It improved from there on. A ride on a train to New Jersey to spend the weekend in an massive, newly renovated home with a warm and wonderful family — shoutout to the B’s! (Must confess that in trying to access the Haunted House I opened four doors to find coat closet 1, coat closet 2, garage and finally… the bathroom. Had to request assistance.)
Halloween weekend was happy and happening. Calvin was quite taken by his pumpkin carrier and had to take it to the library and Saturday Farmer’s Market. At the latter, he was presented with four lolipops, a treat he gets only on take offs and landings, so the weekend was off to an excellent start as far as he was concerned.
Before you ask, no, no scary experiences for the little guy. He hung out upstairs playing with M’s play RV and dolls’ house — the elevator being the best part. Then, disregarding the rain, it was time to ‘Trick or Treat.’ Calvin was decisive about being a fireman. “It’s *not* a costume, mama,” he declared. “I *am* a fireman.” Just the day before, my plans to take the easy way out and don a pair of eight-foot-wide wings were scuppered. “No Mama,” said Calvin when I consulted him on the matter of costumes, “You should be a mermaid.” In the Calvin universe that’s quite a compliment, seeing as he thinks mermainds are quite cool. So for trick or treating, I donned the kind of mermaid costume that spoke clearly of its last minute construction, being cheap dress + scaly skirt and tail stapled together from scrap fabric. It’s the thought that counts.
He got quite into the spirit of things when, at the third house, he realized that among the clourful items he was taking were… lollipops (a.k.a. just about the only sweets — or as the Americans say, “candies” — he knows.) About two dozen stops and about an hour later, the tuckered out toddler could barely haul himself and his pumpkin up the front steps. He wanted to carry on, but had to be carried. We’ve managed to limit the sweet consumption to four lollipops and a KitKat, despite him witnessing an unrestrained orgy of candy consumption and trading among the older kids. (Imagine next year will be a little more challenging!)
But the weekend held more in store, including a glorious morning spent playing outside and in close personal contact with the mud. We investigated the attractions of the large backyard, including finding worms, trying out the zipline and me being pushed on a tree swing for about an hour. (Boy my arms got a work out.) Across those various activities came numerous opportunities to slip, fall, wrestle and generally get splattered with mud. I had to smile and insist on a photo, as I’ve always imagined having a mud-happy kid, my own ‘mudbumdle’… and he appeared today.
A clothing change later and it was time to hit the basement for… music. Actually, we had hit the pianoforte in one of the living rooms earlier in the day, but now was time for something really LOUD! Seeing is believing, so you’re invited to view the video below.