From pumpkins to fishermen

2 Nov

When I went running early on Sunday morning, I was startled to see a pumpkin rolling right into my path. I was perhaps more surprised than I should have been: this was, after all, the morning of Halloween. But still, when it’s six thirty in the morning and you’re running at an even pace along an open sidewalk, you don’t expect to see a large pumpkin rolling down some steps and coming to rest at your feet, with its carved face grinning up at you in a manner that can only be described as macabre.

The pumpkin was followed by a large dog, who I think had knocked it off the steps. Still, it was an interesting way to start my Halloween. It threw my run off a bit, because I was now expecting to have to dodge pumpkins every thirty seconds. Fortunately, I made it home in one piece, without further incident, and ahead of the virtual partner on my Garmin training watch.

That evening, after a day of James asking every fifteen seconds whether it was trick-or-treat time yet, we got the kids all dressed up in their glad rags. James had spent the whole of October changing his mind about what he wanted to be. He flip-flopped between Lightning McQueen, Batman, a Transformer and a frog before settling on Ironman. I don’t know who Ironman is or what his special powers are, but James says he’s cool, and really, who am I to argue?  It’s not like I’m an authority on the subject.

I wish I was one of those Moms who can conjure up a convincing costume from scraps of material in the house, but I’m not. I’m one of those Moms who could probably be beaten in a sewing contest by a one-year-old, so I went to Toys R Us and managed to get the last Ironman costume they had in stock. Never mind that it was two sizes too big for James. I put him into the costume, tightened the elastic on the mask, and he looked great. Very Ironman-like.

George was a bit more of a challenge. I have never really known what to do for him for Halloween, because he doesn’t wear costumes. He has pretty intense sensory issues where his clothing is concerned, and he is super-picky about everyday clothes, never mind the weird Halloween stuff with masks and capes and stuff. His costumes have to approximate real-life clothing as closely as possible.

Something that worked in our favour this year is George’s obsession with wearing hats. Not baseball caps, but what I used to call “old man hats”. I put a life jacket on him, gave him a fishing rod, and called him a fisherman. Using cardboard, I made a giant colourful fish with a goofy grin, and I attached it to the end of the line.

Both costumes were a hit. For the first time ever, George actively enjoyed the trick-or-treating. He wore a giant grin that showed off the gaps in his teeth to perfection. James was in charge of ringing doorbells. Both kids collected a scary amount of candy that will last from now until Christmas.

Because of George’s challenges, Halloween has always been a day fraught with anxiety, probably more for me than for George. This year was different. Everyone had fun, and we all went to bed exhausted, but relaxed and happy.

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