Much like last year, Noah refused to wear a costume to school. "NO COSTUME," he shrieked at the merest suggestion of dressing up. "JUST NOAH."
At one point he said he wanted to be the house from UP -- purposely choosing the most terrifying cinematic experience of the past year, as he howled in fear and had to be removed from the theater pretty much every time the house appeared on screen, and he had nightmares about floating houses for weeks. THANKS FOR ALL THE WHIMSY, PIXAR.
Although he's since worked through that fear pretty well -- at his request, we took him to see it again at a second-run drafthouse theater just a few weeks ago, and he loved it -- I was skeptical about this costume request. And indeed, when we did obligingly attempt to thoroughly traumatize him with a trial run of cardboard-box-with-balloons-attached, he would have none of it.
So on Friday, the day of his school parties, I distracted him with a waffle and shoved his green Steve-from-Blue's-Clues shirt from last year over his head.
A few minutes later he contemplated a sleeve, and sensing that trickery was afoot, made me promise that the green shirt was NOT A COSTUME. NOT A COSTUME, MOMMY. JUST NOAH.
All of his teachers assured me (when I gave them a heads up on the whole "oh hey, my kid is terrified of Halloween costumes" thing) that this is a pretty normal thing, both for this age and especially for the Kids Like Noah set. Most four-year-olds are still trying to figure out the distinction between real and pretend, while Noah needs and depends on his routines and rituals more than most. He hates -- HATES -- anything out of the ordinary or anyone acting the slightest bit "different." (Last week one teacher had her hair straightened and Noah burst into tears at the sight of her, because her hair wasn't "wiggly" anymore.) Class parties, field trips -- these aren't fun, they're stressful, even scary.
And so Jason and I, FINALLY, ON SATURDAY, LIKE OH MY GOD WE'RE MAYBE CATCHING ON A LITTLE BIT, decided that we would not push trick-or-treating just because it's "fun" and "he'll like it once he does it" and...I don't know. All the reasons we always stupidly drag Noah to things that we THINK are part of a nutritious balanced childhood.
We told him we could go trick-or-treating if he wanted to, but yeah, he needed to wear a costume. We showed him the options (all leftover rejects from last year) and pretty much left it at that. He seemed quite okay with the idea of skipping it all together.
Then our doorbell rang, and our first trick-or-treaters arrived. Within 30 seconds Noah bolted upstairs and came down with a costume in his hand.
A boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do for candy, apparently. I asked him what he wants to be next year and he said "nothing! I don't! I won't!" and collapsed in a dramatic, exhausted slump, like OH GOD, AGAIN? This would be much easier if you people would just hand over the chocolate. I have no more patience for you and your weird Earth ways.
Ezra has no opinion on the matter, but was just vaguely passively happy to be there. He would like to point out that many houses explicitly gave Noah "candy for [his] baby brother" and yet he has not seen a single bite. Not cool, dude. NOTCOOL.