Well, we did it, we survived our first official Halloween with Erin. We got her a costume, she borrowed a pumpkin shaped pail from her cousins, she went to doors of strangers’ homes and collected candy. For an 18 month old, this is quite a feat. Here was my plan:
1) Try Erin’s costume on a few days before the actual holiday in case she did outgrow it. I tried this, it resulted in a HUGE tantrum and took TWO adults to get her in the thing. Let’s just say, this had me biting my nails in anticipation for the evening of the 31st.
2) Teach the phrase, “trick or treat” in hopes that she would say at least one of those three words. I failed miserably. She would just smile, then try putting her hands on her cheeks and bat her eyes. I tried to explain to her that being cute doesn’t get you candy on Halloween. I’m sure this confused her as it tends to work wonders bumming snacks from kids and parents on the playground.
3) Try to get Erin to nap a little longer or later earlier that day so she could successfully be happy past her normal bed time. I think she napped her usual amount. Oh well.
So that was my plan. I fully expected her cousins (ages 4 and 7) to teach her the rest. As we all got dressed up (Erin was fine getting her costume on once she saw everyone else getting dressed up), her cousins got more and more wound up. Uncle Cory opened the front door and the kids bolted like they were rockets lit on fire.
Poor Erin, so kind and endearing. She just wanted to make sure that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the house was together and not left behind. This decision resulted in her only seeing her cousins for the fraction of a second it took them to zoom past her in the dark, rainy street heading to the next door that was strategically planned to pound on next.
The first house: she was like a deer in headlights….strangers staring down at her, as they put something in her bucket. We make it two steps down their driveway and she stops, puts her bucket down, and reaches in to check out her loot. Second house, same deal. Third house, possibly something similar. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th house, it started to click: I ring the doorbell, someone answers and puts something in my bucket.
Fourth house: Meima and I walk her up, she rings the doorbell, and then hears foot steps come up behind her. As the gentle homeowner slowly opens his door, Erin turns around to see who (or shall we say what) is behind her. There, she learns a new part to Halloween. As she gazes up, Erin finds a werewolf and deceased bride twice her size staring down and her. I swear that wolf was breathing deeply and had some drool coming out of his mouth as he stared right back at her. Erin, not even noticing the man behind her slipping some candy into her bucket, starts to shake her head saying, “no no no…” This was a part of Halloween that was NOT what she expected.
After receiving her candy, Erin now faced the challenge of getting past the wolf and his bride to Mom and Meima. Not an easy feat for a 33 inch ladybug. I swooped her up before tears were shed and we were on our way. Dragging my child from house 4 to house 5, all Erin could do was notice EVERYONE was dressed as something different.
A feeling of being overwhelmed must have come over her because at that point, she dropped her bucket and started signing “all done.” We took her back to the house where we marveled at the costumes as kids rang our doorbell. Somehow they weren’t as scary from the comfort of a house she knows.
And there you have it, Erin’s first Halloween.