October officially declared "too much fun" monthAfter all the birthdays, various parties, and now, finally, halloween to top it all off, Annika wants October to go on forever! Last Friday she had a halloween party at her pre-school. She went as Blue from Blue's Clues: The party kicked off with a costume parade. Then they went back inside to trick-or-treat around the building, and then lined up and compared costumes and treats. Frankie lounged in her stroller, taking in all the action--ever the relaxed baby. Then they formed a circle and sang several songs, followed by a rousing game of "pumpkin, pumpkin, ghost!" (German readers, please drop me a line if you'd like the game explained--suffice it to say there is suspense, head tapping, running, and chasing) Here they are waiting to see who gets tapped as the "ghost" next. After that game, Annika got out her camera that the Cochrans sent her for her birthday and ran around snapping pictures of all her classmates. She did a great job of not getting her fingers in front of the lens, but often she ended up snapping her friend's backside. So I told her to wait until she had their attention and then ask if she could take their picture. She thought this was a great idea, but of course she had to get up really close to ask them, and then she neglected to stand back to shoot the picture. So she'll probably get back some great pictures of her friends' necks, left eyes, and maybe some chins. I will of course post some of her pics when they get back next week. Annika loved being able to take her own photos, but since it was a disposable camera the whole apparatus had to go into the film mailer. When she saw her beloved camera disappear down the film chute, she was inconsolable. I think I'm going to have to find her another to present to her when her film comes back, or the sight of her first photographic effort will be bittersweet. For halloween itself, Anni decided to be a cheetah (we had both outfits, due to some fortuitous garage sale shopping over the summer).
We dressed Frankie as a clown First, daddy needed some new shoes ("Why do you need new shoes, daddy? Are your old shoes broken? Why are they broken?" etc.) So we went to the mall, where they also had some early trick-or-treating going on. We managed to get there before the crowds hit, and Annika's eyes widened with each Tootsie Roll dropped into her bag.
Then we headed home to get ready for the big adventure--wandering the neighborhood after dark. Daddy stayed home to pass out candy with Frankie the clown, and Anni and I headed out with her bag. I told her that we could only go to houses with lights on. Every time we passed a dark house, she turned to me and asked, "Is that where the ghosts live?" We went to one house that was particularly decked out for the evening, with huge inflatable pumpkin towers and a Frankenstein, plus scary sounds/music and the entire porch was covered with "spider webs" including a huge spider crouched right over the front door. As we stepped onto the porch, Anni grabbed my hand and said, "I'm not afraid, Mommy..." inching a bit closer to me as she said it, of course. About halfway through the outing, she realized that none of the older kids had their parents going up to the door with them, so she told me at the bottom of the driveway, "You stay there, Mommy. I'll go up by myself, OK?" She marched up to the door, only to realize that she couldn't reach the doorbell! Luckily, a tall cowgirl happened by, and saved her from the embarrassment of having to resort to mommy help. She definitely had the routine down: "Trick or Treat" to get her candy, and then "Thank you! Happy Halloween!" once she got it. Of course, the girl doesn't even like candy all that much, but the whole experience of running around after dark with a bunch of other kids, all in costumes was just thrilling. We made it home in a little over an hour, and Anni ran into the house to tell Daddy all about it. With her bag completely full of candy, she headed straight for the kitchen and grabbed a slice of red pepper left over from that evening's salad for dinner. "Hooray!" all the dentists of the world cheer. All in all, one happy little Cheetah Girl.