[BlogEntry] The perfect Halloween age

At 4 and 2, Katherine and Elizabeth might well be at perfect Halloween age. They are very excited to dress up, and look forward to the holiday for weeks on end. Any sort of parties or other opportunity to dress up and show off are very exciting.

When it comes time for actual trick or treating, Katherine starts out strong, walking from house to house and doing a very good job of ringing doorbells, saying "Trick or Treat", only taking the offered amount of candy, and then saying "Thank you." This lasts for maybe an hour before we start hearing, "My bag is getting too heavy to carry, I think it's time to go home now." I know that very soon we will reach the day when she pulls out a map of our entire block and all surrounding streets, checking off each house as we go to make sure we don't miss a single one. But at this age, we actually have to drag her (luckily we had a wagon!) to the last 3-4 houses that are between us and home. Seems like a waste to walk right past houses that are all decorated with people standing in the doors ready to give out the treats. Katherine's not whining or screaming or anything, I mean, god, we wouldn't literally drag the child from house to house just so Daddy can load up on mini Reese's cups. She just spends the last few saying "Ok, is this the last one? Ok, just one more, and then we can go home."

Elizabeth was doing equally well, walking up steps and saying "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you." Her idea of "offered amount of candy", however, seemed to be "As long as you're holding the bowl in my reach I'm going to keep taking pieces out of it." Keep in mind that, barring M&Ms, Elizabeth does not actually have any candy at all, so this whole adventure is more like "Pick a color and shape that looks interesting." She does very well until…..the dog.
Just the other day Elizabeth had a "doggy scare me" moment, so we're not doing dogs right now. For the rest of the night I had a tiny 2yr old Dora latched onto me like a howler monkey, saying over and over, "No like doggy, daddy. Doggy scare me. No doggies." Which is cute for a little while, but when she doesn't think you're listening she'll pull your face around so she makes eye contact just so you're clear on the whole "no doggies" thing.

And can you believe that there was one lady who not only let her dog run free, but let it jump up and lick the kids? I mean, is this lady completely stupid? Why not just offer them spoonfuls of peanut butter right out of the jar and see which kids are allergic? Surely it's a smarter move to keep the animals away from the kids if you don't know how kids are going to react. Since every other house with dogs did exactly that, I'm going to say this lady was in the minority. Luckily it didn't seem to freak out Elizabeth too much, who actually wanted to touch the dog. But when the next house rolled around we were back to "Doggie scare me Daddy, no doggies."

Brendan just sort of hung out in his Bjorn thingie. I was amazed at the amount of people who offered him candy. The child is 5 months old. He's got exactly 1 tooth. No, he can't have an Almond Joy.

Speaking of which, who are the people still giving out Almond Joy and Mounds? Do any little kids like those? When I was little, I gave them to my dad. Last night, as we went through Katherine's candy pile, I gave them to… my dad. I still don't like the things. I will, however, snag the Snickers when I spot them.

Candy counting was interesting. It was very important to Katherine to count all of her pieces. When I emptied the bag for her she was upset with me, she wanted to do that. Turns out she had something like 36 pieces of candy, which is fairly moot because we just dump hers and her sisters into a big pile anyway.

But then came the "Which ones do I like" pile. There will come an age, I am sure, when the default answer to that question is "If I've never seen it I will assume that I like it unless it turns out to be gross." Katherine right now is in ultra conservative "I only eat what I've eaten before" mode. So she picks out the M&Ms, and the Smarties (good score on whoever was giving out Smarties. Love those.) and the Hershey bars. Anything with peanut butter she shrugs off. All the fruity sugary stuff (like skittles) goes to one edge of the table to ultimately end up in the trash. Then comes the explaining of each piece that Katherine does not recognize. Somehow I translated Kit Kat as "Like a Hershey bar, with a cracker in the middle. Kinda like a Pop Tart." I have no idea how or why I made that leap, but she's into poptarts recently, so that's a score. She seeks out all the KitKats. I try to argue that Reese's Pieces are just peanut butter M&Ms, but the peanut butter embargo is still in force, so none of that. Then I spot a S'more bar and explain that it's a marshmallow candy bar. Another big hit, since she's into marshmallows.

All total Katherine (Elizabeth was long asleep at this point) identified well less than half of her candy as stuff she would like. After that little separating exercise it all got dumped back into a big pile anyway. I'm curious to watch over the coming days to see which pieces actually do get eaten. I expect the enthusiasm to try new things has already dwindled and she'll stick with the M&Ms.

[BlogEntry] Lucky Elizabeth

This weekend I was making omelets for breakfast. Elizabeth was first, and her egg had a double yolk. It was a very exciting day indeed. Katherine, who had requested cereal instead of omelet, immediately changed her order to omelet as well in the hopes of repeating the trick, but no such luck. We compromised, I made one omelet and split it between them.

I'm not sure what it means, exactly, but I think Elizabeth might be the next Dalai Lama.