Our neighborhood is wonderful, but our friends, the Huwe's neighborhood, is the wonderful-est neighborhood in the world. It is huge, the houses are beautiful, and there are no less than one billion kids that reside in it, and all of those make up the ingredients for a great trick or treating experience in my opinion. I thought it would be fun for Clark to trick or treat with Jackson, his best bud since birth, and I also thought he would get the most candy there. That is the reason for the season, after all. Man, I'm such a cool mom.
Amy offered to have us over for dinner before the tricking and treating madness began and I was so very thankful because I have been in a huge cooking depression lately. And when she told me she was making taco soup, I would have walked barefoot to her house because that just so happens to be my favorite and I had to have two bowls, not just one. So the Rice family arrived at the Huwe house in plenty of time to play a little, eat, and then hit the streets.
I'll just go ahead and skip to the dinner time drama that unfolded before our very eyes. But first, I have to explain how much Clark refuses any food that is not hot dogs, fruit, or pasta. He is the most closed minded individual on the planet when it comes to food. But the bottom line was this: taco soup was for dinner, it was delicious (Griffin had two servings just like his mother), and he needed to eat dinner. I gave him a tiny little bowl and told him he needed to eat two bites or else he wouldn't get to eat his candy after trick or treating tonight. Well he went straight into brat mode and pushed his bowl across the table and was a complete turd about the whole thing. After a very mean look from his mom and some words of discipline from Aaron, we put the bowl back in front of him and repeated the two bite rule. He REFUSED. We eventually changed the deal to no trick or treating AT ALL if he didn't eat two bites. Refused. During all of this going back and forth about the two bites, he was spanked three different times for being disobedient. It wasn't pretty. Trust me. Ask the Huwe's. We're great as dinner guests.
Here is what happened: he did not eat two bites, or one bite, or even one bean. He wined, cried, pouted, and stood firm in his dinner boycott. And as a result, Aaron loaded him up in the car and took him home, screaming the entire four minute ride home. I stayed at the Huwe's with Griffin because I at least wanted to take Griffin the happy Pirate on a wagon ride around the neighborhood, but I was so sad that Clark was going to miss his first Halloween. Aaron reminded me that this was an obedience issue and we needed to stand firm in our decision. I wanted to cry. Aaron said the whole ride home Clark cried, and once he calmed down, he told Clark if he wanted to trick or treat, all he needed to do was take two bites. Nope. More crying.
The moral of the story is that Aaron and I backed down. Don't judge us. We both wanted so bad for Clark to experience a fun Halloween with his friend. And because he had never trick or treated before, he really had no idea what he was sacrificing. We simply asked Clark to say he was sorry for disobeying, and that next time we ask him to eat two bites that he obey us. Aaron called me while he was at home with Clark and put me on speakerphone so that Clark could apologize, and he said he was VERY sorry. It was sweet. So they loaded back up in the car and met up with us just in time to trick or treat the streets of Madison.
Clearly Clark had no idea what he was doing. It took him about three houses to grasp the concept and to say thank you but not after some very awkward moments of Clark just silently standing there like a little turd holding a pumpkin bucket. But once he caught on, he and Jackson had a blast running up and down driveways yelling "TRICK OR TREAT!!!!" at loud volumes and laughing and screaming. Griffin sat happily buckled in the wagon the entire time watching the chaos and occasionally snuggling up to his beloved blue blanket. He was a perfect angel all night.
So Clark won the battle of the wills on Halloween 2012. But we are okay with it. He's a good kid. He understands obedience, not that he actually does it every time. I'm sure when he is a little older and can understand true consequences of disobedience (besides spankings, time outs, etc.), we probably will stick to our guns in situations like the one above. But for now, I'm fine with letting him enjoy this short toddlerhood he's in and steer him in the right direction as we go.