Around our house, Halloween tends to be pretty tame. Between me being kind of a pansy and having a kid plagued by night terrors, steering clear of all the gore and fright- however fun and good-intentioned- really just seems like the wise course.
This Halloween was a little different, at least for our sweet, gullible, three-year-old Caedmon.
Shortly after arriving home from picking Atticus up from preschool yesterday, I suddenly heard Cade start shrieking, and he quickly came running into the kitchen, crying and panicked and gasping. I was actually a little concerned; this crying seemed pretty extreme, even for our house, where daily bouts of tears and crying are so normal they hardly register anymore.
It took him several tries to finally stutter out his cause for alarm:
"A-A-A-Atticus- Atticus- ATTICUS LEFT HIS ARMS AT PRESCHOOL!"
Then, message delivered, he buried his head in my shirt and sobbed.
At that point Atticus the Armless came waltzing into the kitchen, swinging his shoulders to and fro, empty sweater sleeves whipping around his body. He was chuckling.
I don't know how many times the old tuck-your-arms-into-the-torso-of-your-shirt gag is going to work on Caedmon, but I'm praying it's not many. He laughed while I was recounting the story to Derek, so hopefully he now realizes it's more comedy than horror.
The problem with this story is that it seems to have opened Atticus's eyes to the joy of terrifying your younger siblings. At preschool he received a Tootsie Pop that had black pipe cleaners wrapped around it to look like a fuzzy, not even slightly realistic spider. He took that silly, googly-eyed spider off the sucker, very seriously told Cade that when it touches a kid it turns into a real spider, and threw it onto Caedmon's head.
I don't think I have to tell you the rest. Screaming. Running. Tears. Promises of Vicious Retribution.
There were a couple other more minor incidents. Each time Caedmon's response is a little less severe/gratifying. Hopefully this whole thing will play itself out relatively quickly.
I don't even know where Atticus gets it. I mean, sure, I used to do this thing that absolutely terrified my sister Kelli, where I'd bend slightly forward at the waist, then stagger forward, letting my straight arms swing back and forth in a pendulum-like motion, head lolling to the side, eyes wide and a deranged smile on my face while I softly called, "Kellllliiii. Kelli!" It's somewhat difficult to describe, as my performance of this character was never anything short of inspired. Kelli's screams always sounded authentically petrified.
On a completely unrelated note, another year has gone by and Kelli has yet to nominate me for Big Sister of the Year.
I'm sure it's a simple oversight on her part.