There are few holidays my 6 year old, Leif, likes more than Halloween. Always a happy go-lucky kind of kid, people who don’t already know are usually surprised when I tell them that Leif has a thing for the macabre. In fact, his very favourite holiday is actually Easter and believe me it’s not for those little eggs from that creepy bunny. We aren’t a religious family, but Leif is practically giddy on Good Friday, recalling to anyone who will listen the gory, bloody details of the crucifixion story. The best part for him is not the possibility of the resurrection of a saviour but rather the multiple ways to defeat a ‘foe’ (his words, not mine).
I fully understand how twisted this sounds, and if his tendency to lean towards the dark side, as it were, was a new trait I might be more concerned, perhaps even starting to routinely scan for skinned cats in the back yard. However, when he first saw the evil Stromboli in Pinocchio and the devilish, wild haired Ursula in the Little Mermaid, he was smitten with the idea that not everyone is good in this world. Generally speaking, being evil is way more interesting than being the stupid puppet who doesn’t even know that a fox can’t talk.
So, loving Halloween has been a natural progression for him; he gets to satisfy his dark side by thinking of nothing but evil, ghosts and goblins for the month of October and also gets to satisfy his love of the dramatic through the costume choice process, the scary movie watching and finally acting out whatever scenario he has come up with regarding the story of his final costume choice for the big day.
This year: The Dead Man.
“Mom, you need to stand at the bottom of the stairs”.
“Why? You’re not throwing anything at me! I remember this from last time!”
“No, no, not that game, Mom. Just hurry up”. So with much hesitation, I walk over to the stairs where he’s standing in full costume – gruesome mask, bloody clothes – all completed with pretend scars and broken bones.
“Okay Mom – here’s how it goes: I am the dead man, but I’m not dead yet. You are witnessing my last moments. I will walk out of my room. You will watch me fall down the stairs. When I am at the bottom of the stairs you will pretend I am dead. So then I am the dead man. Then you scream, and hopefully I will “not” become a zombie”.
And, the show commenced. See figures 1-4. As you can see, the dead man did, in fact, become a zombie. I will acknowledge at this point that his costume may be a little gruesome for a 6 year old, and that things did go a little haywire when he realized there was such a thing as fake blood (my bathtub looks like the floor of a butcher shop).
|The dead man emerges: alive|
|He falls to his demise|
|His last breath|
|Dammit Leif, Does everything have to end with a zombie?|
Another one of Leif’s favourite parts of Halloween is handing out candy. This satisfies another one of his needs: The need to be liked. What a perfect night for a natural people pleaser; handing out candy, everyone thinking for that moment you are the greatest person on earth. It is a strange kind of ego boost when you hear “Carmel Corn?! Awesome!”. In no other situation would this make sense. We live on a busy street with a ton of young families so we naturally had a lot of trick or treat-ers. Before each group of Buzz Lightyears’ and cutesy witches Leif would practice what he would say before they came up to the door. From my spot in the kitchen I could hear him talking to himself.
“Okay, you got this Leif. This is what you’re going to say: Hey guys, how’s your Halloween – nice costumes. Here’s your candy. See ya dudes!” And, true to form, that’s what he said. In between the next group he came up with “Hey-o! Awesome costume! All my mom bought is Caramel Corn, hope you like it. Have an awesome Halloween!”
And so on for over 200 kids.
Note from Grade 1 teacher Re: Halloween Costume
Dear Mrs. Copley
Please refrain from allowing Leif to bring fake blood to school. The girls who routinely play with ‘fluffy’ the stuffed cat were quite shaken by today’s incident.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.