Brits learning Halloween, Bulford, UK

Yesterday started out well as Sonya made it possible for me to sleep in somehow getting Ben out of the room silently before he was able to get to me. Ben loves his Aunty so much that he wants to spend every waking moment playing with her…read: if he is awake, he thinks I should be awake and finds many interesting ways to make that happen. In any case, I more or less caught up on my sleep and the short afternoon nap I took sealed the deal.


Monday is Sonya’s day off which meant we also got to hang around all day hanging out together doing what best friends do best….everything and nothing. Sonya is my very favorite person to practice this fine skill with although now I must admit it is a bit of a challenge with the two babes crawling all over her. Still, we manage. It was rainy and chilly (typical, so they say) so it was the perfect day to sit in and drink tea and watch music videos and play on the computer. Soon it was time for Nicholas to go down for a nap so I followed suit while Son went to pick up Ben from school.

We fed the kidlettes before getting ready for Halloween night. Ben wore his Batman costume but insisted on wearing a somewhat large green camping lantern on his belt. Sonya protested loudly but I gently agreed with Ben that it didn’t matter that it didn’t “fit”. It made all the sense to me…infact, I explained, this was an improvement. Ben was a hybrid superhero – Batman crossed with the Green Lantern. Or the Green Lantern *disguised* as Batman, if you will. Sonya looked at me a bit exasperated as if to say “whose side are you on?” to which I shrugged as Ben beamed up at his Mum triumphantly while proceeded to tie on the shiny blue cape.

“There is a special way to this,” I explained to Ben matter-of-factly. “I own more than seven different capes and cloaks so I am a bit of a professional.”

To this Sonya chuckled and agreed that only Aunty Carmella would have such an arsenal of capes confirming that yes, she is most definitely the right one to have around for holidays such as Halloween. Once Ben was ready and Nicholas was poured into his little (almost too little…the boy is growing like a weed!) tigger outfit, we readied ourselves for the spooky night out.

Sonya started out as a she-devil but then decided she felt more piratey and changed. I agreed that the pirate was the right choice. I opted to be a “Police Dude” which meant a proper bobby hat complete with siren and light on the top as well as vest and handcuffs. There was a baton too but I lost that to a teething Nicholas who decided it was for chewing on. The best part of the ensemble was the bathrobe I wore and the pajama pants (which were actually hospital scrubs) ala. The Big Lebowski. Get it? Police Dude? I thought it was quite clever but I imagine I was the only one since Sonya doesn’t remember (gasp!) the cult classic.

I had just wiggled into the childsize Police vest when the first suspects rang the bell. Ben went ballistic and ran screaming wildly to the door, while I followed in steady pursuit armed with the candy bowl.
After handing out a few rounds of sweets, we had a photo shoot before heading out ourselves. I was impressed with the level of participation of some of the neighbors. Halloween is not well received here in the UK still being seen as a very American holiday. But those who have fun with it really do jump on board.

About a quarter of the houses dropped sweets in Bens happy little jack-o-lantern treat holder. It was pretty cute when we over heard the 5 year old asking the houses if the sweets they were giving him had egg in them. Sonya is deathly allergic to egg (as I discovered once many moons ago when we were teenagers doing homemade facemasks…not a happy story as her mom thought I was trying to kill her and has never really trusted me since) so her son is very wary of them.

The best house was when a 20-something man (who clearly had just come home from the gym) answered his door a little embarrassed but with a handful of coins. Ben didn’t quite know what to think when the burly young man repeatedly thrust his fist towards him, waiting for Ben to hold out his bucket. Finally the confused 4 year hold must have worked out that the gentleman was trying to give him a ganster greeting of sorts so he (naturally) gave him a fist pound right back. The whole thing was rather akward but made for the most hilarious moment of the night. Sonya and I were crying we were laughing so hard.

Another house had a dog the size of a small horse which wanted to participate too. And yet another home had a young boy who repeatedly invited us to come in to his house for a party. A few minutes later we learned it wasn’t his house at all but that he was inviting the whole neighbourhood anyway. I was quite impressed with how kind people were, nothing like the stuffy Brit stereotype.

When all was said and done, Ben had scored quite a pile of sugary snacks. Sonya ganked a candy watch and necklace and I noshed on some mini chocolate bars. Ben was more than happy to share…he is such a generous little boy. After the kids finally entered sugarcrash territory, we dropped them into bed and had a girls night. We watched StreetDance and ate yummy food while Facebooking each other from opposite sides of the couch. It was just like old times. I guess thats the best part of having a best friend…old times and new times are all the same. I guess what it comes down to is that time really just doesn’t exist in these rare connections.

Grateful for Happy Halloweens.

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