I’d planned to drive to the university at Murfreesboro to use the library Saturday, and Caution-Lady said she wanted to go along to do some shopping – Halloween treats for the kids in her class, and a costume for Seventy-Six, use a gift card at Target. Turned out I was able to find the resources I needed online and full-text, so I decided I wouldn’t make the drive. Caution-Lady received the news with a distant, angry, sad look on her face. She’d been looking forward to the trip, prefers to shop distant locales with company, and for some reason really likes it when I go shopping with her. We ate an early lunch and hit the road.
At Toys-R-Us we looked for the costume Caution-Lady had decided Seventy-Six should wear for Halloween, but were unable to find it. She bought some Pixie-Stix candy treats for her classroom, and I picked out cylume sticks for Seventy-Six to play with. Brightly colored and graphics-rich packaged toys appealed to him. A large toy truck in a case that transforms, moves about, and speaks at the touch of a button was one of his favorites. Each time after it completed its routine, the little guy emphatically pointed his finger at it by way of saying, “Again!” We also got him a child-sized toy broom that’s still a little too big for him. He likes to help sweep the house, and we want to encourage him to spend time while he’s under our roof to help carry out the chores necessary to maintain a home. I keep thinking he’ll accidently stick the real broom’s handle through the glass on a hutch, or into a ceiling light-fixture, or knock the photos off the piano. I’ve taught him already to hit toy balls across the floor with his small broom – like golf or polo.
At Target we were likewise unable to find the costume Caution-Lady wanted. Instead, we spent our gift-card on one of those umbrella strollers. Seventy-Six is still too young to walk everywhere with us, so it’ll be a handy addition to Whitecar’s trunk.
Finally, the Cautious One wanted to visit The Avenue, a sort of outdoor mall near Manson Pike Trailhead on the Stones River. A row of stores specializing in clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers might have the right Halloween costume for Seventy-Six. Alas, no joy. I waited in the car with Seventy-Six giving him a snack of Kix cereal. He didn’t seem to care that we hadn’t been able to find anything for him to wear Halloween. We played with a hard plastic ball his aunt, Jennifer, had given him at Christmastime or for his birthday. We counted individual pieces of cereal. Eventually my wife returned to the car having found nothing suitable.
“(Another teacher whose name I’ve forgotten) said there’s a Halloween costume store here, but I don’t see it,” Caution-Lady said with a hint of distress in her voice.
“I’ll drive out this way, and maybe we’ll see it,” I said, “You look out for it, and I’ll try to make sure I don’t hit (any pedestrians with Whitecar).”
We found the store – a semi-big-box retail space that had evidently been sitting vacant until rented temporarily to house the “Spirit Halloweeen” store. Adults young and middle-aged, families with elementary and older age children were walking into the store from the parking lot with facial expressions set to denote happy expectation. We parked the car and went in, carrying Seventy-Six. The decor was pretty much a Zombie/Satanic motif with red-eyed monsters and graveyard sets that included dead toddlers and babies clambering about in rotting green tones. Caution-Lady tried to distract Seventy-Six, who didn’t seem to notice the store’s preoccupation with the filth of decay and the one-night-a-year hope of a devilish and horribly incomplete resurrection of the dead. It struck me that said preoccupation is about as wholesome as and a lot like playing with feces – the waste products left behind when life departs.
Anyway, that store didn’t have anything suitable either, and we left it pretty quickly. Apparently we’re not as big on the Halloween spirit-thing as a lot of other people in Middle Tennessee. A pity I’d left my camera at home – this post should have some illustrations.
Back at the house, Caution-Lady bid on some costumes on Ebay, and eventually bought one. We’ll see whether it arrives in time.