I'm wondering if we'll get any more trick or treaters - there's still lots of candy left and it's not even nine o'clock. In between flurries of kids, I've been looking at tonight's images, and truth be told, watching this over and over.
"Trick or Treat,
Smell my feet,
Give me something
good to eat!"
and it floats downstairs from where she is, which is in the bath tub. It sounds both echoey and stuffy, and I'm glad I taught it to her after she came back from asking strangers for candy. Nothing could sound more pathetic than a sick little purple unicorn failing to have the energy to be truly obnoxious.
She's had a cold over the last two days, with night time spiking fevers and big croupy coughs that have had the two of us sitting wrapped in blankets on the front porch, admiring our cobwebby decorations. We talk about Halloween, and why Mommy has lots of little red lines in her eyeballs. Mostly about Halloween though, which has been forever in coming.
"Is it today?!" she asked, when I told her it was time to go back in, just after three this morning.
Tonight, the street was full of life.
Dark, with scurrying and laughing and shouting - so unlike when we braved this not yet gentrified area six years ago. Instead of the former trick or treaters I might suspect of breaking into our car as a trick, we were swarmed with the most adorable superheros and princesses and flocks of ladybugs who wouldn't know a proper trick if it were saran-wrapped across their toilet bowl (just remember - under the seat, if you're going to).
I like having a house kids are happy to come to. I also like having a house spooky enough that a few kids are afraid to come onto the porch, though regret overcomes me and often run down the sidewalk after them with extra fistfuls of treats.
Boo Boo does not care for people, or things on his porch.
After we came home from work, and set the pumpkins out, we brought him in. Every Halloween, Grandma Joan begs us to keep him inside, regaling us with horror stories about how black cats are tortured on Halloween, and how rescues won't adopt black cats around this time of year because they'll be offered up as sacrifices by "those Satanic people". This year was no different, and we appeased her as usual. He's spent the night alternately hiding and hissing at Molly, or looking out the door wondering who these freaks are, these parents in mullet wigs with their tiny dragons and bumblebees invading his night time domain and walking so near his rug where he curls up and has shushies.
In fact, much of the evening has passed like this: Boo Boo sits behind Steve's bass, knowing Molly will get "what for" if she goes near it. Just as the footsteps of trick or treaters hit the porch steps, Molly is tempted to rush to the door, the need to sound her best hell hound "Bow WOOO" an almost tangible forcefield around her. But then Boo moves slightly - not intending to leave his spot, but just exactly enough to cause Molly's tiny little brain circuits to overload by adding indecision to the mix. This may repeat however many times - but eventually, the sight of a tiny Ninja at the door is too much, and Molly must obey her instincts.
We set the big pot of candy by the door...
...and sent our own little purple unicorn out to shill for some Coffee Crisps for Mommy. The Mommy who ate about fourteen...make that twenty...mini Twix bars today. The dark chocolate ones are more than fine by the way; the triple chocolate version? Not necessary. It's going a little too far.
Before she left, the compulsory picture of her in costume:
And I don't think anyone has ever seen such a woebegone little unicorn as this. Hold onto your hearts, but don't fear - you will not be hearing her contagious little raspy "Trick or Treat", for it is now late and Halloween is done. It's been hours since this story started, and I am just finishing it.
But, as I have to tell you, like a brave soldier, she set off with her Knight in Fred Perry Sneakers, to conquer the neighbours' hearts, and spread a few respiratory infection type germs. We couldn't add a broken heart to her list of ailments.
Steadfast, she mounted our neighbour's stairs, and quavered "Trick or Treat", with no exclamation.
Because we are her parents,she had been prepared for the inevitable - "What if I'd like a trick?"
"Then pull my Daddy's finger."
She came home, so excited about the previously unheard of candy necklaces and bracelets. Dumping the overstuffed plastic pumpkin basket on the table, Steve sorted and checked the loot and let me know we were heavy on the chips, low on the peanut butter cups - that's how the world's turning these days, I guess. Josephine chose candy for me, and some for Steve, because she is not yet greedy for even the worst crap like Dots. As she looked at the tiny boxes of raisins, she echoed my "Damn hippies" comment. Some treats, like the individually wrapped guaranteed nut free (and practically cocoa-butter free) chocolate spiders, were so awesomely fantastical to her that we each had to have one bite so we could all understand how she "really thinks it's very good".
But in the excitement of angels and princesses coming to the door, and not realizing that a candy necklace string isn't meant to fit over a unicorn's head - some candy ended up on the floor. Judging by the amount of time Molly spent licking her chops, she's the one that ate my lovely plain square of caramel. And its wrapper. And some candy necklace beads scavenged from under the sofa, and a bit of wrapper from some green thing. Perhaps some Doritos. Oh...and I just realized the green wrapper came from a gummy hot dog, and since I don't remember anyone eating that, she ate a gummy hot dog too.
And now, the Jack O' Lanterns have been extinguished and I've inhaled the last of that fantastic singed pumpkin interior scent. We brought in the decorations most likely to be stolen, and there's still lots of candy in the pot by the door. Given the choice, everyone, EVERYONE, took a Play-Doh. Especially the big kids - the ones who were taller than me. When told to choose one thing, they chose Play-Doh, and thanked me. So, at the going rate of $2.99 for 25 mini cans, purchased at Target, that memorable elixir was the Belle of the Ball.
Boo Boo is no doubt, fouling the clean laundry in the basement, crushing it with his dense kitty mass and leaving his hairy imprint, and licking his unmentionables as is his wont. Molly is on her chair, curled up and wrinkling her nose at the smell of what I used to clean it. Steve is tucking in upstairs - I just heard him locking the suitcases we store rarely worn clothing in, and putting them back on top of the wardrobe. Why? Because we are the kind of household where a neighbour's seventeen year old daughter will come over knowing that there will be funny clothes to borrow. This year she went away with rather complete cowgirl outfit, and a red velvet and white maribou "Naughty Santa's Helper" get-up that hasn't seen the light of day in four years.
I am downstairs on the sofa with Josephine, who is hot and restless and snorting and coughing in her sleep. I'm just close enough that as she stretches and tosses herself about, her hot feet bump into me in no gentle fashion. Sometimes she kneads my thigh with her toes. She sometimes wakes up a little, opening her eyes to see if Fantasia's still on, and falls asleep without really seeing anything other than that it's there for her.
I would show you an image of her clean hot little bare feet just sticking out, the bottoms all pink and the tops smooth, one sometimes folded over the other neatly when they're quiet - but they are so soft and tender and curled in under the down blanket that you would die of longing to reach through your screen, and take them, and put one on each of your cheeks and hold it there fast, only moving them long enough to inhale their sleepy feetyness, running your nose along the instep and then kissing them a million times, which must be done before they grow big and tough and stinky, and while she is sick and sorry and sleepy enough to barely object.
And now, I am going to do that, just a little, then maybe have some Doritos and the last Coffee Crisp.