Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013: Saving Halloween with wet socks, red paint, a pteranodon and a monkey

I realized today I should probably change the sub-header line of my blog. Because although I do spend the majority of my time at home...I'm very much a working mama. In fact I have so many jobs, at times its hard to keep track of my life. Today...HALLOWEEN 2013...was no different, just with an added twist.

I wake up this morning thinking the only thing I need to really do is clean the house, carve pumpkins and take my kid to a Halloween party at the library and then trick-or-treating.

Easy enough.

But then I get a text from my friend Mark (who is directing the show that my theatre company is opening tomorrow night) "Dropping off the bottle now"


I forgot I have to magically turn a Shampoo bottle into a Swedish Lighter Fluid bottle. (I'm designing props for the show and this was the last detail I had to finish.)

So I get out of bed, feed Gunnar Breakfast and sit down to my computer to design a new label for this bottle...which eats up the entire morning. Luckily Gunnar has been keeping himself busy trashing the living room with puzzle pieces, breakfast food and scraps of paper.

Then, just as I am about to consider playing the "clean-up game" with G, I make the mistake of checking my iphone when it makes that ba-bling sound...a message from an Etsy customer about how much she loves the owl costume I made her daughter last week! Awe! This reminds me I have an order to package and mail....another 1/2 hour gone.

Just as I am heading upstairs Gunnar hands me a "picture" he has colored all over one of my student's homework assignment. Oy. (Did I mention I'm now teaching theatre part time at a community college?) Luckily I've decided this homework doesn't need to be returned as it was merely used to count participation points...however, this reminds me I need to email one of my students about their grade, which I inadvertently marked wrong on his midterm. While I'm doing this my mind wanders realizing I forgot to ask my students to bring their text books to Monday's class...I need to post an announcement on blackboard.  30 minutes gone.

Meanwhile Gunnar has found the iPad...the dreaded "Tro Tro" song is endlessly repeating...

I glance at the's nearly 1pm. I promised myself I'd get Gunnar in bed for nap by 1pm at the latest, otherwise there won't be time for pumpkin carving before the Halloween party. He hasn't had lunch. I slap a peanut butter and honey bender together on a plate with applesauce while I ask Gunnar to sing the clean up song and attempt to clean up his mess. Lately Gunnar prefers to stand and eat...maybe he can also clean while he eats? Too much to ask? Nah...he obliges.  Until I find gooey breakfast banana on the floor...from breakfast 5 hours ago.

I get mad. (too mad)


"OK! I WILL!" he shouts back.

He picks up one and is disgusted by the feel.

"YUCK!"  He picks up his foot as high as it will go and smashes it down on the remaining banana slice on the floor.  Banana guts fly everywhere.

"GUNNAR MILES! TIME OUT!"  Mommy completely over reacts to yucky squished banana, Gunnar cries and agrees to clean it up with a towel. Gunnar wipes the banana smear while I wipe away his tears. We kiss and make up.

Time for nap.

We read 3 stories. I sing 3 songs. He actually falls asleep in the middle of the 3rd song. Thank God.

I have time to clean the kitchen and put away dishes...Once that is finished I look at the clock. 2:30. I have one hour before we should be leaving for the party. And then it hits me like a bird through a shiny glass window...I don't have a costume. What if I'm the only parent not dressed up at the Library Halloween Party? I need to find! I tear open my closet looking for any inspiration...when suddenly IT falls out of my hat basket...the sock monkey hat John bought me 3 years ago for Christmas. I'll be a sock monkey! I'll just put on grey leggings a grey sweater and this hat! Boom done! Halloween is saved!

Time check. 2:45...Crap I should really gut those pumpkins before G wakes up. We have three pumpkins...I usually like to save pumpkin seeds but I decide, hell no...I don't have time for that! I scoop and scrape the bellies of those pumpkins faster than I've ever done before. In 20 minutes flat all three pumpkins are clean and hollowed. Super mom.

Gunnar wakes up just as I start to carve the face in the first pumpkin. He gets excited. Grabs the small knife I'm not using. I panic...speak to him slowly but extremely firmly.

"G U N N A R   P U T   D O W N   T H A T   K N I F E   R I G H T   N O W!"

"Okay Mommy" he does.

Whew! I explain he can tell me what to do but, he can only watch. He decides the eyes, nose and mouth shape for pumpkin #2 and then starts sweeping with the broom I left out while cleaning. I finish off pumpkin #3 in record time.


Time check? 3:30...CRAP!! I wanted to leave by now and G isn't in his costume yet.

I grab the red face paint from the counter and rip it open. (John's idea...he thought the homemade Red Pteranodon costume would look better if his face was red too) I draw two round circles on my face and show Gunnar.

"Gunnar do you want to paint your face like mommy?"

"Yes! I do!" G exclaims.

This was a terrible idea...trying to get a 3 year old to sit still long enough to paint his face evenly red is like trying to brush a cat's teeth. He was squirmy, squeamy and vocal about his dislike of being unable to move, and yet he was never still.  Red was everywhere...

Good enough. Lets wash our hands and GO!

Wash! Wash off! WASH OFF!!!!! What the heck? The red will not come off my fingers! Panic sets in...(I'VE JUST PERMANENTLY DYED MY SON'S FACE RED! I'M THE WORST MOM EVER!)

I quick google remedies...everything they suggest I've already tried. Oh well it's 4:00...the party is starting, I guess I'll deal with it later... it's red for now.

I throw G into his imperfect Pteranodon costume and we fly out the door...well almost. It's raining. Great. I grab an umbrella and carry Gunnar to the car. We're a little wet but we're on our way. About 3 blocks away from the library Gunnar finally catches my attention with:

"MOMMY! I don't have any shoes on!"

"WHAT?!!!" Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph....


What was I thinking? Well I guess he was all dressed in red and his socks were red and I just completely least I carried him to the car in the wet rain! However I did set him down to unlock the car...socks a wee bit wet.

When we finally arrive to the Halloween Party at the Library I quickly realize I am indeed the ONLY parent in costume...with the exception of Frankenstein who appears to be the DJ. The party is a total bust...our favorite story time teacher is no where to be seen and the new associate is running the ring and unfortunately she doesn't know how to control the candy raiding mob of pre-teens who refuse to listen to her instructions. Party over....we leave with only a spider ring to prove we were there.

It's still pouring down rain. We pick up daddy at the train and go home to prep for a sloppy night of Trick-or-Treating.  Luckily the rain slows to a trickle by the time we get out and Gunnar has a blast.

"Trick-or-Treat!" he says at every door with a "Thank you very much!!! Happy Halloween!!! See you later!!!" (w/sing songy inflection) after receiving candy from each house.

We take a break and have dinner at the Mexican restaurant two blocks away (seems to be our Halloween tradition) and then return home Trick-or-Treating on the next street over on the way back.

The highlight of the entire day was as I was preparing Gunnar's bath and taking off his clothes he suddenly wraps his arms around me and puts his head on my shoulder.

"I really loved Trick-or-Treating with you. Thank you for coming along with me mommy!" and he looks into my eyes with such love before laying a big ole RED kiss on my mouth. It was so genuine and sweet and precious that I didn't even care he had just rubbed red face paint all over my wool sweater.  These are the moments I live for.  These are the moments that make me realize that out of all of my jobs: artist, actress, company member, crafter, business owner, teacher, etc...MOMMY is the best job I've ever had. The hardest...but the best.

p.s. the red paint came off with cold cream and a warm bath. Disaster averted!