I feel that one of the most important, most fun parts of the role of "Daddy" is the responsibility to create magic. Magic during the holidays, magic during vacations, even magic in that precious time between bath and bed. It doesn't just happen -- somebody has to create it. That responsibility is a high priority for me.
This year Halloween has already been a magical time, and we're still two days away. On Saturday we went to "Zoo Boo" at the Houston Zoo. The entire place was transformed. The carousel became the Scarasel. The lizard/snake exhibit was all spooked out with fake 70-foot pythons.
We went with another family from our church, and the husband of that family (Craig) has the exact same sense of humor as me. Yes, there's another one out there. We both hit that perfect comedy sweet spot that's too smart for toddlers, yet dumb enough to drive our wives crazy. As long as nobody appreciates it, we're good.
Craig got the Halloween spirit started off early in a conversation with Samantha.
Samantha: Let's go see the bunnies!
Craig: Those aren't normal bunnies. They're Bunnies of Death.
We decided at that point that every animal was now capitalized, and had the words "of..._______" at the end. We could make anything scary to our kids:
Samantha: I want to ride the monkeys on the carousel!
Me: It's a scarasel. And those are Monkey of Terror.
Samantha: So can I ride them?
Samantha: Let's go to the petting zoo so I can see the goats!
Me: You mean the Beasts of Oblivion?
Samantha: Can I?
Me: I guess so, but that's too scary for me. You're on your own.
Samantha: Goats aren't scary!
Me: The Beasts of Oblivion wield the Horns of Retribution. I can't be messin' with that. I'll be over by the Cows of Melancholy -- they're more my speed.
We kept it rollin all day. At one point Craig had a little girl convinced that meerkats work in teams, and are capable of ganging up on children and eating them whole. That's daddy magic right there.
After the zoo we bought two pumpkins for carving. Samantha and I sat down at the table and got to work on some potential designs. She made the choice of shape for each facial feature (circle eyes, square nose, gently-sloped mouth, thin eyebrows) and then helped draw the outline on the pumpkin. She left the scooping and carving to me, but did enjoy sinking her hand into the pumpkin meat. Jack O' Lantern #1 was complete.
#2 was for me. More magic. I'd seen the "vomit pumpkin" on the internet a few times and figured it was time the Wilson family made one. The kids have been loving it and visit it on the porch a few times a day.
Monkeys of Terror and the Vomit Pumpkin. Can't wait to see what magic Christmas brings!
Pictures below with captiony goodness (clicking on the pics won't show anything, so don't bother):
Wagon ride into the zoo
I held an imaginary pole on the Scarasel. I was riding an imaginary Steed of Vengeance, naturally.
Jack warily approaches a Beast of Oblivion
Samantha and her friends Luke and Nathan. Both Raphael ninja turtles. Must have been some kinda ninja turtle cloning experiment gone awry.
Jack claims this rock in the name of poop and Capri Sun!
Samantha creates her own Vegetable of Pestilence.
I have no idea who these people are.
The project begins.
The project, uh... continues.
The family allergists role-play a Snickers binge.