That's me with my favorite lion--getting ready to hit the streets in search of treats. Shanti and I agreed that as much as we'd both like to chaperone Zeke on his door-to-door travels, one of us needed to stay home and hand out goodies to other kids (because if all the parents were out on the streets, nobody would get any candy, right?). This year, Shanti generously offered to stay home. Next year it'll be me.
Everything went well. Zeke always remembered to say "trick-or-treat" (a happy improvement over last year when he created all kinds of awkward moments by knocking on the door, then just standing there silently staring at whomever opened it), and he only needed to be reminded to say "thank you" a few times. He managed to fill his treat bag almost all the way to the top, which, as it turns out, is waaaay too much candy. I thought I had assigned him a pretty small bag (my pathetic effort at volume control), but by the time we were in the second half of our outing, it was so heavy that I had to carry it. And rather than go to the door with Zeke and let another adult put candy into a bag that I was holding (which just felt too weird), I gave Zeke my baseball cap and let him use that for primary treat harvesting. Once he secured the goods he ran back to me and deposited them in the larger bag, then wore the hat on our walk to the next house. He seemed to enjoy it, and the adults got a kick out of it (you need to imagine the boy in the lion suit showing up in a ball-cap, knocking on your door, then whipping his cap off and extending it to you in what seems to be a spontaneous display of trick-or-treating ingenuity).
I have to say, the treat mix has definitely changed since I was a kid. Growing up, I could count on one hand the houses that handed out raisins or pencils, or any sort of non-candy reward, and I avoided them studiously. Now these kind of quasi-treats are all over the place. Rubber bracelets, plastic rings, a stuffed dog...we saw it all tonight. I'd say that about 20% of the houses are going that route these days. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I totally get the point--childhood obesity and all...a fight which I am totally on-board with--but on the other hand, I couldn't help being a little disappointed each time we received a non-edible treat. Fortunately Zeke was a good sport. After the first one he asked me "Why that lady did not give me a treat?" before she even had the door closed, but then we had a discussion about graciously receiving things that we're not all that excited about (in this case an eraser), and for the rest of the night, he was fine.
When we got home we stripped him out of the lion suit, helped him spread his loot all over the living room floor so he could marvel at the magnitude of his trick-or-treating achievement, and then let him have three pieces of candy before he went to bed. He's a little bit hopped-up right now (I can still hear him singing in his room even though we put him to bed 15 minutes ago), but I think he'll pass out soon. He put a lot of miles on those lion paws tonight, and I know he's got to be wiped out.