Like last year, Sam’s preschool class had their annual “Bring Your Dad for This Halloween Thing We Do Each Year” day. Sam dressed up in the cheerleader costume I described last week and we took a pumpkin to carve. Sam’s arrival at the party (fashionably late since we had to turn the car around midway to retrieve her forgotten pom-poms) reminded me of an episode of Cheers because everybody shouted “Sammy!” when she walked in the door. She fluttered around from person to person, announcing “I’m a cheerleader! I like your costume!” One other little girl also showed up as a cheerleader, and for a moment I expected (and possibly hoped for) some kind of dance off a la the opening number to West Side Story, but unfortunately they pretty much ignored each other.
Besides hot dogs and conversations starting with “So, you’re Sammy’s dad, huh?” the center piece of the evening was the recital of Halloween themed songs. While the teacher sat on the floor with an old acoustic guitar, all the children all lined up and sang for us. Or rather, all the other children sang. What Samantha did is probably most accurately described as “bellowed.” She had learned all the words, and BY GOD YOU WERE GOING TO HEAR THEM. This picture gives you a pretty good idea of the full body effort it took to belt these tunes out like a miniature and mostly sober Janis Joplin.
As is the norm with such performances there were hand motions to go along with the songs, which most of the other children seemed to put as much concentration into these as the vocals. Samantha, however, decided to change all the hand motions to “grip your skirt in your fists and yank it up under your chin,” a maneuver which she had apparently mastered. This was still less elaborate than her nearby friend Michael who, dressed as a cowboy, had decided to replace all the hand motions with his own frantic dance interpretation of The William Tell Overture.
Of course, I was completely howling with delighted laughter throughout this whole performance, which I belatedly realized might not have been the most appropriate reaction. This on account of all the “Dude, why are you laughing at the children” looks that the other fathers were giving me. Still, Sam was absolutely beaming with pride at the end, and I told her in no uncertain terms that it was a completely AWESOME performance. I meant it.
As you might also see in the pictures, we also eventually made it to a pumpkin patch kind of thing. Only this place was kind of a rip off. They had a big playground area, but wanted to charge you highway robbery prices to do any of the actual stuff. Jump on the inflatable bouncy thing? $2.50. Ride a pony? $5.00, AND DON’T TOUCH THE PONY. We sprang for Sam to take a ride around the farm in a hollowed out plastic barrel dragged behind a tractor, but besides that they just went down the slides a lot. Could have been better.