I've always been ambivalent toward Halloween. I love the theatricality and creativity, and it warms my heart to see the freaks of the world, who dress that way all the time, enjoy their one day when they can walk among the Normals. But enduring all the entreaties for treats, especially from kids who should have stopped half their lives ago, is a real chore. In the interest of balance, then, I guess the best idea is to rattle off the events of the day as bloodlessly as possible.
The day began gloriously, with breakfast among all four of us. Then the boys and I got in some really good wheel time in the park, if you don't count when TwoBert nearly ran down Brian Lehrer on the sidewalk.
When it came down to the down-and-dirty, however, our best-laid plans got laid to rest.
My neighborhood has a fun Halloween tradition. At mid-afternoon, people gather in the park and mill around in a vortexual hive of confectional cross-pollination. It's a great opportunity to see all the costumes, and chat with parents, and exchange Candy You Like for Candy You Don't. (And, in some cases, Not-Candy You Don't. Cheddar Goldfish? Seriously?)
I took the boys last year, but Robert, ever the conscientious objector, didn't dress up. I'm not sure why he's over Halloween so soon in his life, but my pet theory is that his brain is growing at 6 times the pace of his body, and he is already viewing the world through the eyes of a jaded 47-year-old with an underwater mortgage and a bad hip. So this year, we decided he should stay at Mama's while TwoBert, finally free of his brother's withering contempt, could frolic freely among the crowd.
TwoBert is very different from his brother because he is the mayor of everything. Apparently the only requirement for him to start up a conversation with you is that you have a name, so he can tell you how to spell it. So when we suited up (Captain Rex, leader of the clone troops) and headed to the meadow, I expected having to drag him home by the lapels of his battle tunic.
It came as a bit of a surprise when, seven minutes after we arrived, he demanded to go home.
What happened? Was it the chaos and closeness of the crowd? Did all the fake blood and fake wounds and fake axes through the head freak him out? Had TwoBert been infected with Robert's 'Weentipathy?
Nope. He was upset that I made him wear clothes under his costume, because of the mere facts that 1) it was 45 degrees and windy out and 2) the thin, polyester fabric had a TOG value of -6. He wanted to leave because ... he felt self-conscious.
Ten minutes after that, we were watching Star Wars. It was toasty indoors, we got to keep most of the Candy I Like, and Brian Lehrer's attorney didn't call. Not a bad finish, really.