Sandy3-Halloween Ghost Vellum     

     Every Halloween our neighborhood has a tradition of “BOO”ing people.  This is basically the same thing as “Ding Dong Ditch,” only with candy.  If you get “BOO”d, you’re supposed to tape a little paper ghost to your front door, so that people will know that your house has already been hit.  It’s then your responsibility to “BOO” two other houses on the block without getting caught.  Seems like an easy enough concept, but when you’re six, being inconspicuous is like sneaking an elephant into the movies. 

     My kids were so excited when we got “BOO”d the other night, and they couldn’t wait to “BOO” someone else.  So, last night, I promised them we’d go hit up some houses after dark.  We stuffed two bags with candy and set out with our flashlights. Most of the houses already had ghosts on their doors, so the pickins were pretty slim.  When we finally found a house that hadn’t been hit, we had fight off another little neighborhood girl for it.  She was armed with candy and ready to “BOO.”  However, I wanted to get the whole thing over with, so I whispered to my daughter to run.  I knew she could totally beat that chick up their front steps, and she proved me right once again.  When she got up to their porch, she lingered just a little too long after she rang the doorbell, and the dad came bounding through the door and caught her red-handed.  She was so bummed that she almost broke down in tears, but I quickly moved the process along by locating the only other house on our street that hadn’t been hit.

     I stood back and watched my two little prankster-wannabes creep up to the front porch and carefully place the bag of candy on the doorstep.  They rang the bell and ran like hell down the steps.  I thought for sure one of them was gonna bust their head open trying to remain unseen, but luckily no blood was shed.  My kids watched with excitement as the woman opened her door and took the bag of candy inside. Mission accomplished.  One down and one to go!  My kids were totally pumped up and ready to strike again.

     Since we’d run out of houses on our street, we decided to try their little friend who lives around the corner.  Apparently, they don’t “BOO” people on his street because none of the houses had ghosts on their doors, which turned out to be a real problem. My daughter decided to have a go at his house first.  She crept up the steps and immediately ducked down and called for me.  I guess the entire family was hanging out in the family room and could see the front porch as plain as day.  I told her just to go for it.  She rang the bell and ran like the wind down to meet my son and me in the bushes.  We could see the dad looking out the window, but then he disappeared.  My son then decided to take a stab at it.  The dad came to the window once again but still didn’t open the door.  I figured the third time would surely be a charm, so my daughter tried one more time.  

     We were nervously waiting in the bushes to see if they were ever going to answer the damn door, when we saw the whole family peering out the window to see who was out there in the darkness.  Then, suddenly the dad came around from the back of the house shouting over and over in a very angry voice, “Who’s there?!”  Oh shit!  I realized that if I didn’t say something, they were gonna call the cops on us.  I could just imagine the headline in the paper, “Nucking Futs Suburban Mom Arrested in Bushes for Voyeurism.”  I quickly stepped out of the bushes and identified myself to the dad, who ended up laughing hysterically at the whole turn of events.  He said he actually did contemplate calling the police.  Like I said, they don’t “BOO” on his street.

     I was so relieved to have the “BOO”ing behind us when we finally got home.  It’s a cute idea that the kids love, but it’s also a pain in the ass when you have two kids who don’t have a clue how to be sneaky.  The excitement factor’s definitely taken down a notch if you happen to get caught.  And it’s all fun and games till someone goes to jail.


The Block Party


     This past weekend was our neighborhood’s annual block party, and my kids were so excited I honestly thought they were going to piss themselves.  From the moment they woke up on Saturday morning, they asked if it was time for the block party and proceeded to repeat that same question every five minutes for the next eight hours. When it was finally time to put up the barricades to block down the street, they couldn’t get out the door fast enough to tear up the pavement.

     To them, the absolute coolest part of the block party was the fact that they got to ride their bikes like complete maniacs all around the street without any fear whatsoever of being turned into roadkill by oncoming cars.  So, naturally, they were all about pimping out their rides with the other neighborhood kids for the big pet and bike parade. They used streamers, balloons, cards in the spokes, the whole nine yards till they had some super juiced up looking wheels to strut. And when it was time to march down the street, they happily joined the other whopping ten bikers in the procession, as well as three dogs, a hamster, and a toad.  I was seeing some major competition for the Macy’s Day Parade.  

     And it wouldn’t be a real block party if our kids didn’t gorge themselves on any and all kinds of crap they could get their dirty little hands on.  Our neighbors had rented a popcorn maker and a snow cone machine for all the kids, so, of course, my two munchers absolutely chowed down on multiple servings of each, thus killing any chance whatsoever of them eating anything substantial for dinner later on that night.  My daughter actually even had the balls to try to hide her third snow cone from me, but she clearly forgot about the eyes in the back of my head.  Lucky for her, I was just a little too go-with-the-flow (that’s code for too much Chardonnay) to get my panties all in a bunch over too much junkfood consumption.

     The festivities concluded with an outdoor movie on our front lawn.  We projected “Over the Hedge” onto a sheet hung from our front porch, while all the little shits from the hood sat littering our yard with popcorn and candy wrappings.  One of the other moms had given out glow stick bracelets, so each kid was gleaming with a combination of excitement and exhaustion by that point of the evening.  I was so glad when some other older punk from down the street announced a game of flashlight tag, which sent a good portion of our viewing audience off and running.  My kids were pooped, and so was I.  

     I thought for sure that my tired troops would take the rare opportunity to sleep in after such a long day of fun, but, of course, my kids seem to think that the early bird really does catch that jackass worm so they were up and at ’em, ready to get crackin’ on yet another day.  I have to hand it to the hubby once again for getting up with them and letting Mama get a little more shut-eye, cause I was completely worn out. When I finally did make my way downstairs, though, I happened to notice that a pink glowstick bracelet was sitting smack dab in the center of my dining room table, the table that’s completely off limits to all things kid-related.  

     When I picked up the bracelet, I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the damn thing had exploded from the inside out.  I had a big glob of pink goo staring at me from my beautiful cherry-colored wood table.  And when I tried to wipe up the goo, it decided to take that beautiful cherry color right along with it.  I literally gasped out loud with a “Oh no you didn’t” type of pronouncement when I saw that big glaring colorless streak on the otherwise shiny surface.  I wanted to wring my daughter’s neck for being so careless.  This was one of the last remaining places in the house that didn’t have a kid’s stamp of approval put on it.  I immediately declared the dining room table a no-fly zone for everyone, including my husband.  Nothing shall ever sit on that table again unless it’s a Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas ham.

     Despite the glow stick fiasco, however, the block party was an absolute blast.  My kids are already asking when the next one is.  It’s gonna be really hard for them to get used to having to share the street with the cars again.  My son already tried to dash over to the other side on his scooter without even a second thought.  So, I guess we’re all slowly adjusting back to reality again.  For that one day, though, the kids got to rule the road, and to them, that’s a memory worth a thousand glow stick explosions and then some.