"Guess what?!" an excited little someone shook me awake half an hour before my alarm was set to go off said. "It's Halloween!"
Wonderful, I thought. And November's sure creeping up. Can't stop that month.
"Oh! And I woke Miriam up to tell her, too!"
Even better. Because we might as well all be up early.
And then for the next half hour my children fought with each other until I growled at them to cut it out and find some cereal bowls. Happy Halloween, right?
Miriam had a doctor's appointment today. Aren't I a genius? Her appointment went well enough but it ended with three shots and by mid-afternoon she was completely miserable and feverish. She's on the small side—at 23 lbs. she's in the 7th percentile—but the doctor just chuckled and said, "I wouldn't worry about it—she looks happy and healthy. Besides, somebody's gotta make up the bottom percentile!"
The doctor also asked about potty training and said that if I need any information he has a couple of handouts.
"She's done," I said.
"What?" he asked.
"She's fully potty trained," I said.
"What? Wow! How?"
"We do elimination communication," I told him, "So we start our kids on the potty at birth. By two years old they've been going potty on the potty for years."
"You mean to say," he said, "That Miriam is sitting in my office at two years old and is wearing nothing but underwear?"
"Well, she has pants on, too. But, yes, she's wearing plain old underwear."
"That's amazing. How does it work?"
So I explained a bit about elimination communication to him and he seemed really interested. He said he was going to get some books about it to read because it sounds like something he'd like to encourage young mothers to do. He said more recent "research" has been showing that children cannot control their bladder or bowel movements until they are four years old—he said that "research" was a joke and that he thinks diaper companies are behind it all.
I told him that I know that newborn babies can control both their bladder and their bowel movements because Miriam did. And I know that older babies can, too, because both Miriam and Rachel did. And I know that kids can be out of diapers a lot sooner than four-years-old. Why?
Because Asia doesn't even have diapers.
And because my kids were out of diapers years before four rolled along.
Elimination communication might not be for everyone, but I like it. And I was happy to spread the word to my doctor, even though he admitted he was a little skeptical of it. I really hope he looks into it and starts encouraging parents to potty train their children younger. No one needs a four-year-old in diapers. I understand that there are situations where this can't be helped—my friend has a son who is severely autistic and he isn't potty trained yet even though he's in kindergarten—but if your child is capable of going potty in the potty why in the world would a parent choose diapers? It's beyond me.
By this time today, Halloween was turning out a lot scarier than I thought it would be.
First we woke up too early.
Then I talked at length about potty training.
Then Miriam got a shot!
What could be scarier?!
She took it like a champ, though. She only cried for about a minute before she stopped. And there was no thrashing. And no extra nurses were brought in to hold her down. It was nice. Kind of weird, even.
Like I said, she's a lot less passionate about life than Rachel is.
Rachel, though, was wonderful at Miriam's appointment. She chatted up the nurse. She chatted up the doctor (and even invited him over for left-over birthday cake). She let the doctor use her as a guinea pig to prove to Miriam that he wasn't going to hurt her by looking into her ears. I could not believe it.
When we had Rachel's check up back in August, I had to all but hog-tie her to get her to let the doctor look into her ears. Today? No problemo. It's easy to let the doctor look into your ears.
"Just be brave like me!" she told Miriam.
And then Miriam was brave like her.
When the appointment was over and my girls had their treasures for being good (Halloween reflector-necklaces...fancy!) Rachel remarked, "Wow! That doctor is really nice! And that nurse was really nice, too! Why aren't they nice when I come in?"
"They are nice when you come in," I said. "You're the one not being nice when you come in."
"Really?" she asked.
"Really!" I confirmed. "The last time you had a check-up you started screaming at the nurse the minute she asked you to step on the scale."
"Really. And instead of it taking 30 seconds to give you your shots it took about five minutes because we had to keep calling in backup and repositioning ourselves so we could hold you down."
"That was silly of me. This doctor isn't scary at all. He's nice and funny!"
"I know," I said.
"Sorry I did that," she said.
"It's okay," I said.
Look at my baby all growing up and realizing that sometimes she's completely illogical.
Now, back to Halloween...
We carved pumpkins this afternoon. Rachel had a lot of fun. She scooped out the insides and drew the face. I cut it out for her.
She was quite pleased with the results. The only thing she wanted in the whole world (at that particular moment) was a pumpkin with triangle eyes.
