Halloween: More Tricks than Treats

Ryder in octopus costumeWe’ve had a number of enthusiastic inquiries into Ryder’s first Halloween experience. We weren’t too surprised by the interest, because as his doting parents, we know that he’s real easy on the eyes. Technically, he’s was around for another Halloween, but last year’s sadly unrealized plan consisted of us swaddling him in a white blanket, putting a red pillow on top of him, wrapping the whole thing in a black belt and calling him “Baby Sushi.” And even that didn’t happen. So this was, in all actuality, his real, first Halloween.

Dressing up a little cute bugger like him in a costume that enhances his natural cuteness is a recipe for success. We engaged in our official family Halloween festivities the Saturday before the actual day of Halloween, dressing him like an octopus and parading him around our Lincoln Square neighborhood. Actually roaming the streets of Chicago with a child who can’t actually utter the words, “Trick or Treat” was ruled out as non-essential activity. Also, it’s hard to carry him for an extended period of time. He’s been eating like a undernourished truck driver lately, but you never know it from his cavalier attitude about his figure.

We made the loop around the square, along with our friends Grant and Tessa, and their daughter, Remi, who was dressed as Pebbles Flintstone, complete with styrofoam-bone hairpiece. Things went south early, when unsuspecting Remi was struck with a door; some buffoon who wasn’t paying attention rocketed the thing open at extra-fast-even-for-adults speed. Never mind the fact that the neighborhood was crawling with kids, there’s a person handing out candy in front of a doorway to a TOY STORE, and well, it’s Halloween. Sir, should you ever read this, I will only say this once, but please take heed: You need to be a lot more careful. After some well-deserved wailing, Remi recovered beautifully, and we were able to slowly make our way further down the row of storefronts. For Ryder, everything was proceeding smoothly until we stopped to talk to a friendly looking neighborhood man. The neighborhood man also had a child with him, dressed up, but the details of his child escape me. He crouched down, encouraging his child to interact with Ryder. “Look honey,” he said. “She’s a dinosaur.”

OK. Stop the presses. This cute little octopus is about to put eight tentacles of underwater fury all up on your and your little one, with a quickness. What kind of dinosaur has four, equally proportioned tails positioned at his waist? Not the kind that we like occasionally dress up as here in America, my ill-informed neighbor. *NOTE: The other four tentacles that made him an octopus were his hands and feet, thank you very much.

Recovering from the insult of that interaction, we continued along the circuit of participating stores. Ryder collected candy like a champion, blissfully unaware of the insult that had been heaped upon him, as well as the fact that he’d never even come close to laying his mouth on the candy he diligently gathered. Which was no real problem for him, considering our list of Halloween booty read something like this:

• 1 Dum Dum (Pineapple)
• 2 Tootsie Rolls
• 1 Starburst Sour Fun Pack (2 pieces)
• 1 BottleCaps Fun Pack (4 pieces)
• 1 Whoppers Fun Pack (3 pieces)
• 1 Pixie Stick

And that was it. The excursion took us approximately four hours, included both physical injury to cherished playmates as well as the outright questioning of our son’s gender, and ultimately yielded so little candy that said candy could be consumed in less than 15 minutes of focused activity. As a consossieur of all types of candies, I was left with the distinct feeling that dressing up your children to get free candy is a much less effective way to spend one’s time than simply purchasing gobs of one’s preferred candy at your local big box retailer. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure we’re going to be doing this for years to come.

Leave a Comment.