We had a very delightful, if a tiny bit brisk, Halloween. It felt like we lived in the suburbs for several brief moments as our court yard was swarmed with dozens of kids dressed as Woody from Toy Story, lady bugs, gnomes, lions, giraffes, and the cast of Harry Potter. I bought 4 huge bags of candy thinking I would have to donate the leftovers to my law students, but we ran out by 6:15 p.m. I will say it was a little disconcerting to hand out candy to very large 16-year-old "children" who were NOT in costume and who shoved their backpacks onto our porch to ask for candy. Honestly, I was too scared to refuse them. I also had a moment when an extremely obese 3 year old Batman asked for some candy and I wanted to scream that what he really needed was a good night's sleep and some real food.
I held back. Since, I am just a neighbor and not the surgeon general.
Simon held up well considering he didn't know what the hell was going on. I just put him in the baby Ergo in his little cow costume and paraded him around. Sadie, too, was in great form. We didn't have a bag for her to trick-or-treat with so Jeff gave her a piece of Swiss Army carry-on luggage. Every single person we encountered commented on her giant bag. I told everyone she was taking a plane to Mexico as soon as she got enough candy. She really got the hang of it by the 5 house. By the 6th house, we were done. She and I handed out candy to all our little neighbors and friends, which was great fun. She sat imperiously on the porch next to me and held out the candy whenever someone walked up. It was funny, because she wasn't willing to lean forward or stand up or move at all. She held out her little 2 foot arm and if the person wanted the candy, he would have to move his back to her arm because she wasn't going to put forth any more effort.
By about 6:15, I noticed that my candy stash was diminishing at an exponentially greater pace. Turns out that when we got a rush of customers, Sadie, seeing I was distracted, would siphon off the Tootsie Rolls into her luggage. She didn't appreciate it when I tried to get it back. When it was all over, our very last customer gave me the greatest gift of the season: She told me about the Switch Witch.
What's that, you say?
The Switch Witch comes to your house the day after Halloween (All Saints Day for the Catholics out there) and takes all of your candy and leaves you with a toy you have really been wanting. When my neighbor Ashley told me about the Switch Witch I told her I was going to write her a check for 1,000.00, because that's brilliant. Oh my god, such a great idea.
I tried to talk that up to Sadie, but she's a little young to grasp the concept (of her parents totally trying to manipulate her with some freaky fantasy) so we may just resort to hiding the candy and emphasizing life's other great pleasures: reading books, listening to Mother Goose songs, screaming at the top of your lungs. You know, the little things.
Either way, I am passing along this idea to people whose children may be in the perfect strike zone for the magic of the Switch Witch.