Saturday, October 31, 2009
This afternoon, I announced it was time to go to our building's Halloween party. "Can I watch George?" he asked. No, it's not tv time, it's time to interact with other kids. We waddled downstairs.
Ryan colored in a ghost, played with stickers, avoided dancing with the other kids, and ran off to the laundry room. The party was too loud for him. I think we stayed all of 10 minutes.
I followed him to the elevator, took him home, gave him dinner, let him watch tv. Then we announced it was time to go Trick or Treating. He allowed me to dress him, grabbed his big plastic pumpkin, and dutifully walked out the door. There may have been a little excitement in there, but mostly it seemed like following directions.
Last year, he hadn't seemed to enjoy trick or treating all that much, but at the end of the night he was thrilled, and the next morning he was asking to go trick or treating again. I prepared myself for a similar outcome. Plus, I reminded myself, he still has a cold. I keep my expectations low when he's tired.
We followed the other kids from the building to the next block, where the neighbors take Halloween very seriously. One family creates a very impressive haunted house in their driveway every year; other folks hang out on their front stoops to greet trick or treaters.
We coached him to say "trick or treat" (and not "Can I have candy please?"), take candy, and say "thank you," in that order. The first house we went to, he walked right in to the living room. This prompted us to add the instruction, "Then you turn around and walk down the stairs."
After the fourth house, he announced, "I want to go back home now." We were thrilled that he had expressed himself so well, but we weren't about to let him quit so soon. We kept going for another block and a half, which included that fantastic haunted house (Ryan was not scared), tiny people dressed as ladybugs and turtles, two slutty teenage Dorothys, and a man in a toga. We knocked on a couple of doors within our building, then went home.
We showed Ryan how to dump out his loot on the floor. While Ryan sang a little song to his Skittles, Stu and I tried to remove all items containing wheat: pretzels, Goldfish, Twix, Twizzlers, Whoppers, Kit Kat. There were lots of questionable items - candies in wrappers "not labeled for individual sale," without ingredient lists or allergen warnings - that we took away just to be safe. I think we confiscated half of his haul.
Ryan had me open the Skittles. He put one in his mouth, bit it, held it in his mouth a few seconds, and spit it out on the floor. Then he tried another one; same reaction. And another. And another. He spit each of them out. I think he liked the flavor but not the texture, so he was treating them like sunflower seeds: eat the nut, spit out the shell. Earlier, he had rejected several other candies: he spit out his first bite of Mr. Goodbar and Snickers, and never looked back at either.
He got really happy and silly for about 30 seconds, but the crash was immediate; he was asleep before 7pm.