“Don’t make me come back to this house again!”

“Don’t make me come back to this house again!”  That was a direct quote from Tommy on Halloween, 2018.  My whole life I hated Halloween.  As a kid in the 70s/80s, our costumes were lame, anyway.  I was always jealous of my friend two doors down who had the best costumes every year.  As it turns out, Tommy isn’t a fan of Halloween either, but probably for different reasons.  I hate it for him because he has a feeding tube and can’t eat candy.  Fortunately, my mother’s neighbors are some of the best folks I know.  They always have something special for Tommy that isn’t food when he goes trick-or-treating.

The very first costume we could get Tommy to wear was a Snoopy costume when he was three years old.  All the kids in his pre-k class were wearing their costumes at school for a little parade on October 31st.  They clearly started practicing in August because I can still hear Tommy singing some spooky Halloween song.  Did I mention I genuinely despise all things Halloween?  This includes songs.  In any event, Tommy’s ABA at the time worked for weeks to get Tommy to put that costume on.  She finally had success on October 30 for almost two whole minutes.  Tom cried the entire time.

The following year, Tommy was already deep into his solar system obsession.  Go ahead and quiz any one of us, I can tell you things about the solar system NASA hasn’t even discovered yet.  Our dear friend Patti whipped him up a solar system costume.  He loved it and loved going house to house spewing solar system facts.

Tommy’s obsessions began to include landmarks, the Eiffel Tower especially.  When he was 5 years old, guess what he was for Halloween.  Yup, T-Bomb was the Eiffel Tower.  Cat made his 3-D costume and it even lit up!  It was awesome!  We laughed the whole night at Tommy illuminating the road as he went house to house.  Bonjour!

This past year, we cheaped out.  In actuality, Tommy wanted to be Chief Dunby from Lego City Undercover.  We didn’t make a single thing.  Two clicks on Amazon and his costume was at the door in two days.  But this past year was also much different from previous years.  Tom’s been working at school with his speech therapist to ask “wh” questions (who, what, when, where, why).  Do you know what it’s like to take an autistic child trick or treating who suddenly scripts “wh” questions?  I’ll tell you.

Halloween fell on a weekday that Tommy usually has ABA at home after school.  His therapist met us at my mother’s house so we could trick-or-treat in the greatest neighborhood of all time.  The plan was that she would accompany Tommy for the first 10 houses so she could help him with his social interactions.  After that, she had to go.  Bless her heart.  Some of the questions Tommy asked instead of “trick-or-treat!” were “who lives here?”  “What did you do today?”  “How old are you?”  You couldn’t get upset with him, he was doing exactly as he was instructed to do.  You could tell he was going through his rolodex of scripted questions at each door.  I was just glad I could hang back at the street while his poor ABA stood before some unsuspecting stranger as Tommy made them awkwardly uncomfortable.  It’s a good thing he’s cute.

After our tenth house, his therapist went home and we continued to walk Duffy Drive.  By this time, we met up with the other kids from the ‘hood circa 1980s.  We’re all 30 years older, but probably just as immature as we were decades ago.  Occasionally, someone would feed Tommy a line before he went up to a house.  We were also mindful of neighbors we knew from when we were kids and they know us.  Before long, Tommy was blowing his police whistle that came with his costume and telling folks he was confiscating their adult beverages!  Oh, no!!!  What had we done?!?  Whatever.  They probably shouldn’t be drinking anyway.

We continued to stroll.  I brought Tom up to a house where I didn’t know the neighbors, but they were awfully nice.  The woman who answered the door to this house, a house jammed with her adult children and their apparent families, thought Tommy was hysterical.  She invited him in.  NO!!!!!  I broke out in a sweat.  Tommy can’t go off script.  From outside I could hear Tommy blow his whistle in their kitchen.  I zipped my North Face up over my face.  Then he yelled “…and don’t make me come back to this house again, tonight!”  The laughter from that house was thunderous.  I died on their front steps.

When I got back to the group I inquired about the obviously fed line delivered inside that house.  Everyone laughed.  I pretended to be annoyed.  As Tom was coming out of the house, I tried to prompt him to say thank you.  Did he do that?  Nope.  He found another question from his repertoire.  “Can I sleep over?”  “Sure you can!  We’re expecting company on Saturday, come back, please!!!”  Lord help me.

Needless to say, we didn’t go back.  Tommy’s into natural disasters as of a few months ago.  A tornado costume is in the works; these things take time, after all.  I don’t want to jinx it, but it may be his best costume yet.  We’re trying to figure out how we can get it to spin.  I’m just thankful he doesn’t want to be a hurricane or an earthquake, but if he does, we’ll work with it.  If you don’t have plans for Halloween 2019, you know what neighborhood to crash.  You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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