For the past few weeks E has been exposed to all kinds of creepy decorations and costumes and this has been the first year he has really understood what was going on around him.
I made a huge parenting mistake and decided to nip into the new Monster Halloween store down the street from his day care one evening. I wasn't expecting to be bombarded by chattering skeleton teeth, spinning clown heads and crawling spiders. Needless to say I took my boy out of there right quick as soon as he gripped onto my shoulder. I thought there would just be a bunch of costumes hanging on the wall, honest!
At daycare some of the bigger kids wore masks one day and that REALLY scared him. That evening and the following few nights I was constantly reassuring E that they were just silly costumes. Eventually, he learned to reassure himself and while playing on the floor with his trucks I could hear him making conversation between his toys. "Roarr!!!", said one truck. "It's okay, it's just a costume", the other would reply.
Then one car would say, "Do you want to go to the Ween store?" and the other would say, "No thank you, it's too scary".
I scarred my child for life!
The Monster Halloween store had a costumed employee stand on the corner of the street promoting and encouraging drivers to stop during evening rush hour. Unfortunately, this street corner is on our route home and E would ask questions and watch the costumed employee dance around. The costume went from a werewolf one day to a monkey or a frog other days. When we would get home and park the car, E would ask where the werewolf was. When we started walking up our front steps he would ask if the monkey was following us. And when we got in the door he would tell me to shut the door so the frog couldn’t come in. He would constantly remind himself about the costumes while walking up the stairs at home and never wanted to go to another room by himself. And while in the bath tub he was suddenly terrified of his wind-up swimming frog, had to have the shower curtain open and constantly asked, “What was that sound?”. When we would snuggle in bed in the morning and hid under the blanket tent he would say, “No one is going to scare us! No one is going to get us!”
Yes, this Halloween season has done a number on my child!
Last night the three of us went to three houses of people we know and E was super excited to go trick-or-treating. He got a couple handfuls of dairy free candy and was thrilled to see all the costumes and decorations and point out at the jack-o-lanterns. While some of them spooked him a bit, for the most part he was overjoyed and excited and all the spooky thoughts seem to escape him. I’m happy to see everything ended on a somewhat happy note – I was terrified that my child had been scarred for life. Now let’s hope everyone packs up their costume’s and decorations now and I don’t have to deal with this for another year!