I’ll confess that I enjoy Halloween. I like the costumes, I like the pumpkins and I like seeing people shake off a bit of the seriousness and get all silly.

I seem to be the only one of four in my house that holds that sentiment. Papa Bird is mildly enthusiastic about the holiday as long as no one requires he gets dressed up in anything. I think the candy helps sway the day into his favor. Owl is a baby and is amenable to me popping him into anything I see fit. Owl was an octopus this year, and an adorable one at that. Penguin, now that is another matter. Penguin said that he wanted to dress as our dog this Halloween.  I searched high and low for a costume that looks remarkably like her. I should have known trouble was afoot when he refused to try it on. Ever. He assured me that he would wear it on the day and I chose to believe that because I can work cognitive dissonance like no one’s business. On the morning of Halloween, he was all excited. “Can we trick-or-treat now? Can we?!” And I assured him that when I got home from work, we would go. We ate a quick dinner yesterday, as the promise of trick-or-treating sped that train along quickly. We drove over to Grandma’s house and, as we were getting out of the car, that is when the trouble began. It’s easy to spot. Penguin started dragging his feet. Uh-oh. And then he said, ” People will think it is funny and they will look at me and laugh at me.” And that is when I knew the Halloween festivities were over for the evening. After about 30 minutes of finagling (why??), he was finally in the costume. But he refused to let anyone see him in it. And then he tore it off instantly. Happy Halloween!

For the briefest moment, I was irritated. But irritation is sometimes my precursor emotion to feeling bummed and – sure enough – that was the feeling. I was bummed. Not in a profound way. It’s a silly holiday and I know better than to attach a lot of significance to one day. Living with Papa Bird has trained me to temper the sentimentality around a given “day” because he doesn’t let a whole lot of anything influence his agenda. This is a man who once put us 45 minutes behind schedule in leaving for a holiday car trip because he needed to vacuum and clean the refrigerator. Right then. RIGHT. THEN.

So, as quickly as the feeling of being bummed emerged, it was dissolved. As I do, I got over it because when you live with other people, well, that’s what you do. You have to get over the little things or you won’t get over anything.

Maybe Penguin will always hate Halloween. Or, more accurately, being in the spotlight and having attention paid to him. I think that was the real issue. And that’s ok. I’m really fine with that. I’m just not sure how much I, as his Mama, should push him towards trying something new or out of his comfort zone. I don’t expect him to like everything, but I don’t want him to shut it out before even giving it a chance. But I guess that’s not up to me.

What’s a Mama to do?

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