Dash and Ozzie were adorable for Halloween. Don’t take my word for it, ask anyone in my neighborhood. By anyone, I actually mean only the few neighbors along one street, because that was as far as our trick-or-treating went.
Last year was the first year we let him trick-or-treat. I’m not judging anyone else who takes an infant, but I didn’t want to make the effort until he got something out of it. He dressed as a pirate and was beside himself with excitement over us not only walking around the neighborhood, but actually going to people’s doors, which wasn’t usually allowed. The first few houses, we rang the doorbells and when they opened the door, he would try to dart inside. He didn’t understand the concept of going to someone’s house and not going in. He could barely bring himself to say “chick-ar-cheet” at half the houses, because he was nervous and overwhelmed, but he always said thank you, so I’ll count it as a victory. It was all very cute, and he was sad when it was over. He forgot about his candy by the 2nd of November, and his Dad and I robbed him blind.
This year, he was actually old enough to anticipate the holiday, and asked me every day for weeks whether it was Halloween yet. We had a couple of different costumes that he’s gone back and forth on, and he finally settled on Spiderman just moments before we left the house. Ozzie was a rat, which I chose for him at the thrift store because it was his size, in great condition, and puffy, so it would be warm. He was oblivious to everything ahead of time, but seemed to be having fun chasing Dash and making “Raaaah!” sounds up until we left.
When we started out, Dash was narrating every step, parroting back all of the prep work I’d put in, “We don’t want to be in the street because it’s not safe. We walk on the sidewalk. We say trick-or-treat and they give us candy!” and so on. Dash was very enthusiastic at the first house, and Ozzie was slightly confused by the whole situation. He didn’t try to go into the house, but it did take a lot of encouraging to get him to chose a piece of candy. He was all kinds of adorable, and he made just the right baby smiles and sounds to get the oohs and ahhs flowing. Ozzie waved bye-bye and Dash gave a gleeful thank you, and ran away from the porch. “Can we do one more trick-or-treat, please?” Dash asked as we walked down the sidewalk. “Of course! We’ll go to lots of houses!” He looked relieved.
But only a few houses later, as he walked away, Dash said, “I’m all full of candy. I want to be at my house now.” I couldn’t believe it, and I asked if he was all done, if he meant he didn’t want to trick-or-treat at any more houses. Did he get enough candy? “Yeah. I got lots of candy! My bag is so full! There’s lots of candy in it!” The whole way back (which, really, was less than a block) he went on about his candy, and how great it was, and how there was so much of it, and on and on. He was thrilled!
I was glad he wasn’t sad when it was over this year. But all told, we hit less than a dozen houses. On the one hand, I didn’t have to schlep all over the place with two maniac kids, on the hunt for tiny twix bars and such. On the other hand, between two kids, there were only about 20 pieces of candy, maybe a few more if you count the houses that gave out a couple. This means there was really not enough for me to steal the candy away without Dash noticing its absence.
Every parent knows the candy tax is the main way these kids work off all the effort their parents have put into their Halloween fun. But since my kid is satisfied, hell, even ecstatic, with such a small haul, I just have to accept that the tax is being waived this year. Damn it!