Monsters in Our Midst

Fern is nutso for Halloween, more than her birthday or Christmas, even. It’s not the candy, either — she has a bizarrely underdeveloped sweet tooth, and rarely finishes even a cookie, let alone a Chocolate-Coated Sugar Bomb (or whatever the hip candy is these days).

Nope, she likes the monsters. Here’s her new bestie:


I’m rarely the hero with Fern anymore (you’ll remember, she’s a teenager now) but when I brought her this skeleton’s little brother — $3 of Chinese toxic plastic from Walgreens — her little eyes welled with tears of joy and I got an “I love you soooooo much” and a day’s worth of ecstatically good behavior. Which is why, of course, I sprang for the $10 version above.

(Sadly, neither skeleton is actually decorating right now; the smaller is in Fern’s bed and the larger gets dolled up in a new dress most days.)

We drive down the street and Fern squeals every time she sees a felt witch or fakey cobwebs. And those spiders that look like they’re made from God’s pipe cleaners? Send her into raptures of joy.

I don’t know how, exactly, we lucked into a girl who has no problem with the mildly scary. Scooby-Doo is, of course, my usual explanation. Fern loves the show, and at the end of every episode the villain is unmasked and turns out to be the geeky music producer who disappeared in the first act. (“Meddling kids!”)

But we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

Speaking of Halloween, does anyone want to guess what Fern chose as her costume this year? Hints:

  1. It’s one of her first heroines (how long have you been reading this?)…
  2. …and Fern is a little weird (remember last year’s Pink UPS Man costume?).

No fair saying the answer if I’ve already told you.