Parent Crap's Alice Laussade is off this week, tending to her beloved Meat Fight. Joe Tone, who became a parent earlier this year, fills in.
The house was dark. Most of the street was by then. Porch lights, living-room lights, kitchen lights -- every watt visible from the sidewalk was dead, a message of discouragement to the wayward princesses and zombies and superheros still out there, lurking, hoping against hope for a pillow-case top-off.
They were out there. Of course they were. It was hardly past eight o'clock. The rings and knocks had mostly stopped, but occasionally a stray burst filled the house, like the final heartbeats of a popcorn bag. I ignored them. Tried to, anyway.
I was upstairs, in the bathroom. Mine was the only light on in the house. Ostensibly I was there to give my son a bath, but he'd been sitting there for a good five minutes and not a drop of soap had graced his perfect skin. I was distracted. I couldn't stop replaying the night in my head, ticking off the things I could have done better. I was a rookie, sure -- my first Halloween in a proper house, as a Dad, the weight of the trick-or-treating world on my shoulders. But still: How did I screw it up this badly?
Let's go to the tape.More »