Adventures in Parenting #31: Halloween

Of all our holidays and traditions, I find Halloween to be, without question, the strangest. I mean, there are odd things about every holiday and tradition of ours but I think most of them could be explained away fairly easily. Not Halloween. Imagine an alien race landed on earth the day before Halloween then compared October 30th to October 31st. It would make no sense. Everyone still has to go to work, people dress up in weird costumes, and at the end of the day, you have to give complete strangers candy or else they will egg your house. Let's just face it, that's odd. Halloween is also the only holiday (can we even call it a holiday if we still have to go to work and school?) for which my opinion has changed over the years. I loved it when I was a kid (OBVIOUSLY) because of the aforementioned free candy. Then I didn't care about it because I was too old to get the free candy. Then I hated it because Halloween meant dressing up (ugh) and going to parties (double ugh) and general buffoonery that I don't care for (get off my lawn!). And now it's transitioned into this nice little break in the monotony, during which I have to do nothing except buy candy and after which I can pretty much just sit on my couch and relax. That's my kind of party!

Like everything else, adding Cooper to the mix changes Halloween, of course. The next 12-15 Halloweens will be consumed with costumes and candy and no you can't stay home from school because your stomach hurts and yes, dad has to eat all of your Reese's peanut butter cups to make sure they're safe, etc. This year, though, things were pretty simple. No trick or treating or crazy parties, just a costume and handfuls of Reese's Pieces crammed into Cooper's bottle. That's not legal, you say? Nevermind.

Cooper actually got two costumes this year because we want to make it clear to him early on that he can have anything and everything he wants. No, because we bought him a costume for a themed birthday party he attended (yup) and then wanted something more "us" for his actual costume. As such, he attended his YCW class on Thursday morning dressed as a monkey because the state requires that all Halloween first timers must have an animal costume:


For his evening attire, we went a little more contemporary. Or perhaps I should say "nerdy." For those of you who actually know Lindsey and I, it may come as a surprise that I actually came up with this idea given that Lindsey is definitely the creative one in this family and also I hate costumes more than almost anything else in the world that does not include genocide, homelessness, cancer, John Travolta's mere existence, etc. But I felt like we'll only get a couple of years where we get to choose Cooper's Halloween costumes ourselves so we should take the opportunity to imprint some of our style on him. Hence, Elliott and E.T.


Once we transformed Cooper into Elliott, we headed outside with some friends and sat at the curb in order to hand out candy in a place where our dog wouldn't have a conniption every time the doorbell rang. At the curb, Cooper became keenly aware of his new pal and didn't know what to make of him:


It's cool, Coop. Lots of kids were scared of E.T. BUT YOU WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM. Soon, though, the attention shifted from E.T. to the pack of Reese's Pieces sitting on his stroller tray. Now, you might expect him to reach for these treats but A.) His body was strapped into that stroller pretty tight and B.) The hoodie we bought for him is sized for a husky four year old so he didn't have too much control over his limbs. Instead, he used what he had at his disposal: his mouth.


Good effort, little buddy. Once he gave up on the Quest for Reese's, he posed for a nice picture with his mom:


Then sat down with me for a photo opportunity before suddenly realizing that he hadn't eaten in WELL OVER three hours and he needed food IMMEDIATELY:


So now you know all those ridiculously cute photos I've been showing you over the last six months are a lie. This is parenting, ladies and gentlemen! Look at that picture and know it is true! Fortunately, after guzzling a 7 (that's like the child version of a 40, obviously), he returned to his normal self and got to spend some time with his buddy Carter. Cooper and Carter have only just begun to acknowledge each other and they're not too sure about one another but on this night, they kept it civil and were therefore able to bring together two of Steven Spielberg's greatest creations: E.T. and Jaws. If only another kid had shown up as Indiana Jones.


Next year he's going as Hungry from the Weight Watchers commercials, Brian