Sunday, October 8, 2006
OK, rule one: Never, ever teach this chant to a school-age boy, especially of the Monkey persuasion. Yeah, it makes you feel like "cool mom" for a moment, but repetition soon makes one feel like "I'm-going-to-take-that-whole-bag-of-sugar-and-stick-it-in-your-pumpkin-if-you-don't-stop-it-nowmom." Being the cool—while somewhat neurotic—mother that I am, I decided to take advantage of the "No Halloween on a Melton School Night" decree and allow the Monkey the chance to trick-or-treat on a Saturday night.
After much weeping and gnashing of vampire teeth, my son had decided to dress as a ninja yet one more time. Mommy preferred the Elvis costume, or the George Dubya costume, but no way, no how. Neither Elvis nor George costumes include weapons (of mass destruction or otherwise), so for the seventh year running, I lost. To a ninja. With plastic throwing stars and a trident. I don't know what a trident is, but it is apparently very important when one is a third grader, especially if it glows.
Since we were cheater, cheater, pumpkin eaters living in Rankin County and all, I called my good friend, who is a Sweet Potato Queen and Belhaven resident, to secure parking in her driveway. When we arrived, Queen Pippa met us at the door with what appeared to be a handful of change, telling us to take it and run before anyone saw. She was shutting her door for the night because she had forgotten about that whole candy thing and was out of change. Second, she is an animal lover of the highest order, and she does not like children-types knocking on her door all the livelong night. It apparently gives her blind, anxiety-ridden poodle a bad case of the nerves, and she was fresh out of smelling salts. Then she shut her doors and turned out the lights. I wouldn't have known a person or a dog resided there.
Monkey and I walked the sidewalks on our own for a while, ringing any lighted doorbell, when we found a formation of parents and kids loading up for a hayride. Now, Monkey is quite strident, especially with a trident, and immediately asked, loudly, if we could hop upon said ride. I told him no, we don't invite ourselves and that was that, as I glanced around hoping another grown-up did not overhear his brazen disregard of manners.
We did, however, stay in stride with the multitude throughout much of the night as the kids (who I swear were also ALL NINJAS) yelled, burped and made fart noises. Somewhere around block three, right after a very tipsy woman had mistaken my child for her own (all ninjas look alike, doncha know), Monkey kicked off an overt pee pee dance, with the audible whisper, "Hey, ask that lady if I can use her bathroom." Well no, honey. Again, poor etiquette, even if she doesn't know you from her own offspring.
So we found ourselves faced with a urine dilemma. With tender assurance, I told Monkey to hold it, as we could get to Pippa's house quickly. "For God's sake, get both hands off the penis, because nobody wants to see that. Now run!"
Monkey made it to her porch panting, heaving and holding it in—hands-free and cross-legged like a gentlemen—only to find out that not only were lights out at Pippa's, but so was his chance to handle his business with the honor of a polyester ninja. Pippa was gone, and I finally lost my moxie.
Without another viable choice, I advised him to pee outside. I could see his diabolic eyes squinting, expressing his conflicted heart regarding this order. Perhaps this exhibition of submissive loyalty would result in much exaggerated respect and honor for his family. In other words, he could spell his name with urine in public, not only without fear of being disciplined, but also under the direction of his very own mother.
And so he did. We found a darkened corner behind a bush, and I spread my arms to shield my selfless warrior from the eyes of any foes, or perhaps the reckoning of any onlookers. The last thing we needed was a David Sanders piece stating that he witnessed someone else urinating on the streets of Jackson, even if the delinquent was a Brandon resident. I was pleased our misconduct went unnoticed. I told my little Brett Favre to hop in the car, because our evening was over.
Later that evening, I was awoken from the peaceful sleep of a mother to the sound of water splatting onto drywall. Alas, my honorable ninja had succumbed to the spoils of his war. The empty candy wrappers surrounding his fetal body proved his defiance of the one rule of trick-or-treating, which is "Listen to Your Mama." I'd told him not to eat any more candy. In that moment, I was certain that karma had gotten me at last. Going forward, I would advise to not allow your children to whiz in a Sweet Potato Queen's yard. Better just to ask the drunk lady for her house key.
-- by Emily Braden