When I was a child, my best friend, Bridget, and I always went trick-or-treating together. We lived out in the country and didn’t have many neighbors, so our mothers drove us around to their friends’ houses to show off our costumes and collect candy.
We always stopped to see our neighbors first and then went straight to Herman and Maxine’s house. They were an older couple whose children had all grown. Since they lived in the country, we were their only visitors on Halloween. They would always make a big deal about how fantastic our costumes were and give us bags of candy. We felt special when we visited them.
After that, we would trick-or-treat in our little small town where my mom knew just about everyone since she taught elementary school there for 40-plus years.
One Halloween, when we were probably about 9, Bridget dressed up as a cat. She had a fuzzy tail that was just about as long as she was tall. It was rainy and stormy that night so Bridget’s mom, Pat, drove us up to the neighbor’s house. It was our first stop of the night and we were excited to begin the fun. We jumped out of the car and dashed up to the house to get out of the rain.
Bridget jumped out her side and slammed the door on her tail. She was moving fast, so she got a little way from the car before it snapped her back. Her tail went from being long to about 10 feet long. It looked normal for the first little bit and then it was just stretched to a thin little line and then poofy again at the bottom. She had to carry it in a coil the rest of the night. And since it was so long it got wet and muddy running up the driveway. We still had a whole night of Halloween fun ahead of us.
“Now you can just say you’re an alley cat,” Pat told Bridget.
She was understandably upset, but she was over the top about it and was in a very foul mood. Just like a grumpy wet cat.
Unfortunately, the whole situation caught my funny bone, and Pat’s too. Bridget’s grumpiness and inability to move on somehow made it impossible not to be amused. We tried so hard not to laugh, but every time Pat and I would make eye contact in the rearview mirror we just couldn’t help but start laughing again.
Poor Bridget jokingly said that she is scarred to this day and hates Halloween. However, she did say it might just not be her thing because she remembers dressing up like a butterfly in kindergarten and being very grumpy about it. Since she wouldn’t stop being a grump, her mother painted a smile on her face as part of her butterfly makeup.
Pat was always like that. She met Bridget’s grumpy moods with humor. Bridget now tolerates us when Pat and I head down that memory lane.
My son, Dawson, was about 3 years old when he discovered his love for Halloween. Our neighbor invited us to the Halloween party at her church.
Dawson dressed up as the pirate Jake from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” He competed in the costume competition at the church. All of the kids were lined up in front of the judges. My neighbor said to Dawson to just stand ‘right here’ and look at a particular judge.
I’m not sure what was going on in his head, but Dawson did a great job of looking at that judge. Maybe a little too good. He locked an intense, angry glare on that judge for the entire time. He won second place.
Dawson has loved Halloween from that year forward. Now, he starts to think about his costume in July. I hope he and my daughters will have their own happy Halloween memories as I do.
When Poulsbo resident Debi Johns got a visit from her daughter and two granddaughters, she took them to see her old neighborhood. Debi showed her granddaughter, Emma, 3, and Emma’s 4-month-old baby sister the house their mother lived in when she was growing up.
Emma asked if her grandmother’s dog Bo lived there. Her mother replied that Bo had not been born yet. As they were driving out of the neighborhood, Emma asked, “Was Bo still in gram’s belly?”
Laura Kessler, of Poulsbo, was making dinner for her then 2-year-old son Gabriel.
“Do you want plain rice,” she asked him.
“No, I want airplane rice,” he said.
Candace Mangold, of Port Townsend, was talking to her son Halen, 5, about school.
“I hope I have P.E.E. today,” Halen said. “I like P.E.E.”
“Did you have P.E.E. when you were a kid,” he asked.
“When I was a kid it only had one E,” Candace said.
Candace’s son, Holland, 3, yelled from the back seat of their vehicle, “Mom! You got a mint? I have a booger in my teef!”
I would love to hear your funny kid stories, so please send them my way. Parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and people who love children, please send your stories and cute kid photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.