If every October is going to bring with it The Great Costume Conundrum of [Insert Year], then I’m about to peace out from this Halloween bullshit. I thought having children was supposed to exacerbate that childlike wonder of trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and pushing friends into chainsaw guys? Because so far, all it has done for me is stack a metric ton of stress upon my chest. All over a goddamn costume! This shit started last year, when all of a sudden my little voiceless pet developed a mind of his own and just couldn’t decide on a costume and batted away all of my suggestions like so many filthy flies.
Immediately after his Halloween party on Friday (I will get to that tomorrow), he goes to us, “Yeah, so…I don’t want to be Ben 10 for trick or treating. I want a new costume.” OH WHAT A SURPRISE. And poor naive Chooch, he had hopeful dreams of us taking him to 12 different Spirit Halloweens while he vetoed every costume on the racks. I sat him down and explained to him that I already wasted $30 on a piece of shit pelt of cheap fabric and he’d make due with what we already had in the house. Which turned out to be a clown wig and bow tie.
“You can be a zombie clown,” I suggested, which was more of an order actually.
“No! I want to go get a new costume!” he stamped.
October brings out his rich kid silver spoon syndrome, I fucking swear to god. I have NO IDEA where there this comes from. (I was more of a silver platter kind of kid.)
Halloween afternoon, it was getting down to the wire. He was still huffing about not wanting to be a zombie clown when a commercial came on for Creepy Crawlers. I wasn’t even aware that Creepy Crawlers still existed, and evidently they are a million times more disgusting than when my brother Ryan used to terrorize me with them.
“I want that,” Chooch said.
I seized the moment. “If you let me do your makeup for trick-or-treating, I will buy you that tomorrow, I freaking swear to god.” I am not ashamed of resorting to bribery. A little promise now and then can get you pretty far in life. How do you think I get Henry to do everything I want? (I rarely pay up, though.)
We even pinkie-swore on it.
And that is how I was able to get my finicky child to sit in a chair while Henry and I tag-teamed him with costume makeup.
It’s a good thing Henry and I are makeup dunces, because we honestly were striving for a half-assed, disheveled, under-the-dock-all-night-with-a-bottle-of-Jack look. Chooch was absolutely miserable through it all, but I kept whispering Creepy Crawlers in his ear.
Once we were done and he saw his face in the mirror (and also got Andrea‘s seal of approval), the day took a decidedly happier turn. He flew outside and readily posed for photos, while waiting anxiously for people to walk past and see him.
Some day, Chooch will realize that his mother is ALWAYS ON POINT and maybe we can eliminate all this wishy-washy, back-pedaling, mind-changing bullshit that is seriously the most miserable fucking game ever.
He hates the feel of fake blood on his face (as opposed to the real thing, which he’s been coated with way too frequently). So we tried to go easy on him.
Chooch’s cousins Zac and Steph came with us this year, which made it more fun. Trick-or-treating is meant to be done in groups! I felt bad for Chooch last year, being stuck with me and Henry. He looked so envious every time he saw flocks of children together.
Steph didn’t actually trick-or-treat, but came along as a bloodied escort. She volunteered all season at Hundred Acres Manor (where my friend Gina peed her pants) so her make-up is always disgustingly good.
Chooch and Zac got equal amounts of love from passers-by. Everyone loves a good Jason Voorhees! I noticed that most people were like, “Aw! Cute clown!” But then Chooch would get closer and they would notice the blood and his naturally sinister visage (sometimes he gets too into character and it scares me because I think it’s real), and their voices would kind of trail off.
Less than a block away from our house, some girl bit the pavement and began wailing. Henry, Steph and I just stood there, and I said, “Well, this is awkward.” And then I laughed and rolled my eyes because she barely fell that hard and it was a little excessive, this high extent of pain she was attempting to convey.
Fifteen minutes later, Chooch totally fell head first down someone’s front steps. He managed to NOT bust his front teeth through his bottom lip this time, and mostly just hurt his chest a little. It was a slow descent, and there were no wounds to show for it. But when he stood up, he looked at his hand and began sobbing. “I’m bleeding!” he cried.
It was just some of his makeup.
“I guess this is what I get for laughing when that little girl fell,” I joked inappropriately.
He cried for about thirty seconds while the residents of the houses near the scene of the accident offered encouraging and soothing words to him. Then Henry asked, “Do you want to go home?” and he sort of wiped his eyes and gave Henry this ‘hell no!’ look, then stomped off to the next house. Thank god. The tears did little to mar his painted face, which I was admittedly too preoccupied with.
After that, I practically life-flighted him down every set of steps.
And he still wiped out another three times. And the number of “close calls” was in the double digits.
“He needs a Hover-Round,” I mumbled.
“Or a Segway,” Steph added.
Chooch did much better this year than last. He actually remembered to say “trick-or-treat” at every house and didn’t get as distracted by all the Halloween yard decorations as he did last year, when we were forced to spend at least five minutes at every house while he inspected all the inflatables in the yard and dummies on the porch.
While waiting on the sidewalk in front of one of the houses, I saw their large black cat inflatable begin its slow tilt into the earth, but there were people in front of me so I couldn’t see the culprit. Once I saw it was Chooch whose ankle was caught in it, I murmured, “Of course it would be my son.”
And who knew Henry was the official coach of trick-or-treating? My god, was he bossy. “START OVER HERE AND CRISS-CROSS! NO ONE’S HOME, YOU’RE WASTING TIME! TURN DOWN THIS STREET NOW!” Jesus Christ, Henry, get a life.
Oh look, Chooch – Mommy was a clown one year too. YOU ARE SO MUCH LIKE ME.
This morning before school, Chooch was watching Spongebob. A commercial for Creepy Crawlers came on. “I’m getting that today, YOU SAID!” Chooch reminded me.
Fuck. I liked him better when my promises wafted away into the ether of his psychotically-whirring mind the moment they were uttered.