Normally we get out more decorations for Halloween. I’m not exactly known for my immaculate housekeeping, of course, so what we do and how long it lasts varies from year to year, but there are generally decorations in multiple rooms; last year we even had an outside spiderweb, with spiders.
This year? Ummm…
First of all, we lost the last week and a half of September and the first bit of October to vomit–lots of it–and other unpleasant bodily substances. (At one point four of us were throwing up on the same night, and it’s only thanks to my sister’s wisdom and a box and a half of baking soda that our couch is usable again.) By the time my oldest stopped having tummy aches off and on (it was one evil virus, let me tell you what), I was stressing about going out of town, because my parents went back to New England for a 50th wedding anniversary trip, and my sister masterminded a surprise that involved all three of their children showing up and joining them for a weekend. (Props to my fabulous mother-in-law for taking my kiddos while my hubby worked. The reveal was everything we could have hoped for–my mother cried.) I stressed about packing for myself, I stressed about packing up my kiddos (it was fall break, meaning the cousins were also out of school, meaning that it was not going to go well to have my mother-in-law stay here instead), and I got up every night with a baby who seems to be teething like my oldest did. (In case you were wondering, this is NOT. A. GOOD. THING.) When I got back, my hubby had to have an emergency root canal, and then there was the unpacking…
Yeah. Decorations mostly didn’t happen. Somewhere along the way, however, I started grabbing Halloween books off the library displays with abandon, and so this became, instead, the Year of the Halloween Books. (In case you’re wondering, at one point we had 197 library books checked out and in our house somewhere.) It seemed like a workable alternative to some of our usual traditions, and overall it was a success; a few were duds, of course, but many were cute, and some were fabulous.
One of my favorites was also a huge hit with my oldest; girlie #2 was a little young, both in years and in temperament, to enjoy it this year. Adam Rex’s book of poems about all sorts of Halloween monsters is delightfully named Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (And Other Stories You’re Sure to Like, Because They’re All About Monsters, And Some of Them are Also About Food. You Like Food, Don’t You? Well, All Right Then.)
Seriously, these are some fabulous poems. Frankenstein makes that sandwich with food the townspeople throw at him; the Phantom of the Opera can’t get “It’s a Small World After All” out of his head; Dracula has spinach in his teeth and everyone’s afraid to tell him; and Bigfoot is incensed at being called Yeti. The illustrations only add to the craziness, making the book as a whole a delight for the middle- and latter-elementary crowd. SIAS? (Which stands for summary in a sentence, and comes from E. L. Konigsburg’s incredible Silent to the Bone, in case you’re wondering.)
Add this one to your Halloween collection.