About a year ago, I overheard Charlotte and her cousin, Jared, both 5, playing 'Harry Potter' around Charlotte's dollhouse. Their figurines were casting spells at each other through the living room window. Expelliarmus was the spell of choice, however their mistaken version was an enthusiastic — Ex-smelly-armpits! Back and forth, they cursed each other for a good half an hour. It was all I could do to keep from giggling and ruining their play with newfound self-consciousness.
Come to think of it, smelly armpits can be magical, can't they? As a shield charm. Or for some, as an untraceable weapon.
Around here, Halloween has transformed from one magical night of dress-up and free candy to a series of events. Is this the case where you live? I'm still trying to decide if this trend is wonderful or worrysome. (Last year's series of four parties resulted in too much candy and too much fatigue to shuffle into one school week.) This year, we narrowed down our festivities to just two events — Halloween itself — and the best block party ever.
Costume-wise, I was magically off the hook this year. Charlotte discovered the Harry Potter robe I made for Elijah years back and opted to be Hermione Granger for Halloween. My workload? I ordered an improved patch for the cloak and a new tie, then hunted down a hair crimper to frizz out her glossy locks — far from my standard Halloween effort (as evidenced here, here, here & here). To top things off, our neighbor turned Charlotte a custom wand on his wood lathe.
Perhaps I could have addressed the shoe situation better. When it came time to head out, Charlotte had to pick from pink ballet flats, white church shoes or a wide selection of summer flip flops. I didn't realize she was down to so few shoes. Fortunately, it's still rather warm in Arizona. At least the flip flops weren't lavendar and glittery — though that would have made for a good laugh.
Onto the best block party ever...
This year we met up with my sister, Julia, and her two red ninjas, Adam and John, for a trek through her neighborhood party. Straight out of the movies, this party had pony rides, a merry-go-round of swings, train rides, a rock-climbing wall, a mechanical bull, and at least three or four other simliar attractions. Elijah spent a good part of the night in a tug of war game against a mob of small children.
Not only was the entertainment off the charts, but this soiree offered the speediest trick-or-treating I have ever seen. Folding chairs were arranged, shoulder-to-shoulder around the block. When trick-or-treat time came around, the chairs filled with generous witches, zombies, werewolves, and rag dolls. The kids lined up to make their laps for candy — so incredibly efficient and plentiful. No running from house to house, no wasted time waiting at the doorsteps of empty homes. I was mesmerized. So were the children, I’m sure.
I'm still sorting out how I feel about the lack of effort involved. Shouldn't the ratio of effort to candy be higher?
Charlotte's not too troubled over it, whatever my conclusion may be. She can always cast a spell on me for compliance. "You will let me eat all the candy I want, whenever I want to."
Truth is, that little girl cast a spell on me long before she received a wand to whip around.