume fits him. Also, we'll stay away from the Scary House. On the other hand, he won't be two next year, so the whole thing might be a lot easier no matter what we do.

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1 comment:

Alex, Andrea, Lucia, Magdalena Jones said...

Great post - I love how he wants mommy to hold "her". Ha! Lucia wanted a sucker too, and also hasn't asked for the remainder of her candy either... next year we may not be so lucky. Thank goodness for the little ones... a few more years of candy for Mommy and Daddy yet...!!!