Miriam also helped scoop the innards out of her pumpkin. Then she told me she wanted a girl pumpkin. I did the best I could and she was satisfied with the finished product, but I thought it looked a bit goofy. She's in the sling because she had to be held by someone all afternoon or there were tears all over the place. Luckily she took a long nap after we finished with her pumpkin.
We had quite a few pumpkins this year. The two on the far left are Miriam's. The one I carved (who am I kidding? I carved all of them) is in the middle. Next comes Miriam's "girl" jack-o-lantern, sitting beside Rachel's triangle-eyed jack-o-lantern. The two pumpkins sitting on top are Rachel's. I'm thinking I'll cook the smaller pumpkins since the word on the street is that smaller pumpkins taste better. Is that true?
When Miriam woke up from her nap we started getting dinner ready. Grandma had made a bunch of Halloween Jell-o Jigglers for their BYU ward party but she left some behind for us.
They were the perfect complement to our mummy-dogs.
We also had pears and green beans and baked beans. It was a Halloween feast. Not that our children were very interested in eating much because there was trick-or-treating to be done and that was far too exciting! We basically ended up force-feeding them.
And then we got into costumes! We took pictures of them (again) but then I decided I wouldn't post any (because I already did) but then Andrew took this one of both girls pretending to shoot bad guys.
"I'm shootin' gad guys!" Miriam told me.
Trying to distinguish between "gad" guys and "good" guys is really difficult at our house, just so you know.
I dressed up in my shalwar kameez again but this time I think I got my bindi in just about the right spot.
So then we went trick-or-treating.
I haven't been trick-or-treating since last year. Obviously. But it was amazing to me to go trick-or-treating this year and realize that I actually know whose house is whose. We skipped so many houses last year. This year we kept having to stop and see Sister So-And-So and Brother What's-His-Name (only for the most part I actually know their names). We stopped and chatted at several houses, saw a cute month-old puppy, and recognized most of the children we ran into. It was kind of a good feeling to realize that this is my neighbourhood now.
You know, six months before we leave it—there's no time like the present!
It's taken a long time to feel like it's mine.
The highlight of my night was when we stopped at the primary chorister's house and he came out to chat with the girls. After discovering who they were and giving them high-fives, he announced, "Alright, Rachel. You can pick three candies!"
She reached in the bowl and picked one.
"That was only one!" he said. "You get to choose three!"
She then reached into the bowl and came out with a whole handful.
"Rachel!" I gasped.
"What?" she asked. "I can't really count!"
Perhaps not, but I know for a fact that she can count to three! Fortunately our chorister just laughed and said it was alright.
I also enjoyed Rachel's reaction every time anyone asked her who she was or, worse, guessed incorrectly.
Before we left home she asked if she could bring her gun. I told her no because she had to carry her candy bag and blah, blah, blah. She said, "But, Mom! No one will know who I am without my gun!"
"Oh, Rachel! Everyone will know who you are."
"Do you think so?"
"Yes. Of course."
But I was wrong. And every time I was wrong Rachel would roll her eyes and turn her head to look at me with her "I was right, you were less-right" face.
"And who are you?"
*eye roll* *head roll* *dramatic sigh*
"Tell them who I am, Mom."
"She's Princess Leia."
"Oh, of course she is!"
No one really had a problem guessing Miriam's costume. Or at least, she was always content with their guesses because even if they didn't specifically guess that she was Rapunzel they'd at least guess that she was a princess and she was perfectly fine with that.
After trick-or-treating we went to a Halloween concert with my mom at UVU. I forgot to snag a program from my mom so I'll write about it later, but let me say now that my children were both angels throughout the entire performance.
Miriam sat on my lap and sucked her thumb.
Rachel sat on Naanii's lap and watched the concert.
It was great! When my mom mentioned that they'd be doing a Halloween concert I immediately thought of Der Erlkönig (by Shubert, by the way, based on the poem by Goethe).
"Mein Vater, mein Vater!" I began to sing.
"Yes, they'll be playing that," she said.
Good. Because that song always gives me the willies. Therefore it is definitely appropriate at a Halloween concert.
They also performed a piece called Nancy, which was written as a tribute to and named for the composer's dead sister. Nice. But I don't have the program. And I happen to have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to details like composers and dates and anything else referencial. So for now, we'll just say that the concert was good and my children—the only children in the audience—behaved beautifully (and were complimented by music professors in attendance at the show about their behaviour; and not just by my mom, but by other music professors, too).
It was a lovely Halloween.
Tomorrow is November.
And it's supposed to snow.
I think I'll stay inside and roast pumpkins.