The pumpkins were carved and placed at the gate to indicate to all that we were open to trick or treaters.
Earlier in the day I had taken my son to a friend who has an eight-year-old son. While we were there my three year old, dressed up in a gas mask and helmet, was sent into the kitchen where we were chatting, with an enormous plastic machine gun shouting “I am a deadly killer”. As far as I am aware this was his first introduction to both weaponry and war memorabilia, but disturbingly he seemed to be most comfortable with both. So as we left and I suggested that their party of trick or treaters should come and knock at our door, alarm bells should have been sounding.
The evening arrived, Lenny was dressed in his batman outfit, the sweets were in the bowl and this is where myself and my partner displayed the worst piece of parenting that we have committed in our three years as care givers. We were over-excited, although that is no excuse. Rob had decided to paint his face white and turn all the lights out. He was ready with a flashing light to create a strobe effect when the doorbell rang.
When the first group arrived (containing the gun obsessed 8 year old) at no point in our minds did we think to warn our poor innocent 3 year old of what may lurk on the other side of the door. Instead, as the doorbell rang we pulled our most horrific faces, set the strobe light off and excitedly called to our poor little cherub to “open the door!!”
I think the content of my child’s nightmares is pretty much sorted now for the next decade at least. Some small important part of his tiny toddler brain will no doubt have been irreparably damaged by what appeared to him as he opened the door.
There was no less than 15 of them, none of whom had their face showing. They all screamed and wailed as Lenny opened the door. Their various scream masks, bloodied stumps and scythes all pointing at Lenny. A decapitated head was thrust towards him. As he turned to us for comfort all he could see was our pale faces flashing ghoulishly back at him. The doorbell now holds a new terror that is proving difficult to forget.
The worst thing is that there was so many trick or treaters that night that not only did Lenny have the constant reminder of the horror behind the door, but we ran out of treats and ended up feebly apologizing and offering rich tea biscuits out. So not only did we misjudge and ruin Halloween for our son but we will now be known to all in the village as the worst trick or treating house ever.
Next year there will be no Halloween. No pumpkin will be carved, we will turned out the lights and pretend no one is home while Lenny quietly shakes in the corner desperately trying to forget.
Helen also performs a comedy show for mums.
‘Gas and Hot Air’ is an hour long, daytime show about pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. Performed by actress and mum Helen Rutter in comedy clubs and small theatres, written during breastfeeding, sleepless nights and copious amounts of weight watchers cake. Babies under one are welcomed with open arms as long as they can’t move much and don’t mind a bit of fruity language.
For more information on venues and tickets contact Helen.