Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween. Is Over.


For the last three blankety-blank months, every day on the way to school, the carseat has chirped, "Mooom? How yong until Haw-o-ween?"

And for the last three months, every day, I would calculate the countdown. My number would be met by a big sigh. "But dat is sooo yong!"

Not long enough for me, I would think but not dare to say.

This year, we had several parties and several changes of costume. "We" were, variously, (1) a figure skater, (2) a Really Scary Dragon, (3) a Vam-Pie-Uh, (4) a Wicked Witch (twice). I was prepared for this, and unlike Halloween 2012, I totally softballed the costumes this year. Mostly I just dug in the dress-up bin and applied eyeliner in creative ways.

We had a requisite number of meltdowns and a predictable amount of candy rationing. He'en and I went 'round about a haunted house at one party. ("But it's NOT scawwwy! Reawwy!" she protested from her hands and knees as she peered under the partitions. "I don't care. Mommy gets migranes in those things," I announced. Thus, we did not attend.)

But the spookiest, the scariest, the most-anticipated, and the most parentally horrifying, was the Great Pre-K Class Party. I am a Co- Room Mother this year -- the background on that whole deal is quite another entry -- and in conjunction with the other Co- Room Mother we had organized four crafts and a godawful pile of candy. Multiple emails were sent about the party. The teacher said there would be a song, a story, crafts, and treats, in that order.

On the Big Day, DH dropped He'en at school in costume. She could have flown her own broom, she was so excited. Dragon Girl was sick, so I stayed home as long as possible to let her sleep a little. Then I heartlessly bundled her up in a sweater, stuffed some Kleenex in my pocket, strapped her into the front-pack, and got to the school at 10:40,  for the 10:30 party start. I figured they would just be settling down to the craft tables and the real help would be needed about that time.

Boy, did I figure wrong. As I walked in, about 15 parents were just getting up from their seats.

Yes, right, seats.

The "story and song" apparently had been a "Halloween Program" and, crappity CRAP, I had just missed it.

A red-faced, teary little witch appeared at my knee with a deeply trembling lower lip: "Mooom! You are YATE. You missed the WHOLE SONG."


And *&^^ too.

The last-minute run to the thrift store, the triumphant acquisition of the Just Right striped tights, the careful application of eyeliner makeup this morning, and even permission to bring a broom to school, all blown away. Gone. Vaporized in one great Mom Failure for which I will never ever be forgiven. Did I learn nothing from last year's Hanukkah escapade?

We were saved from total disaster when another (better-organized) mother tuned into this exchange at just the right time. She had taken a video of the program and gave her phone to He'en for sharing. He'en and I twice watched the video. Then she still clearly had not forgiven me, but she was mollified enough to decorate a cookie and make a treat bag at the craft tables.

We both made it through the rest of the party but I left the school at lunchtime wrung out and awash in Momguilt.  I shamelessly signed up Helen for Extended Day on my way out the door, figuring that for our hefty tuition dollars the afterparty sugar crash could be somebody else's problem for a couple hours.

When I picked up Helen in the late afternoon, she was notably more cheerful. But on the way home,

"Mom? I had a sad day." Sniff sniff.

"Oh, honey, I am so sorry." GuiltguiltguiltguiltGUILT.

"Yah. Dake teased me." "Jake teased you? Oh, I am sorry to hear that."

"Dake teased me, but 'den I told him iff he could be nice den he could sit wiff' us at yunch. So he was a yiddle nicer 'den."

"Well, good for you, that is good to hear, that he was nice."

"So den' I wasn' sad anymore," she concluded.

Hmmmm. I could not resist asking --

"And was that the bad thing that happened today?"


Craftily and carefully -- "And your day was good after that? Nothing else bad happened?"

"Nope!" She swung her feet with cheerful emphasis as she contentedly bit into a candy corn.

Off the hook. Yessss.

This morning, I tossed a kid-sized costume onto the bannister for transport down to the playroom. Then another. Then a third. And I realized that I had been chanting, with each toss, "Done. Done. DONE."  So yes. Done. DONE, I tell you, for another blissful blessed year.

I'm off to go raid her candy.