Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lions, Spiders and Tantrums... Oh My!

The Great Pumpkin Chase

'Parenthood', that three syllabus word which leaves one wondering... 'what is it all about really?' The inner workings of a four year old mind are perplexing at best. Don't even get me started on what goes through my eleven month old's mind. (not that I could possibly know anyways) All I know for certain is that children have a natural born talent to wrap their parents around their finger. It's their only defense mechanism after all. Whilst other mammals are quietly hiding behind their mother maintaining constant vigilance human children are screaming at the top of their lungs alerting the world to not only their presence, but to their parents presence as well. The story of the 'Three Little Pigs' illustrates human evolution well.

Halloween weekend turned into an array of to much treats and not so nice tricks, particularly for my oldest son. Being his first Halloween in Canada, he found himself inundated with festivities and candies, starting with a celebration on Friday at his Garderie. Dressed in nothing less than a lion costume (lions would never eat too much candy at once, I am certain of this!) and armed with the determination of a terminator intent on eating all of the world's candy whilst jumping, roaring and playing in four degree weather, our little boy found himself awake and unable to breath Saturday at ten to two in the morning! Uncertain of what could be wrong and realizing the gravity of his breathing complications, I dressed him (and myself) and began our journey into the night without a clue as to where I would be going. Jennifer remained with our baby boy, who was happily enjoying a Queen sized bed to himself sound asleep (thankfully).

By five am we had returned home with a diagnosis of 'minor' laryngitis. It didn't seem minor to Jennifer and I at the time, although, admittedly, the two am night air did help him breathe much better so that by the time we arrived I was questioning my sanity for having brought him out at all. I couldn't help but wonder how I could make him cough and breath like he was doing so at home again without seemingly looking like I was trying to suffocate my son. After all, we have all had this happen to us where the doctor looks at us pleasantly enough and smiles that terrible smile... I had become one of those troublesome parents who rush their kids to to doctor for a 'splinter'.  In fairness our doctor was very kind,especially as I had forgotten my wallet at home and hence had no way of paying for this excursion to the emergency room! Thus, upon my return home with our son, I deposited him squarely into Jennifer's care, grabbed my wallet and returned to pay the trusting doctor.

By Sunday we headed out for Halloween at Joel's grandfather's. Exhausted from our lack of sleep Friday night, we were still recovering ourselves from sleep deprivation. Still vigilant of Joel's health our instructions of no candy nor running soon became a distant memory as grandfather and grandson happily frolicked in and around the garden. It was a lovely day spent enjoying the warm(er) weather that Montreal has to offer at this time of year than Sherbrooke and our son's lion costume was once more a roaring success (no pun intended). Our eleventh month old was dressed in a spider costume which was placed over his winter jacket thus preventing him from even being able to lift an arm. Indignant, he sat is his stroller with a spider hat (which had two little white eyes) on the top of his head and was reluctantly pushed along from house to house. Whereas our little lion smiled and ran up to each door with a jack-o-lantern alit on its door step, our little spider stared and to me looked unimpressed by the festivities taking place around him. The array of children's costumes seem to confuse him as he had just gotten comfortable with the idea of how people dressed and looked. Now witches, gremlins and star wars Jedi fighters passed him and smiled, some waving their candy buckets.

What I love most about Halloween, other than how cute the kids look in their costumes, is how silly people allow themselves to become. It's the one night of the year where adults are allowed to play imaginary games again without fear of being placed into an asylum. Even my wife dressed up as witch whilst I, a quasi mixture of Frankenstein in biker apparel. Even our children become life sized dolls as we dress them and tempt them to be in character with bribes of candy. After being away for eight years it was nice to see television shows like It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and to spend Halloween in a country like Canada, where for one night parents and children alike participate in imaginary play and share in each other's delight.

However, it would be inconsiderate of me not to pass on a bit of advice to those who have contemplated having their own little lions and spiders. Beware of grandparents who feed little lions in particular all sorts of candies, cakes and soft drinks and who think napping is only for eleven month old spiders! Perhaps we became the dominant species on earth not because of our 'intelligence' but rather, and most likely in my opinion, our children's ability to scream such a blood curdling scream that even the fiercest of animals turn and run.

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