Frankie Four just hit 20 months old so this was his first real Halloween. I tried to ease him into it by taking him shopping for decorations at the 99 Cent Store. He’s a smart kid so he immediately tried to cover his face lest someone see him shopping at the 99 Cent Store.
The previous year we took him to a Halloween party where he went as a lump of fat that didn’t do anything useful or say any meaningful words (insert Trump joke here).
This year, however, he went as some sort of a smudge that once looked like a skeleton but ended up as kind of a panda. His mother, the world famous makeup artist known as www.makeupartist411.com, struggled valiantly to apply makeup to a two-foot tall tornado who promptly rubbed his face on the sofa, the floor, my pants, and a peanut butter sandwich.
Eventually we made our way toward the neighbors house where he would have his first ever trick or treating experience and/or learn to case a house. With mommy and grandma in tow, we crossed the street and I set him down on the sidewalk so he could approach the house on his own two feet like a man.
I said, “Hold daddy’s hand,” and my favorite human being that’s ever lived looked up at me and put his tiny hand in mine. I can’t even try to come up with a funny or sarcastic comment about that. I almost lost it right there in front of my wife, mother-in-law, neighbors, and strangers on the street. There are moments like this one that force me to stop in my tracks because I feel dizzy. It’s like I can’t handle the amount of love that flows through my body. All of his little milestones are a big deal to me but some affect me more than others. Frankie carrying a jack-o-lantern bucket in one hand and grasping my fingers with the other just overwhelmed me.
The pic is blurry but so were my eyes. Shut up.
After shaking off my almost emotional breakdown, we arrived at that first door which was definitely the most fun of the night. F4’s eyes were full of wonder at the decorations and lights, but when my neighbor held out a bowl of candy he looked frozen in time. He doesn’t know what “trick or treat” means. Hell, he can’t even say it. Plus, he’s had very little candy in his short life so, while he recognizes a small piece of chocolate, an entire bowl of diabetes delights is foreign to him. He just stood there while my neighbor grabbed a handful of goodies and dropped them in his bucket.
I don’t think he completely grasped the glory of the situation he was in — -free candy, by the bucket, and daddy was allowing it. Pretty sure he thought I was entrapping him rather than what I was actually doing, which was using him as a front to get me free candy by the bucket. Much easier than my usual method of candy collecting by way of home invasion.
I did allow him a few pieces of candy which, as you can see below, caused me great personal joy.
Enjoy it kid. Tomorrow you’re back on protein shakes and broccoli.
With a few stops under his belt F4 finally started to pick up on the protocol. It took some prompting but most houses got a “Peas” in place of “Trick-or-treat” followed by the blowing of a kiss in place of a “Thank you”. At one point my wife told one of the ladies handing out candy that it was “the kiss of death” which caused a look of genuine horror. I don’t know if the woman was superstitious or dying of something but that was the last time that happened.
The grand finale of every stop was an unsolicited, top-of-his-lungs shouting of “BYEEEE!” which got a huge laugh and a return “Bye!” What no one anticipated was that for every “Bye!” they put in the pot, Frankie would raise them one exponentially louder “BYEEEE!” even if we were halfway down the block. Eventually they’d just give up because, like the Terminator, F4 would never stop. He always got the last word which he clearly learned ̶b̶y̶ ̶w̶a̶t̶c̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶e̶ is just because he’s friendly.
After what felt like 100 houses, but was probably more like 10, we were all exhausted. Some of us from trying to pull others to the ground.
And others from having to be carried from house to house.
Eventually those who had exerted themselves were just dead tired.
So we decided to call it a night, head home, and hand out candy to kids that didn’t require me to wear a weightlifting belt to hold them.
All in all our first big Halloween outing was a huge success. The entire family and, most importantly, Frankie Four, had a great time. We were all tuckered out but mommy and me managed to stay up long enough to eat enough candy to feed John Candy. Alas, the boy couldn’t quite hang.
Best Halloween ever.
Originally published at http://badassdad.com on November 2, 2016.