Since the boys and I hadn't been feeling well, and we filled up their candy baskets the night before at the campus trick-or-treating thing, I really didn't want to have to take them on Halloween night out in the cold. Sam is really prone to RSV and had had it 3 times before he was two years old. So when I found out that Main street was hosting a treat-or-treating at the stores in the afternoon, I was all for it!
I should have turned the car around when I saw the traffic on Main street as I looked for a parking place. I'd never seen it quite like it was that day -- bumper to bumper and kids running all over the place in costume, with parents tagging along behind. There were so many people and the doorways to the stores were sucking in children and spiting them out like a tobacco chewing cowboy. I knew as pulled into a parking place, that a stroller wasn't going to work, and the kid harnesses could be safety hazards. So with a puffed up chest and chin held high, I opted to go on foot -- all three of us.
I knew it could be dangerous, or downright scary -- but I had to give it a try... for the boys.
I shouldn't have done it. I should have turned around and gone home right then.
But I didn't.
I got the boys out, handed them their baskets, and off we went. It took a few stores for the boys to get used to the idea that we weren't shopping, that we were getting candy and leaving. I had to chase them around the china store in a state of panic that something was going to break! They were running the opposite directions and laughing and hiding and I just couldn't do it! So I recruited the security guard to help me catch them and get us out. He wasn't very happy with me, and I pray I will never have to go in there again!
As I look back on that very LONG hour of my life, I honestly can't tell you how we survived. I found the following phrases flapping out my mouth every time I opened it:
"Nephi get away from the street! Sam get back here!!"
"Guys! I only have two arms! Get over here!"
"Stop it now, Sam! It's too dangerous!"
"Yes! You will hold my hand while we cross the street!"
"I said knock it off, or we are going home!"
At one point when I had to pick up Nephi who was poking around, and chase after Sam yelling for him to stop, I heard a little girl say to her mom, "Mommy, that lady is so mean to her kids!"
My heart fell. Is that how I seem to people? Mean because I don't let my kids run off or into the streets. Mean because the boys ignore me until I am yelling, blue in the face? Mean to make them hold my hand to cross busy streets? Do people really think I am a mean mom? I hope not. I really love my kids and strive to keep them safe. I don't know what else to do.
When we finally made it back to the car, both boys had pooped their pants, and my makeup was running down my cheeks. That was fun...
Good thing Halloween only comes once a year!