I’m dreading it.
I’ve always hated the way retailers and merchandisers hop on the holiday band-wagon so damned soon. It drives me crazy to see the holiday decorations out before the Halloween is even passed. And who wants to even think about Valentines’s Day candy after the two month binge that is Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s?
But this year, I’m not just annoyed. I’m terrified.
If last night is any indication, Mac seems to have reached an age where he is able to determine when something is different and perhaps more fun than say, eating crayons and watching Mommy stack blocks all day long.
Yesterday was Trick or Treat Night in these parts. And I thought I had a good strategy for getting through it while keeping Mac on some kinda’ normal routine.
Hear the Universe Laughing?
Yes. I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
The day started out well. We did our usual breakfast and long walk and I put Mac down for his nap a little later than usual. I figured if I cheated him on about 15-20 minutes of sleep, there would be a good chance that he’d be VERY tired later and perhaps sleep through all the idiots who continued to knock on our door begging for treats even though the lights were off and we were clearly closed for business. WHY DO PARENTS ALLOW CHILDREN TO DO THAT? GAH! It makes me NUTS!
Anyway, my goal was a 2 hour nap instead of more like 2.5 or 3 hours. Turns out, that was the start of our downward spiral.
Sometime around 3:30 there was a very loud rapping at the front door. (Which was still almost 30 minutes before Mac should have been awake).
Trick or Treaters? ALREADY?!
Satan’s Lap Hound went on high alert – barking and stomping around. And I hadn’t closed Mac’s bedroom door since it was a little chilly in our house and his room is always the coldest so I didn’t want to make him too cold. . .And it just seemed silly to turn on the heat for a nap. (Once again, I’m in the running for parent of the year.)
I abandoned the grilled cheese and soup I was preparing and sprinted towards the door, came to a skidding stop just before crashing into Satan’s Lap Hound and checked the peep-hole. To my surprise, I see the UPS guy. Now, I found this a little odd because I wasn’t expecting a delivery. Although, I suppose there’s always a slim chance I ordered something under the influence of wine and um perhaps forgot. . .
I get a firm grip on Tilghman’s collar and crack open the door. I WHISPER a “Hello?” And of course, he practically shouts, “Would you mind taking a package for the neighbors?”
I know his voice is traveling right up the stairs into Mac’s open door at the top. Gawd, lower your voice. Why do you think I’m whispering?
I agree to take the package. Hell, if he had asked me to take a shipment of drugs I would have accepted. Anything to get him moving and keep the kid asleep.
He goes to fetch the box, and I stick my head out the door a little further. ”Wait. It’s for that house?” He nods affirmatively. ”Well, they just moved. I have their contact info, but I’m not sure I should take a package.”
I’m struggling to keep Tilghman in the house finally pinning his nose to the door jamb with my knee.
“Who’s it addressed to?” I ask, still trying to whisper, even though at this point I can smell grilled cheese burning and I can hear Mac whining. Shit.
We ascertain this package is actually for the new neighbors – whom I instantly decide I hate. They haven’t even moved in yet, I’ve never met them, and already they are a pain in my ass.
I take the sizeable box and wedge it in the door forcing Satan’s Lap Hound to take four steps back.
“Hey, are you trick or treating tonight?” The UPS guy queries.
I answer affirmatively.
Kid’s crying is getting more urgent and I can REALLY smell burning coming from the kitchen.
“Do you think I could have some candy now?”
What the hell?
“Oh, of course,” I say in a passive aggressive manner, “How thoughtless of me. Let me grab it and I’ll be right back to sign for the package.”
I shut the door, scream up the stairs to assure Mac I’m on my way, turn off the burning sandwich and soup, dodge Satan’s Lap Hound, and hurdle the baby gate with the candy basket.
He explains to me he has three children at home but he won’t get to take them trick or treating because he has so many stops and it would be nice to come home with some candy. . .
There’s a drug store at the end of the street, buddy.
I encourage him to take two large handfuls, as well as stuff his pockets. . .
And promptly slam the door in his face.
Chris arrives home timely and volunteers he’s skipping his run. This seems promising. Mac’s eating the grilled cheese – which I’ve scraped with a microplane grater to remove all the burnt parts.
Chris: ”Let me get this straight, the UPS guy got our kid awake and you still gave him candy and you hate our neighbors – whom you’ve never met? Been a busy day for you hasn’t it?”
We wedge a writhing and slightly uncooperative Mac in his monkey suit and get outside where he is lavished with little goodies and attention from our sweet neighbors. He hams it up beautifully toddling all around with the other small children on our block.
About an hour later, I dash inside to make a pizza for dinner. . .and that’s when I hear Mac screaming in front of our house.
Chris brings him in saying he thinks he’s had enough. I agree. I wrestle him out of the costume and notice he’s rubbing his eyes. Yes! He’s tired already!
We eat. I carefully ration one mini Kit-Kat to the Kid, just to make sure there aren’t any belly aches later. Chris goes upstairs to do some work. Mac and I read.
Things seem to be under control. . .
Until I put him in bed.
And there was protesting. . .Lot’s of it. . .For the next hour and a half.
All I can figure is my over-exhausted little monkey didn’t want the fun to end.
When I crawled into bed at 10:30, all I could think was:
If this is Halloween, how the hell am I ever going to survive Christmas?