Well, Hallowe'en's all done. It came and went with little fuss or incident. At school Ella was a butterfly, and Jack was a policeman. Then, for trick-or-treating, Jack was STILL a policeman, and Ella became BAT GIRL, after I found the little black cape their nana had made, in the Hallowe'en box.
The Man carved some great pumpkins at the picnic table in our back yard yesterday. I had my warm cardigan on, with my Mom's scarf wrapped all snuggy around my neck, and I had a nice, toasty coffee in the travel mug I'd bought for...The Man. Ella was bouncing on the trampoline, and the sun was out for a bit, so it was all very Autumn Zen as the wind swirled the leaves around.
Then Jack zipped outside and ruined all the peace temporarily. To tell you the truth, I'm a little worn out. Since Thursday, my little guy has been fairly impossible to live with. I don't know what other moms, with kids on the Autism Spectrum go through, but Jack's biggest problems have always been ANXIETY, and ANXIETY OVER SCHEDULE CHANGES. Thus, as most of the other children look forward to Hallowe'en, and look forward to having a party day at school, whereby they can eat junk and wear their costumes, Jack is filled with dread. He worried that they would watch a movie in class. You know how sometimes the TV makes that staticky CHZZSSSSSSSSHHHH noise before the tape (or dvd now I suppose) gets popped in? Well, Jack's terrified of that sound. I tried to explain that movies are supposed to be a treat, because then you don't have to do the same old work.
Then he was panicking because he found out there'd be a PARADE. In these situations, he immediately consults his mental rolodex for horrifying, relevant matching articles. So, he hears "parade" and uploads a memory of the Christmas parade we went to, or any of the other parades we went to, in which there were marching bands. Jack is fascinated with bands, and instruments, but is scared of the loud noise of these bands--especially the bag pipes. Now he's panicking, because he thinks his whole school is going to be out there with marching bands and bag pipes and NOISE NOISE NOISE. I reassure him that all it is is a walk around the school. Mummies and Daddies take pictures, presto-changeo, you're back in class for a class party.
"A PARTY!?! I DON'T WANT TO GO TO A PARTY!!!"
I'm fairly certain now that Jack has just had a flashback to the birthday party he went to last year for a boy in his class. The kid's mom made hot dogs for the boys, which Jack ate at the time, AND enjoyed, but has since twisted the memory into a scene of bad food and coercion;
"Why did S--'s mom say; 'okay boys, eat your hotdogs'???"
Me: "I don't know--because that was supposed to be a treat?"
Jack: "why did I have to eat that hot dog???"
Me: "you liked it!"
Jack: "I HATE HOT DOGS!"
Me: "you were all excited at the time! You said; 'Mom, I ate a hot dog!'"
Jack: "I just don't WANT to eat THAT hot dog! I'm NEVER gonna EAT THAT HOT DOG AGAIN!!!"
As I was saying, most kids love a party. Jack however, was close to tears just thinking about it. I reassured him that all that involves is eating a cupcake in his class. Try to explain all this to a kid who is so afraid of the unknown that you can feel his little rapidly racing heart when you give him a hug. Also, let's throw in, that since they did some firedrill practice a few weeks ago, we have had to reassure Jack, dozens of times, every day, that there will be NO FIRE ALARMS at school that day. Still, as soon as the school bell rings, the tears start rolling down his face, and he doesn't feel better until his teacher puts her arm around his shoulders, and says in her matter of fact voice;
"there's no fire drills today."
One day it his fears were so great, he started doing THE BIG COUGHS before school, which means his stomach was rising up, and he was on the verge of vomiting. Yeah. So, because Jack is filled with anxiety and agony over Hallowe'en--this great disruption in his life--it pours out of him in the form of hostility and bad behaviour. That means, I get to endure a whole lot of "I hate you, Mom," and "I'm SICK of my MOTHER," and other super fun stuff. He also turns into the unstoppable pest to his poor sister.
