The Sublime Four Percent

Midlife Sentence | Bloody Babydolls and Halloween

Earlier this week, I was walking the dog and I came across the house of my new favorite neighbor.

I don’t know if he does this every year for Halloween, just started this year, or maybe someone new moved in and is  distinguishing him or herself as the new neighborhood Halloween master. I’d never even noticed the house before now. Up until recently, the house next to it, the one closer to the main thoroughfare, was much more noticeable, mostly for being a complete wreck.

We’re talking hoarders-inventors-sanfordandsons kinda wreck. There was junk stacked everywhere. Once in a while they would build weird add-ons like an indoor/outdoor cat aviary playground. I never thought to get a picture of this amazing structure, which is a shame. It was reminiscent of a McDonald’s PlayPlace but it looked like it was more for cats or maybe free range kids who are up to date on their tetanus boosters. Said PlayPlace came complete with a trampoline and a swinging door that would let the animals enter and exit through what I believe was a kitchen bay window.

I mean I guess it was for cats. there was a thing in there that looked like it could be one of those cat condos. I call it a cat aviary because it was enclosed with chicken wire on all sides and could very well have been meant to keep in flying things. Maybe cats could catch some air on the trampoline.

In any case I never saw any cats in there, flying or otherwise, so I could be way off base.

Anyway, it turns out that house is the former residence of some famous artist so the City took it over and remodeled it into a museum, and the net effect is that now everyone can see how crappy the rest of the neighborhood looks by comparison.

Which is not to say that the Halloween master’s house is crappy, just that the crazy decorations may have been easily overlooked until now.

I know the neighbor with the decorations was doing this just for Halloween because I walked by him earlier this week in the midst of assembling all of this greatness. Otherwise, I might wonder if this is a 365-day-a-year phenomenon that I just failed to notice, somehow.

Last night, I was driving the boys home from something or other. It was already dark, but I really wanted to show them the bloody babydoll house. It couldn’t wait.

Apparently bloody babydoll homeowners don’t leave their lights on as a habit, so we drove up and took in all we could with just our headlights and cell phone flashlights. The boys were unimpressed.

I love Halloween. I also love horror movies and books and all things spooky. I think I’m the only one around here who does, although my family will occasionally watch scary movies with me. The downside is then we all fight over who has to go down to the basement to get the laundry, but then that’s just the price one pays for a heightened awareness of the paranormal, I guess.

As you may recall if we’ve ever talked about parenting before, or you’ve payed any attention at all to this blog, I think parenting is somewhere around ninety-six percent driving people around, feeding them, or yelling at at them to do their homework/clean their rooms/practice their musical instrument, with a teensy bit of worry about where they are late at night. Just for spice.

But then there’s the other four percent of parenting that makes everything worthwhile.

This morning the boys were getting ready to head out toward the bus stop, which is right next to the former hoarder/invisible cat people home, now famous artist museum.

Midlife Sentence | Bloody Babydolls and HalloweenIt’s very dark out at 7 am. There’s a light right over the bus stop, but all around it, things are dark. Even the bloody babydoll house is in the pitch black and it’s only a few hundred feet away. In the dark. With piles of bloody babydolls there. In the dark.

Did I mention it was dark?

When I said goodby to the boys, I reminded them that they were probably safe even so, waiting there for the bus.

“Don’t even think about the bloody babydoll house, you guys. There’s nothing to think about. ESPECIALLY don’t think about bloody babydolls hanging around with nothing to do. Just out of the reach of the light. Waiting… with their beady little eyes and their bloody babydoll faces. I mean it. Don’t. Even. Think. About. Them.”

Fun fact: I apparently can’t say “Bloody babydolls” without screeching just a little bit. I’m wondering if other people have this problem?

I’ll give you a second to try it … no?

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that, while ninety six percent of parenting is all the stuff I listed above, which is sometimes a little bit of a pain, the rest of it, the other four percent of parenting, is made up of really awesome stuff that makes up for the hassle, like evening snuggles with a book, kissing boo-boos, standing in ovation at viola performances …

… and sometimes a little bit of screeching at your kids about bloody babydolls and watching their reaction.


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