Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thank Goodness Halloween Only Comes Once a Year

Ah yes, November 1st. That means that we have 365 days (with a leap year thrown in there) until the next Halloween. Not that we had a bad Halloween, but last night after all was said and done, Caroline lamented that she didn't want to go Trick or Treating anymore. I told her that was fine and we could decide when she's almost 5.

We started out T or Ting around 6:15 just as the sun went down. So it wasn't dark at all yet and it wasn't always obvious who was ready to give out candy. But we started walking around and found several houses ready for us. The kids were excited and seemed to enjoy it. And then some obnoxious late middle school/early high school students came stampeding down the street. No costumes, no parental supervision, and their backpacks on backwards so that they could walk up to a house and barely say anything and get their candy. They were running, yelling, and not really caring if a little kid was slowly walking up steps or trying to get some candy. Bryce almost got knocked down a few times. So I think this is where they started to get overwhelmed.

At that point, Jason had to start carrying Bryce between houses because he was tired or he didn't want to walk. Caroline's zest for T or Ting was waining too. Especially when she spotted a kid with a Scream mask. She was a little freaked out by it at first and then in a big gaggle of kids around one house, she lost sight of me and got really scared. The rest of the walk, she kept asking about that mask and I had to keep explaining that it was just another kid under there - a kid that looked, by his height, only to be a few years older than her.

Finally we made it once around the block and had a few more houses to go and Caroline decided she was done. It took a lot of coaxing just to go to one more house before we started for home. Bryce also asked to go home. They just weren't that into it - which is fine with me!

My mom had come over to see the kids off and because she wasn't feeling great, she said she'd hand out candy at our house. So we got home and were standing out in front talking to my mom about the walk when the Scream kid walked up for some candy. Caroline FREAKED out! She got so scared and was clawing at the door to go in - which I opened as quickly as possible. She ran into the powder room and said she was going to sit there for a while. At the same time, Bryce spotted Scream kid and huddled against Jason until he departed.

When I saw the Scream kid was gone, I told Caroline it was safe and she came out of the bathroom, but she did NOT want to go anywhere near the door or to see any more T or Ters. So I made her a cup of hot tea as requested and we sat at the kitchen table and talked about how she was scared. Meanwhile, Bryce sat out on the front porch with my mom and laughed, chatted, and yelled at the kids that walked by for treats. I kept hearing him say, "Hi kids!" or "Bye kids!" each time they arrived and departed. He clearly was into it by then.

However, Caroline still was not. And this was when she told me she didn't want to go T or Ting anymore. She's always been a sensitive kid, I won't deny that, so I'm really not surprised she was scared of that mask. Heck, that mask still kind of gives me the heebie jeebies, but that's based more on my memory of the movies. But for an almost 4 year old, I understand the fear.

And then when it was bathtime, Caroline would NOT go upstairs since that involved walking past the front door until we closed and locked the door. And then she proceeded to have a major tantrum at shower time because I think the combination of the fear, overstimulation, and exhaustion had set in. But we got her settled down by 8pm and she went to sleep without problems.

So obviously, our door was closed to the remaining T or Ters around 7:15. However, I was appalled at 8:45pm when I still heard some older kids running around looking for anyone still giving out candy. And of course they had no parent with them - just ridiculous, if you ask me.

Halloween is not really a great holiday for little kids. I don't know why people don't always get that. With the scary costumes, rude older kids, and themes of dark, fear, and general scariness, it just doesn't make it easy on them. Thank goodness they had such a positive experience at the party on Sunday so Halloween wasn't a total wash - but then, that party was specifically marketed NOT to be scary.

1 comment:

Christine said...

OK- we've found a definite difference between Anya and Caroline, but other than Halloween, they're kindred spirits! I'm glad you all made it through mostly unscathed!