And then, just as I'm once again at my breaking point, and close to tears myself, like magic, he turns back into my sweet kid; "Captain Snuggy," as I jokingly call him, which makes him laugh and say; "MOM! I'm NOT 'Captain Snuggy!'" Out of the blue he'll be back to saying; "Mom, I just love you." But until then, you'd better buckle up and pour yourself a few fingers of something stiff after the kids go to bed. Or, lament again that my Mom is not here to lament all this to.
In the meantime, the only decorations we had were our two carved pumpkins, and some last minute mini ghost and jack-o-lantern lights that we strung up by the front window. The neighbour's house was festooned with halloweenery, and a guy down the street had about 8 carved pumpkins, strobe lights, scary sounds pouring out from somewhere, and with the push of a button; great puffs of dry ice.
Ella, in the past week, after surveying a front lawn "grave yard," complete with half-buried skeleton, and some sort of gibbet hanging from the tree, sighed and said that she wished WEEEE could have some Hallowe'en decorations. Hmm...
Well, I was at the Wal of Evil one night, in their Hallowe'en section, and saw all the "keep out" signs, and cheap, plastic decorations, and I tried, but I just couldn't bring myself to invest in that poorly-made, plastic crap. I did have a sparkly black kitty thing in my hand, but thought; I don't WANT to buy this! I'd much rather spend my money on my favourite thing to spend my money on: a new shirt. I suppose I should have gone to a craft store instead, and shouldn't be surprised that Wal of Evil only had crap. I'm starting to hate that store more and more, and resent them for their cheap, cheap goods, and really crappy adult clothes, but that's another rant for another time. Besides, I've used really overused the word "cheap."
And another thing--what's so whimsical about a grave yard? Yeah, you can get some styrofoam and make up your own "funny" grave stones: "here lies DISCO..1970~1979" or something stupid like that, but after spending too much time at the REAL cemetary, where my poor Mother STILL doesn't have a stone at her grave, well, crafting up an eternal resting place on my front lawn no longer seems so ha-ha hilarious.
I suppose as well, I should have had some sort of costume, perhaps? I love looking at pictures of peoples' Hallowe'en parties online. I like seeing their fun decorations, and the different, witty costumes people come up with (except for PUN costumes. Oh my lord, I can NOT stand PUN costumes. You know, somebody sticks socks and dryer sheets all over themselves and says they're "static cling," or somebody writes "book" on their face, and therefore their costume is FACEBOOK? No, I hate those costumes. They fill me with pure rage). I love all that, but I did NOTHING to Hallowe'en up myself. Oh wait, I used dark green/blue eyeliner, and a few more coats of mascara that day. Rah, rah. I suppose I should have been something trashy though, as it's apparent that all costumes marketed to women are SLUTTY. Yawn.
Also, my sister and her man went on a haunted hay ride. Ppffft. She wanted me to come too, but a) that's no my bag, and b) I HATE being scared. I said to her; "what--you know that feeling when you find a new lumpy-bump on yourself, and you nearly faint from the fear of cancer??? You want to EMULATE that feeling???" Real life is scary enough.
The kids had fun. Ella knocked on all the doors, and Jack joined in nervously, barely able to hold his own treat bag open, he's so shy. At the last house we went to, a large-ish dog could be heard barking in the background. Ella got this exasperated angry look on her face and said; "ugh, what is THAT?" The nice lady of the house said; "oh, that's just my puppy, honey." Then Ella, much to my horror, said; "I HATE DOGS!"
I was a tad embarrassed, especially considering my girlie is the loviest kid I know. She's always the one who zips over to pet everyone's dog, or oo-ah over someone's baby. Oh well, kids are funny.
The kids were getting in the spirit, and all the while their cynical mother was following along pondering the pointlessness of trick-or-treating, especially on a street where less than half the houses even had their lights on. Oh great, I'm headed down the path of being that person who turns all the lights off and hides in her own home until all those kids JUST GO AWAY.
See? See? I'm no fun anymore. I've lost all my child-like whimsy. What a drag.
Hallowe'en 3 years ago (what a freaking adorable Harry Potter)
2010 ~ Pumpkins By THE MAN
SO EXCITED SO EXCITED SO EXCITED