No, this isn’t an article about checking candy for glass shards that anonymous people leave on your doorstep. This is about the hilarity that ensued when my kids (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1) and I decided to “Boo” our neighbors. If you’re not familiar with this Halloween tradition, you put some treats in a bag with a note, drop it on your neighbor’s doorstep, knock the door, and run. On the note is a cute drawing that saying “We’ve been booed!” to put in your front window and instruction on booing your own neighbors and friends. It’s like a candy chain letter.
Since we’ve been “booed” 4 times already this Halloween (yes, 4), we had a plethora of candy to put in treat bags. (My kids keep taking down our “We’ve been booed!” sign in hopes of getting booed repeatedly. It works.) I put a variety of candy in bags with a cute note and loaded my tribe into the getaway car. The 1st two houses went off without a hitch, except that I could see the perplexed neighbors watch our car driving away in the drizzling rain. And since we’re the minivan in the neighborhood with all the car seats in it and all the bumper stickers on the back, I’m sure our cover is busted.
It was my 3-year-old’s turn to “boo.” I told him to drop the bag of candy on the front steps of a raised house, knock on the door, run down the steps, and jump in the front seat (since the sliding door takes forever to close). Yes, I realize now, that this is a tall order for a short kid. He did great with the first part, walking up the steps and dropping the candy. Then he started to come back down the steps so I rolled down the window and told him to knock on the door before running back to the car. Obediently, he knocked on the door and peered into the house. I yelled, “Run, Andrew, run! They’re coming!”
Andrew looked at me and shrieked. He wailed. He had an all-out temper tantrum on my kind friend’s front porch. I forgot Andrew was scared to go down staircases. He was sobbing, sitting on the top step, scooting his way down each wet step, one at a time, petrified that I was about to drive away without him. The older kids and I in the car could hardly breathe we were laughing so hard. My friend’s 3-year-old ran to the door before his Mom could get there. At this point, she heard a screaming child outside and yelled at her kid to keep the door locked. Something was not right!
My friend saw me and gave me the “What the hell?” look. I said though the laughter and tears, “We dropped a treat off on your porch. Andrew panicked when I told him to run to the car.” Fortunately for all of us, she was touched that we had thought of her and relieved that a serial killer wasn’t playing a recording of a crying baby on her front porch to lure her out of her home.
The lesson here is to only let your 3-year-old participate in booing your neighbors when it doesn’t involve wet staircases and you’re not a good 30 feet away from him yelling, “RUUUUUUN!” And I guess we did surprise my friend, just not at all in the way we intended.