Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Discovering Halloween

I had been dreading the whole Halloween thing ever since Gabi was born. All the decorating and candy buying and costume making. So much work! It might have been due to all the creative people around me who went all out, spending hours hanging things from their houses and sewing their own costumes from patterns bought at the fabric store. It was just so out of my league.

Knowing that Gabi would eventually change things, we held out for as long as we could. We didn't do anything special for her first two Halloweens. No cute pictures of a baby in a snow pea costume for us. Last year she threw on a bee costume to run to a few neighbors' houses, still not quite sure, at two, what was going on, and we sighed in relief when it was all over.

THIS year, however, Gabi was fully aware of what Halloween entails. Costumes! And Candy! And trick-or-treating with her best friends! And I must say that her excitement was catchy, and duly infected us all.

I wasn't going to be able to pull off a Halloween made from scratch, but I was, for the first time since I was thirteen, ready to participate in the holiday as much as I could. I was determined to make this a wonderful day for her.

For months Gabi's costume of choice was a Dora Mermaid. I wasn't sure how the heck I was going to pull that off, so one night my mom brought home some cat outfits in an effort to rescue me. One black, one leopard. Little ear headbands, bow ties, and tails on an elastic band. A Kitty Cat I could do! And luckily Gabi fell in love with her Kitty costumes. She walked around the house, stopping every few steps to stick her butt out and shake her tail.

Tuesday night we carved her very first pumpkin! Or, I did. When she realized that there was major involvement required to get out the slimy guts, she left for the living room, yelling at me to tell her when it was all done. Pulling pumpkin carving basics from the recesses of my brain, I managed fairly well. And after all the scraping and near misses with the steak knife, we had a cute little jack-o-lantern about the size of Gabi's head (the longer you wait to buy one, the smaller the options are).

Yesterday, to start off the festivities, my mom took Gabi for early afternoon trick-or-treating at Sea World. In the evening, when we tried to put her Kitty costume back on her, she recoiled in horror. She had already BEEN a Kitty! Now she wanted to be a Princess! No, a Butterfly! No, a Princess! In the end, after trying on all of her dress up clothes twice, she settled on her orange Butterfly wings and matching tutu, over her black kitty clothes. I have never seen a cuter Butterfly in all my life!

I think we were out for about two hours. Watching three year olds trick-or-treat for the first time is hilarious. There is a lot that goes into proper trick-or-treating. Like knocking and waiting for the people to answer before yelling Trick or Treat. And accepting what is given to you without handing it back and telling them you'd prefer THAT one. And saying Thank You right after you get your candy instead of having to run back and yell it into the poor person's ears.

The cutest part was that at each house Gabi would exclaim, "I a Butterfly!" I didn't stop smiling the whole time we were out, totally enthralled with my adorable daughter and her adorable antics.

What a fun experience. Even though some of Gabi's loot consisted of a Hot Sauce packet and dried out carrot cake. I can't wait until next year! I might even try to SEW something.

One of the wonderful things about being a parent is rediscovering the joys of childhood, as seen through the eyes of your child.

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