As a child, I loved Halloween. My mom would typically make me some sort of fabulous costume, which usually involved some cursing at an uncooperative sewing machine or a hard to follow pattern and a few late nights before the big day. We'd have a Halloween party at school, complete with a parade to end the day. Then as soon as it got dark, it would start raining, and my sister and I would trudge off to see what sort of booty we could acquire. At the end of it all, we would dump all our candy out in the living room, and the trading would commence. Two twizzlers for some M&Ms; gross candy like black licorice to the Dad pile; things with coconut to the Mom pile. And that was pretty much Halloween. After that, it was business as usual. Candy in the candy cupboard couldn't be consumed too close to dinner, but Maybe it's just my kids, but now rather than Halloween being one day, it lasts for a week. Seriously. The week before Halloween, Helen's playgroup had their annual Halloween party. For this event, Connor chose to wear his firefighter outfit, and carry a hatchet (a nice touch suggested by Ed). In preparation, Helen alternated between being a firefighting bumblebee and a plain bumblebee - the difference being the addition or subtraction of a red firefighter hat. At the actual party, she opted to be Helen. That evening, we went to Boo-at-the-Zoo (BATZ), a fundraiser for National Zoo - second only to their adult fundraiser that takes place in the summer where a bazillion fancy restaurants descend on the zoo and serve bite-sized portions of incredible food. There came a point in that event when I had to impose a rule "no more food that had to be chewed". I was open to the idea of more wine, beer, and soup - but I simply couldn't put in the effort that chewing would require. At BATZ, kids walk around the zoo collecting treats ranging from ice cream to potato chips - and there's usually at least one table with apples on it. Connor again dressed as a firefighter - only this time his outfit only made it about halfway through the night, and then he was just a kid dressed in a rainsuit with a great hat. The next weekend, Connor and Helen attended a morning costsume birthday party (plain bumblebee and firefighter), followed by an afternoon costume birthday for Connor (firefighter), and a neighborhood Halloween party (plain bumblebee and firefighter). Despite some talk of Helen donning the monkey costume, it seemed as if the costumes were pretty entrenched. But as is often the case in parenting, as soon as the kids appear to be acting in a predictable manner, everything changes. And true to form, when it came time for the big event - Helen thought about being a scary bumblebee. But in the end, Helen busted out a dance costume I wore when I was 5 or 6 and Connor decided to be a transvestite Home Depot employee. Didn't see that last one coming, did you? The bottom layer of Connor's masterpiece was a sweatshirt and jeans, topped by a green and gold costume my sister wore, an apron from the Home Depot kids workshop, and then as a last minute item, he decided to hang his treat back over his head, which I appreciate because a key element to a good Halloween costume is the ability to drink freely. The still shot was taken prior to the HD apron being donned, but the video captures the whole outfit.