Last night was the first year that Denis and I were able to sit and pass out candy together. In past years one of us would go around with at least one of the kids to do the front of the neighborhood, and then swap and the other parent would do the back of the neighborhood. This year The Girl was going with her friend, and The Boy was going with his pal, so Denis and I were free to pass out candy.
Our neighborhood goes NUTS for Halloween. Last year we had 279 kids come through for candy. That’s a huge change from the dozen kids we’d get in our New Jersey neighborhood. Parents walk around in full costumes, houses go full on haunted, and the kids have a blast.
Usually we’ll just do a few things – we’ll put out lighted plastic pumpkins, a skull, a hanging bat – nothing major. This year Denis decided to wear a scary mask while passing out candy.
The reactions of the kids were great. They ranged from, “I love your mask!” to complete terror. And the terror wasn’t always the toddlers. In fact, some of the toddlers were completely unfazed by the mask. They’d come right up and look him in the eye and say, “Trick or treat!” Two kids stood out in particular. One was a precious little girl – maybe 2 years old. She was basically dressed in yellow pajamas and had cornsilk blond hair. She was adorable. She was smiling as she came up the driveway and by the time she got to our table she was on the verge of tears. She quickly took the candy I offered and turned to go, but she kept turning back, staring at Denis. As she went on down the sidewalk, Denis laughed, saying, “And so a clown phobia is born!” The other one that made me laugh was a teenage girl who came up to our table but didn’t look up right away. She was very cheerful in her princess outfit, and said, “Trick or treat!” As she looked up, her smile wiped from her face in an instant as she stared in horror at Denis. He didn’t notice because he was talking to another child who was at our table. I gave her candy and she hightailed it back down to the sidewalk. So great.
We didn’t have nearly as many kids coming out this year – we wonder if our neighborhood has finally “aged out” and now we need to wait for the next generation to become old enough to being trick-or-treating. But we if we got 200 kids I’d be surprised. I think it was closer to 150 this year.
As for our kids, they had a blast going out with their friends. When CootieBoy got to our house with his 4-5 pals, they said they’d sing a song for extra candy. I whipped out my phone to record it just as they launched into a chorus of (of all things) “Puff the Magic Dragon.” The mom who was walking with them said they had done quite well by singing at a few houses for extra candy.
And now for costumes! CootieBoy decided to be the 11th Doctor this year. Unfortunately, the pre-made costume I bought was too small and the next size up was on serious backorder (not shipping until November 7 – really??) so we made one up. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a boy’s tweed blazer that was less than $70, so he had to go with just the bow tie and suspenders, along with the sonic screwdriver, to show he was the doctor (no, we didn’t have a fez either). No one knew who he was and I heard one girl say, “Look, another kid dressed up as a nerd!” He was NOT happy about that.
CootieGirl also went for a Doctor Who themed costume, opting to go as Clara, the most nondescript companion in the past 8 years. But that’s what she wanted. She may not have been recognizable, but she did look pretty cute.
They both ended their trick or treating early because around 8:15 p.m. a massive thunderstorm started and forced everyone back indoors. We had a few late kids come by – driven by parents – for candy.
All in all, a fun night. Next year if CB decides he wants to be the Doctor again, I know to order the costume in August rather than waiting until late September.