The lowdown on Halloween 2008:
Genevieve refused to wear the pants of her ladybug costume. You'd think a crazy, fuzzy, hooded, antennaed, polka-dotted jacket would be more offensive to a two-year-old's sensibilities than a pair of plain black pants, but you would be wrong.
Julia went as a witch. Randomly, her get-up included self-designed and self-applied face-paint from a nursery school activity earlier in the day. So she was a witch with random four-year-old face-paint. OK then.
Neither of my girls napped today. Thus, by about 6:45 p.m., Genevieve was rubbing her eyes and Julia was asking if it was time to go home yet, to "have my treat and go to bed."
We were the lucky recipients of an invitation for dinner at the home of some friends, with trick-or-treating afterward on their block (near Julia's preschool). All I can say is, thank God for fellow parent friends with whom to share the trials and joys of such fraught events as todder/preschooler trick-or-treating. A pre-trick-or-treating mojito helped, too.
Poor Genevieve was terrified of most houses' Halloween decorations, standing paralyzed and speechless upon spying a large jack o'lantern with a big jagged mouth. She spent most of the adventure being carried in my arms, whimpering in protest at the most "festive" homes. Julia was frightened of one house in particular, which had some very scary decorations and which led to my "aha" moment of realization that guess what? Four- and two-year-olds are too little to go trick-or-treating. I've always known this, and somehow we STILL started going out LAST YEAR (when Julia was only three! And Genevieve was one!). Why, I have no idea.
And lastly. A note to myself, the one I repeat every single year and then promptly forget by the following October. DO NOT BUY THE $7.99, 105-PIECE BAG OF CANDY. Especially if you only get SEVEN TRICK-OR-TREATERS AT YOUR DOOR. Did you get that? SEVEN.
Did you read that part up there about the HUNDRED AND FIVE?
People! Good! Lord! That's a lot of extra candy! What in God's name was I thinking? Oh yes--now I remember. I bought that bag at the end of a long, harried trip to Target with an antsy toddler in tow. Riiiight. I recall not exactly having time to notice the number of pieces involved and do my own analysis of past years' turnouts. I recall careening down the Halloween candy aisle, frantically yelling to Genevieve, "It's OK, honey, we're almost done! Aaaaaalmost done. OK, now. Just the candy. Then we're done. Almost done. Yes, going bye-bye. Yes, home. Yes, I know Elmo is on. Yes, just a minute. Just a minute. Just a minute" before pitching a giant bag of candy into my overflowing cart.
There's also the fact that I have zero memory left anymore. You know all those months and years of baby- and nursing-related sleep deprivation? They make you lose your memory. I could no more tell you, in early October, how many (few?) trick-or-treaters I had at my house last year than I could start singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in Russian. So there's that.
Help me. You can start by taking some of my leftover Halloween candy off my hands.
[Edited to add: I just remembered that I bought that giant bag of candy before I knew we'd be out socializing in a different neighborhood until 7:30 p.m. I think we missed a lot of children at our own door tonight while we were gone. Last year we took the girls to six houses on our street and were back home to hand out treats within half an hour. Although I STILL had a bunch of leftover candy last year, according to my archives. So please, someone stage an intervention on me in the Target candy aisle around October 25th next year. Thank you.]