November 1st, 2011
That was the response every time we pulled out his costume over the past week. As a last ditch effort, I took him to the firehouse down the street Halloween morning to show him the uniforms that hung on the wall of the house and talk about how firemen can’t fight fires in their PJs. A fireman spotted us and opened the door. Immediately Fiver was smitten by this man and went full cherub on him (i.e. big eyes, round face, perfectly pursed lips, polite nods). “Do you want to see my fire jacket?”, the fireman asked. “Do we? Indeed!” I replied (Fiver nodded). “You know, firemen…”, he began. “Poop on the potty?!”, my son interjected with great hope, reaching for a common thread between himself and this amazing man in uniform. (Well, 85% of the time anyway.) “Um, yes, we do”, the fireman recovered. He showed us his uniform and Fiver promised he would wear his for trick or treating.
Then, the golden hour of trick or treating was near. Out came the costume….
So what do you do as a parent? You want them to experience something really cool and you know its only scary because its new. But you don’t want to traumatize your kid by hammering your own values of fun onto them either. So here’s what you do. You bribe them. “Let’s practice trick-or-treating”, said Sam as he handed out a piece of candy to Wonder Woman (aka Merit) and a giraffe (aka Cadence) when given the correct prompt.
You wonder, sometimes, how you measure up in the game of parenting and out of nowhere your kid announces the score. When Sam turned to our son and said, “Now what do you have to say to get the piece of candy?”,
He said, “Please.”
Needless to say, that one piece of candy pushed him in the right direction. We never got the suspender pants on him but he couldn’t be bothered, he couldn’t get his boots and jacket on fast enough. And he did get the hang of saying, “Trick or Treat” pretty quickly. And for one hour of one evening anyway, we turned the lens on our life. Hope yours was just as happy a Halloween…