I knew that my child would never be the kind of kid who ran from house to house seeking candy and attention. He would either be the kid who sat down and played with a bug or just passed on the Trick or Treat walk altogether in favor of examining the tail lights on someone’s car.
I was mostly right.
We started out by explaining to Abe he would walk up to stranger’s houses, say, “Trick-or-Treat”, and then open his bag to receive candy from the stranger (something he would never be allowed to do again until this very day next year). He’s 2, so he totally got it.
Then we started walking. Seeing as how his legs are about 1/3 the length of mine, 1/4 the length of my husband’s, we walked really freaking slowly. When we finally arrived at our first house, we pushed Abe up to the door and told him to say, “Trick-or-Treat”. He said something like, “Tick-a-tick-a-tick-a-teeeeeeeeee.” Luckily, the stranger felt that was close enough to “Trick-or-Treat” and handed him some candy. Abe handed it back. The stranger re-handed it to Abe. Abe, seemingly resigned to just accept the candy, put it in his bag. He then stared at the stranger, waiting for what happened next. “Come on, Abe! We’re all done!” But he wouldn’t move.
You see, my son is more interested in people, what’s in their houses, what’s in their SOULS more than any kind of candy. Abe chose to walk straight into the stranger’s house. I grabbed him, apologizing, and explained we were not going inside, just getting candy. This caused meltdown #1. Why on EARTH would we just take her candy without even getting to know her first? What if she has TRUCKS in there?!
The next few houses were a little bit better. Although he had to touch and admire each piece of decoration on all the porches and front stoops, he did eventually pull himself away to get the candy and leave. Meanwhile, I watched all the three-year-olds in our little group. They were like pros. They knew exactly what to do. They negotiated for more candy, GOT IT, and then ran to the next house, leaving us in the dust.
Then, then the worst possible thing ever happened. A woman walked by…with a dog…on a leash…
“PUPPY!!!!!” Abe ran to this dog like it was his long lost brother, and every time the woman attempted to move along so that she could keep up with her OWN children who were trick-or-treating, Abe screamed and flung himself at the dog. I literally found myself shouting, “Abe! Come on! CANDY!” Nothing moved him. We picked him up and endured meltdown #2. How are we just going to walk around collecting little paper-covered thingies from strangers when there are DOGS to pet?!
Finally, after about the 5th house we got into a groove. He understood what he was supposed to do and he really seemed to be enjoying it, even though he desperately just wanted to chat with these strangers about whether or not they had relatives in the Northeast. We were like normal people with a normal kid who just normally trick-or-treated until…he took off…into the street…where the CARS were. Mommy had a heart attack, chasing Abe and pulling him out from in front of a car that was ABOUT TO RUN HIM OVER. Meltdown #3.
Ok, ok. He ran into the street, yes, but the car was completely stopped and the driver was waving at me. But still. I walked him back onto the sidewalk and another car whizzed past us. You better believe I screamed, “SLOW DOWN, IT’S HALLOWEEN!!” I could see the teenagers inside, sneering at me, and I cared not. I CARED NOT.
And so, after a total of 20 minutes trick-or-treating, we went all the way back home and Abe played with trucks and cars and drank water. Next year. Next year he’s going to be a real kid who FIGHTS for his candy. FIGHTS.