So it turns out that I Am That Guy.
As a kid, and into adulthood (well into, if you ask my wife), I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween. Never really enjoyed the costume bit, and while I have a few fond memories of returning home with bagloads of candy, and while I really liked seeing the movies Halloween and Halloween 2 on Halloween night many, many years ago, I also remember thinking I wouldn’t mind skipping it altogether.
As a Brooklyn-based, pre-baby couple, I think the only thing Halloween meant was louder streets and the odd costume party invite. Certainly not any cute kids hitting the buzzer with parents smiling broadly from the curb.
And then our daughter came along and reset all the switches in my brain. Now, willingly, I ventured out with all the other Parents Just Like Me to a nearby pumpkin patch to pick out not one, but two pumpkins, and to pose my daughter for pictures: on hay, surrounded by pumpkins; on a giant pumpkin near a tree festooned with cobwebs and ghosts; and, when that wasn’t enough, I stopped right before we left and plopped her into the shopping cart alongside the pumpkins “she” picked out, handed her the indian corn (because all of a sudden I Am That Guy who thinks it just wouldn’t be right not to put some dried corn on the front door) and tried to get her to smile.
Five-month-olds smile a lot, but they are pretty tricky subjects when it comes to smiling and looking at the camera at the same time. Add in the fact that a nap may have been inadvertently missed to allow for the pumpkin patch trip, and you end up with a confused kid wondering why her Dad just sat her in a shopping cart and handed her a mess of dried corn. And I stand there as civilians walk by, camera in position, finger ready to jump the second a smile comes along or she looks my way or–please, please–both. “Honey, c’mon, look at Daddy, come on baby, what are you doing baby, sweetie look over here…”
But what can I say? I Am That Guy.