Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Are They All Like This?
My mother-in-law is amazing. So today I am asking the question, are all mother-in-laws like this?
Or maybe I just lucked out.
Last Friday Tom's mom, Meg, threw us a Halloween party. It was unlike any Halloween party my kids have ever been to.
Some years we skip Halloween. Some years we are invited to a party at the US embassy where the kids go trick-or-treating around the offices. Then there was the year I dressed them up in costumes, asked a few Djiboutian friends to sit in the rooms of our house and had them go trick-or-treating through the house. It wasn't that I needed to celebrate Halloween, it was more a case of boredom and 'what do you do with toddler twins when there are no parks, libraries or grandparents?'
They thought I was nuts.
So last Friday Tom's parents decorated our house for Halloween. We have a glow in the dark full-size skeleton, a Lucy-sized glowing pumpkin and a sensor under the welcome mat that does a wicked Halloween laugh whenever you step on the mat, all on the front porch. Poor mailman.
Inside there are spiderwebs everywhere, spiders, silhouettes of mice running into holes along the wall, a motion-sensor spider that drops when you walk by, orange lights, a glowing spider the size of a large cat, an owl table cloth.
When the kids got home from school, she sent us on a scavenger hunt. First we found costumes. The whole family turned into the Pirate Joneses. We decided if anyone heard us speak Somali we might get arrested for being the real thing.
Then we had to solve a series of clues that led us first to our friend's home, then my brother's home, then McDonalds, then the playground and finally home. The kids were mortified to be seen in public in their costumes, until they overheard a girl at McDonald's say, "Wow, cool Mom! When do we get to do that?"
At home we were greeted by two more pirates - Tom's parents - and a full dinner of blood-juice, brain noodles, finger biscuits and more delicious grossness. After dinner there was bobbing for apples and the game where you stick your hand into a covered bowl to guess what disgusting body part is in there.
We had a blast and were fully initiated into the American Halloween tradition. The day seems much more celebrated than I remember it being but I'm guessing that is how I will react to every holiday or American tradition that comes up.
So I am wondering, has your mother-in-law ever spider-webbed your house, dressed you in a wig and eye patch and sent you around the city to take photos with your half-mortified/half-thrilled children?