Pigpen’s Ghost

If you’re anything like me, today you’re downing your 4th cup of coffee, looking out the window at the soggy spiderwebs sagging in your trees and breathing a sigh of relief that Halloween is over.

Halloween 2013. Featuring Noah as a ghost, Rory as Baby Elton John and Pat as the guy you warn your kids about when you send them trick-or-treating.

That said, it was a good day.

First, I made the ghost costume. It was kind of a mess. For starters, the construction was shoddy (next time, I would use something to hold the head in place, as the eye and mouth holes were constantly shifting around Noah’s face.)

And then there was the guacamole.

I was getting ready to bring Noah’s costume to school for their class party and parade. I gave Rory lunch and then let him play (this currently consists of climbing onto a bench in the living room and flipping the light switch on and off) while I got my things together.

I went to grab the costume and realized that Rory had also just grabbed the costume – with fingers still covered in the guacamole he had at lunch. There were green spots all over the face of the costume. I freaked out and started scrubbing at it with a wet paper towel. This of course, left the entire face of the costume a wet, translucent blob.  As I panicked, Pat tried to be helpful. “Didn’t all the kids in the Charlie Brown Halloween special dress up as ghosts? Noah can just be Pigpen.”

I drove to school with the costume draped over the passenger seat, the air conditioning on and all the windows open. Miraculously, it was mostly dry by the time I got to school.

I had very low expectations of Noah’s willingness to wear the costume. (Last year, he refused to put on his very simple, unobtrusive construction worker outfit at all.) So I was pleasantly surprised that he wore it in solid five minute increments, including part of the class program and the parade.

Getting out the door for trick-or-treating was equally chaotic. The hat to Rory’s parrot costume wouldn’t stay on his big noggin, so we made a last-minute costume change to Baby Elton John. Noah accused me of losing his trick-or-treat basket, which I eventually found in the bottom of a moving box he had been playing with on the back porch. And Pat, being Pat, had to dig out some random clothes at the last minute, ostensibly to go as a magician who had just escaped from a mental institution.

When Pat left with the kids, I sat on the front steps with my friend Chev, eating donuts and drinking beer (a remarkable combination, I must say) and giving out candy to the neighborhood kids. It was a much needed break. The kids didn’t stay out too late: Rory was exhausted by a “traumatic” hug from another toddler in a butterfly costume; Noah itemized his sweets for the day and declared himself done.

Noah told me that the highlight of their trick-or-treating adventure had been visiting a neighbor with legendary Halloween decorations: a countdown clock to the big day, a yard full of cobwebs, inflatables and every talking zombie, creaking tombstone and creepy crawly you could imagine.

“Mom,” Noah said. “Next year, I want to reaaaalllly decorate, okay? Like that haunted house.”

“Oh, sure.” I said.

And why not? I have 364 days to prepare. Or to change his mind.