***WARNING this post contains elements of the gruesome, ghastly and eww gross. It’s a Halloween post so you might already be expecting that, but I have no way of knowing how squeamish you are so I thought I’d give you a heads up so you don’t end up with your head down… the toilet.
The boys had a very successful trip around the block – I was really impressed with the trouble some of our neighbours had gone to for their decorations. Skeletons, spiders, ghosts, spooky lights, rotting corpses…
My nostrils had flared at the distinctive stench of decay as we knocked on the front door, but I didn’t say anything because I thought perhaps Finn had farted. (His are rotten.) But no, it was a bunny, inconsiderately decomposing in the front yard. I took photos** in fits of giggles, toying with the idea of moving the tombstone sign to above the rabbit’s head. Then I daydreamed this conversation:
Rory: What’s dat wabbit doing dare?
Me: He must be their pet bunny. He’s just having a nap.
Finn: Why does he stink so much?
Me: You know, what he eats. Maybe rabbit food makes his farts stink. I know rabbit food makes me burp a lot.
Finn (giggling at hearing the word “farts”): You don’t eat rabbit food!
Me: Yes I do! So do you. Carrots and lettuce and green stuff…?
Finn: I don’t eat lettuce.
Rory (after a thoughtful pause): Daddy farts on cars.
(Another pause) … Daddy farted onna tree.
Finn: Yeah! He even farts in fun parks.
…What can I say I love fart jokes! (Please note I stole part of this fictional chat from one that actually happened. These are the kinds of conversations we have in our house.)
Reality was far less fart-centric and more pragmatic; the rabbit died, I don’t know why darling, it’s okay, it’s just part of life. I haven’t shied away from teaching the boys about death; they’re only 6 and (nearly) 4 and already have more awareness of death than I did at twice their age, because we’ve lost people dear to us. And if we can’t talk about death when it happens on Halloween, when can we?
The kids loved the candles, especially the jack o’lantern, which we’d left guarding the treat bowl while we socialised with our creeeeeepy neighbours. Apparently a watermelon isn’t as badass as a pumpkin, because early trick or treaters had completely cleared it out before the rest could get any. I hope they got diarrhoea.
Even the spooky ghost I’d made hadn’t deterred them.
I got the idea from Erica, Halloween Qween, but I was too lazy to mould the skull out of chicken wire wrapped around my head. Instead I bought two pirate skull masks from the cheap shop, broke their noses off with a screwdriver, taped them together back-to-back, and stuffed an LED inside. Then I draped it in some cheap white cotton and strung it. I need to use a bigger piece of muslin or a bedsheet next year I think – this guy’s even runtier than Slimer.
Do you trick or treat with your kids? What time do you start?
We are yet to find that sweet spot between starting too late and finishing in full dark with whiny, hungry and/or sugar-shocked kids, and starting too early for many of our neighbours to actually be home and thus able to provide treats without us needing to break down their door. I think next year I’ll feed them something quick at 5 so we can head off at 530pm. Which means no afternoon tea so they’re hungry enough to eat early. That might sound callous… it’s for their own good though. Really.
**Yes I took photos and laughed and wrote a post about a neighbour having a dead body near their front door and OF COURSE it was on a night where the entire neighbourhood was going to come by. I did ring them to tell them the good news. Wife wasn’t home so she rang hubby (who was first home) to tell him. He apparently thought she was kidding. So every single trick or treater who went round their place tonight got to enjoy it too.