Norah had her first neighborhood trick-or-treating experience. It went really well, despite a rough start.
She had been grumpy all day. The grumpiness compounded when The Stupid Fucking Cat attacked her like a starving puma and went for her jugular. While I was at the office (actual office, not my home cave), and didn't see the attack, Ryan recounted that TSFC was torn from Norah and chucked across the room, which made Norah even more hysterical. Luckily, the bite wasn't really that bad-- it just scared the hell out of her. He'd never attacked her before. (I guess they're best friends again, however.)
So I got home and made dinner. Scratch that. Ryan made dinner first. Norah was tired of being with Ryan all day, I guess, and shunned him and his dinner. Granted, his dinner was oatmeal, but still. He sat on the couch like a defeated lump and Norah howled, "I want my Mommy."
I couldn't see letting her trick-or-treat without eating any dinner, so I made backup dinner. Bow-tie pasta. She'd never had it before. Brilliant move, Heather.
"I don't like that."
"I don't like that."
"I don't like that."
I started my persuasive tactics, telling her we couldn't go trick-or-treating until we eat at least some of our dinner. She said she didn't want to go trick-or-treating.
"Don't you want to wear your Scooby costume?"
Shit. After all this build-up? The constant Halloween discussions? The excitement? The preparation? The costume decisions? The photo ops?? Hell no. We were going, and we were going to like it.
I sat right next to her and loaded a spoon of pasta and corn and chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-ed it to her mouth. Some might say I force-fed my child. Others would call it the Yum-Yum Choo-Choo. Whatevs. It worked.
She went potty and I tried to shove her into her costume. She went all dead-weight on me. She was sprawled half on my lap and half on the floor, not one muscle flexed. She was like a giant slab of meat. I crammed her rag doll limbs in the sleeves and legs of Scooby.
"Let's go!" she cheerfully regained control of her body and trotted to the door.
Okay. Of course, I did what I swore never to do as a child-- I put a warm coat over her costume. Luckily, she didn't seem to mind.
We started walking. Norah was dancing and walking and singing, which lightened our moods, too. The first house that was lit up had people costumed and sitting on the porch. Santa and a fairy or butterfly dressed in black. Norah froze.
"Look, honey! They have candy for you. Let's go trick-or-treat!" I encouraged.
Santa called to us, "Come on over!"
Norah hid behind Ryan's legs.
I awkwardly laughed and called back, "She's new at this!"
The black fairy trotted over to us and handed Norah some candy. She smiled a little and whispered "Thank you."
I waved to Santa and we kept walking.
"I don't like Santa," Norah said, after we were a safe distance.
"But he brings us Christmas gifts!" Ryan said.
"I don't like him!" She practically screamed. Okay. Sheesh.
After that, the rest of the evening went really well. She knocked on doors, said trick-or-treat, only needed a few "What do you say?" prompts upon receiving candy, and she had a blast. Ryan and I did, too. She loved the other kids roaming around. She'd announce herself by yelling, "Scooby dooby do!" And if a house had decorations, she'd let the other trick-or-treaters know that "It's not so scary after all," which is a line from her favorite Halloween book at Nana's.
We went to the Halloween Street, which was a few houses that banded together to decorate really elaborately. We had already walked by it a number of times before Halloween to make sure Norah wasn't scared of it. She bravely walked by, waved to the mummy, and laughed at the silly skeleton.
Oh, but of course they had an added effect. A real person in a cage that jumps out at you. I saw the real person ahead. Please notice her age, please notice her age, please notice her age, I silently begged. No such luck.
Norah froze in fear again. Went behind Ryan's legs again.
"It's okay, Baby," I said, crouching down to her. "It's just pretend!"
The monster realized he was a dickhead and lifted his mask. "Happy Halloween! Go inside and get some candy!"
"I need up." Ryan lifted her up and held her tight.
After we walked away, she asked who was naughty to him. She though someone had trapped him in the cage. She's asked me this now 20 times a day since. At least she's forgotten about the stupid space alien.
After we canvassed the neighborhood, we drove to the grandparents. Norah didn't really want any candy from Papa, though, just stories. So he read her a few books, then we stopped by Ryan's mom's, and then we finally went home and passed out.
Not so scary after all.