So, we went trick-or-treating with Berry Jello tonight--which was fun! Also in our party were friends of Berry Jello's--people Chicken has been babysitting for over the past few months. We'll get back to this. First of all, let's start with yesterday, when things started getting really scary...
* Candy Moment, the First--
Yesterday I stopped at Rite-Aid for candy and feminine hygiene. Yes. I know. It's a terrible combination--I'm in all likelihood suffering from sugar poisoning at this very moment. But the clerk at the local Rite-Aid is a very sweet guy with some cognitive disabilities--for the most part, he functions very well, and is very helpful, but yesterday, Squish had to go to the bathroom.
So he's looking at my purchases, and she comes up and goes, "Mom! I have to go potty right now!"
And the guy freezes. "Do you have the key?" I ask.
He opens and closes his mouth a few times. "No! No. I do not see the key."
I look at Squish a little desperately. "Well, if you sort of hustle this up, maybe I can take her home."
And he is rooted to the floor. I recognize this--I've seen Big T do it, I've seen ZoomBoy do it, and I'm pretty sure I've done it myself at times. His brain locked up and he was completely out of decisions. He couldn't ring stuff up, he couldn't help Squish, he just... stopped.
And as he stopped, I felt it.
So he's gaping like a fish, Squish is jumping up and down, and I am bleeding through two kinds of feminine hygiene, my underwear, and my jeans.
At this moment his coworker walks up and omg, he can take Squish to the bathroom, we're saved!
And three minutes later I've got a bag full of feminine hygiene (and candy), and it's rung up now, we're saved!
So I go hustling back to the bathroom, knock on the door and say, "Squish, let me in."
"Squish, dammit, let me in!"
"Who IS this?"
"It's your Mom!"
"Uh, who do you think THIS is?"
"Oh my God. I am so sorry."
I tear out of there before I can confront the stranger I was demanding share a bathroom with me, just as ZoomBoy texts me and tells me Squish has made it to the car.
I get in, throw a towel on the seat and tell Squish, "Open the candy."
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I NEED CHOCOLATE NOW!!!"
I left a litter of wrappers all the way home.
Poor woman. The worst part was how long I hesitated--I might have had to face her if I hadn't had a towel in the car. Seriously.
* Candy Moment Number 2
So, Chicken babysits for two kids who live near Berry Jello. Tonight, as Berry was putting makeup on Squish's face (it looked great!) the little girl Chicken babysits came in and said, "Hello, Chicken, do you like my costume?"
By this time, Squish's entire face was made up.
"This isn't Chicken," we told the little girl. "This is her little sister, Squish."
For the entire night--like, three more hours--the little girl kept calling Squish by Chicken's name. Every time we said, "Not Chicken, Squish!" she stared at Squish suspiciously. I'm pretty sure she went to bed tonight thinking we were having one over on her.
* Candy Moment Number 3
So, Berry Jello took us trick-or-treating. Now, her neighborhood is a series of small duplexes fairly closely set together, but in the streets behind her, there is a hilly labyrinth of rich people who give away full sized chocolate bars and decorate to the hilt.
She took us to her rich person's trick-or-treating wonderland, and the kids loved it and it was great.
It was two miles of great. (According to my phone, anyway.) It was two miles of great with some REALLY breathtaking hills. I am not excellent at direction. I was worse than the kids with, "Uh, this is some hill, Berry Jello... how far away are we again?"
"Oh, we're really close, I promise."
"I only trust you because you like pain less than I do."
"No, seriously--we're almost there."
So we clear this one hill, and we've been out for two hours, and ZoomBoy is going, "Mom, how much longer?"
I look at the street ahead of us and try to figure out where we've been. "Well, uh, I think up here we take a left, and, then another left, and then a right, and we'll be right back on Berry Jello's street."
And Berry Jello cracks up. "Oh my God! That's Fair Oaks Blvd! We hit that street, turn right, and we're practically at my house!"
And I'm convinced we warped the space time continuum on that last hill. "Are you SURE?"
"Oh yeah. I'd totally be pissed at me too if I thought we had that long to go. Jesus, where did you think we were?"
"Not nearly as close as we are. Huzzah and hallelujah, you're right. We're almost home."
Shortly afterwards, I got ZoomBoy and Squish home, and we were settled in with dinner and Stranger Things.
I have to tell you--I think one of the reasons I enjoy fantasy and alternative universe stories so very much is that, to my perception, the world is just as strange on the reality side of the line as it is on the supposed fiction side.
Maybe even a teeny bit stranger.