I forgot what it was like to trick-or-treat with a toddler. Had I remembered sooner, I would’ve stayed home. What was I thinking? He doesn’t even know what candy is. Well, now he does. At one house, they gave out packets of raisins. Raisins, to the toddler, are nirvana. Great, I thought, he can actually eat something! I open the bag, pour the contents onto his stroller tray and voila: chocolate-covered raisins. I made sure to tell him these were not raisins, and these were not what were going to appear the next time he ever asked for raisins.
I also forgot that I am now 12 years older than the last time I went trick-or-treating with a toddler. I was wasted by 6:30pm. Getting Shabbos dinner ready, eating it, cleaning up after it, dressing the kid, doing my daughter’s hair (she was Sarah Palin), finding a treat basket, taking the obligatory photos…I was too tired to dress up at all. In the past, I’ve been the Queen of Hearts with a hoop skirt and hand-painted salt-dough tartlets; I’ve been Arachne with a giant spider bracelet and a cape of webs; I’ve been a tooth fairy with earrings made of dental floss boxes and a necklace of toothbrushes; I’ve been a bunch of purple grapes (never again. I couldn’t sit down on all the balloons), and even a nuclear warhead. But not this year. This year, I was a tired, old, and unashamedly sub-par Balabusta.