The kid looks so damn cute toddling about in his orange and black striped tiger costume with the plump, padded bum and curled tail that it would be impossible not to have some affection for Halloween.
In fact, our sixteen-month-old son is the only reason I’ve started to give a hoot about Halloween.
Sure, pre-baby there was a time when I enjoyed Halloween, but that was long, long ago.
It came to a halt when I was 13, the indisputable age-limit for dressing up and scoring free candy.
Of course there were Halloween parties for years to come, but it wasn’t the same.
As my friends and I matured, so did the ensembles.
Instead of being scary black cats there was pressure to be seductive felines with thick, come-hither eyelashes.
Instead of sickly pale zombies we were expected to look as though we wouldn’t dare swat a mosquito let alone eat a brain, and rather than bloodthirsty vampires we were encouraged to dress as trampy vamps teetering around in spiked heels and barely-there garb on a night so cold you can see your own damn breath.
Basically we were supposed to look hot.
With the silly and scare factors gone, so was the thrill of Halloween and my ambition to play dress up.
Don’t get me wrong I love looking sexy as much as the next gal but — can I be honest here? — the thing is, playing the role of fetish party reveler one night of the year felt kind of lame.
There. I said it.
Now after years of being a curmudgeonly witch (sans costume, of course), Halloween is back. There has been an exorcism or sorts and the fun has returned, thanks to our son. That’s the power of parenthood for you.
Last year was his first Halloween. He was a bumblebee and instead of turning out our lights and pretending we weren’t home (yes, we were that house), we handed out candy and, like good, festive neighbours do, marveled at the cute costumed kids gracing our doorstep.
This year, we’re celebrating again with our boy the tiger. He has already tried on his costume and gone roaming and roaring around the house (very proud of his stripes, he is).
Ah, to be a child. There is nothing in the world like it.
Once again we’ll hand out sweets to trick-or-treaters and this year we’re even carving pumpkins.
All that being said, this particular cat won’t be dressing up … unless someone out there happens to have a spare witch costume hanging around and then maybe I'll consider it. Happy Halloween everyone!
I don’t actually buy anything. I just look.
And looking is harmless, right? At least I think it is.
I am talking about online shopping. Or, in my case, online ‘window shopping.’
Since becoming a mom, real life shopping has become hell.
Our baby, who is now actually more of a toddler than a baby, has the attention span of a fruit fly and the tree-swinging energy of a Capuchin monkey.
Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to strap a baby with the temperament of a Capuchin monkey into a stroller? Does that sound like a good time to you? I assure you, it is not.
So, that is our sweet boy: A blend of monkey and fruit fly.
Needless to say buying nice things is no longer a leisurely pastime. Forget ‘want,’ making purchases now is only ever about need.
And there is a big difference.
Take today, for instance.
We needed a) milk (his) b) Cheerios (his) and c) Dried fruit (mostly his).
It takes approximately 10 minutes to get to the store. We made it five before he started kicking, shrieking and writhing in the stroller. I gave him a cracker. Yeah, that calmed the beast for a whole three seconds.
Then I gave him half my sandwich (hey when a wild animal is screaming at you, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to give him the sandwich).
That allowed enough time to buzz around the shop and, in less than three minutes, get everything on our list, frazzled, flushed and frantic. Fun! Fun! Fun!
At the cash, he ran out of sandwich. I’ll just allow you to imagine how that turned out.
Seriously enduring a bikini wax sounds way more enjoyable, if you ask me.
So what this all means is that I’d rather be a character trapped inside a horrifying Rob Zombie flick than go shopping with our son.
Beyond that it means that I rarely get anything that I need or want for myself (such as the pair of fall boots that I really need and want at the moment).
So that’s where online shopping comes in.
It was invented for people just like me. I love loading up the imaginary carts and shopping in peace while our son sleeps. It’s like being a kid all over again and playing make believe.
Sadly, that’s where the love affair ends — I never actually get to the virtual checkout counter. I just can’t commit for some reason.
But this week, I plan on changing that. Not only do I plan on perusing fall boots online and choosing a pair, I also plan to order them.
That’s JUST the kind of rebel I am.
Fingers crossed. The next time you hear from me, I might actually have fresh, fall footwear to boast about (as long as the shipping’s free, that is).
Single moms, I am humbled by the work you do. And I am floored, stunned, astounded, and amazed.
My husband has spent the past couple of weeks working longer hours. This means I've been clocking overtime with our fifteen-month-old son, who just last week mastered the word "no" and the art of full-blown temper tantrums. The child has turned me into a quivering, babbling mess.
To all of you incredible single moms (and dads) who take such good care of your children, all I can say is WOW. It’s a damn tough job.
I know, wow really doesn’t cut it, does it?
It’s a meager three-letter word, I realize, but trust that I mean it with the biggest wow factor imaginable.
If I were a fan of exclamation points, I’d add two or three of them after it. That would certainly make the word jump out and appear bigger, jazzier, punchier, and just far more exciting all around. But, alas, I don’t care for exclamation points.
I am writing this at 9 p.m., my husband is still at work, and I am seeing double. Two hours ago, our son was stuck to me like cling wrap and screaming his sweet little head off, all purple in the face and angry.
What was he angry about? I still don’t know. Heck, I don’t think he even knew.
I’ve just come off an eleven-hour stretch of just baby and me, and my energy is a shriveled up prune. No, make that a raisin; a pathetic wrinkly grape not even fit for making wine.
Every cell is tired and jittery, and I am watching terrible TV (qualifier: we don’t even have cable here).
I am also possibly talking to myself. Or maybe I am talking to the dog. That’s probably it.
And I am thinking about single mothers—those tough and resilient unsung heroes. I am in awe of your secret powers (you do have secret powers, don’t you?).
But most of all, I am wowed.
Truly and sincerely.