Mr. Bone Jangles and Ninja Turtle

Now, where were we? Ah yes…. the story of Jake’s third Halloween, which coincidentally happened to be Ben’s very first Halloween. Ben was a mere 6 weeks old. I was at the very end of my maternity leave with him and somewhat broke as I had missed 6 whole weeks of working overtime. I was sleep deprived as all mothers of newborns are, and more so, I had a 2 and a half year old who was having frequent meltdowns trying to get used to his new little brother. I was stressed and I was certainly not feeling creative enough to come up with a great costume. Even MORE SO, I was constantly annoyed by Jake’s favorite toy, a Halloween decoration called Mr. Bone Jangles. This decoration was a plastic skeleton which hung over the top of a door, and when you made noise or pushed the red button cleverly hidden in his nasal cavities, he wiggled back and forth and sang a terrible Halloween song. It seemed the only thing that would comfort Jake when he was upset that his brother still lived in our house was pushing that   @#%**% button 3,000 times consecutively. This was the time in Jake’s life when he was the most profoundly autistic, and it was evident by the fact that he was the only 2 year old that could concentrate on one toy for more than a few moments, let alone for hours on end. We’d try to hide the toy from Jake, but he would stand at the stairway where the toy belonged and cry (for hours) until we put it back. There was no redirecting this child. And when we’d finally put Mr. Bone Jangles back in place, Jake would push the nose button until the batteries died. (Literally. Every other day we went through a pack of batteries on this silly toy.) I begged Jake to consider a different toy, but the only way I could get him to change up his routine was to get him to allow me to switch the door frame that Mr. Bone Jangles would hang from for the day. 

And, given his fascination towards strange skeletons, it came as no surprise that Jacob squealed with delight when he saw the skeleton costume at Target. It wasn’t anything I would’ve picked out… but Jacob clearly knew what he had wanted. This particular skeleton costume had green “glow in the dark” bones, though Jake had no intention of showing it off during the night. It was a full body jumpsuit, including boot covers, a mask and gloves. In this costume, Jake could become Mr. Bone Jangles, head to toe. I had very little energy left in me to discuss the other costume options, and having so few ideas myself, I decided that it would be acceptable this one time to buy a pre-made costume. I asked Jake to pick out a costume for Ben. At first, Jake ignored me. (Ben who?) After urging him to look through costumes, he decided that Ben also needed to be Mr. Bone Jangles. 

We searched the costume racks, but there was not single skeleton costume for a 6 week old to be found. I had decided to just put Benjamin in Jacob’s pumpkin costume and call it a day, when Jake spotted the “Ninja Turtles” costume. In reality, the costume had nothing to do with the TMNT heroes in a half shell (aka, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) but I was relieved that Jacob had finally found something about Ben to be useful, so I bought the costume and headed home. 

When I inspected the costume at home, I realized the turtle costume was really rather sweet. It was essentially a green sleeper with a brown hood and a cute little shell pillow on back. it sipped up, and though it was a little big on Benjamin, it did look rather sweet on him. So, I bundled the costumes up and put them away until the big day came. (Which, if I remember correctly, was less than a week away.)

On Halloween day, Jacob got ready for his trick or treating early in the afternoon. He had fought to get out of his naptime, but in return he had to watch a Noggin (children’s programming channel) instead of playing with Mr. Bone Jangles. As the program ended, I started dressing Jacob up as Mr. Bone Jangles. Initially, he was very excited. Once he immediately ripped his mask off, (which he never did put back on) he was contented watching his own body move inside of the skeleton costume. Then, I dressed Ben in his “Ninja Turtle” costume and brought him into the living room. Ben did not protest at all, and he seemed really excited also. (And by this statement, I mean that he continued sleeping soundly the entire time. Those were the days….) Jake seemed equally as excited about his brother’s costume.

I urged Jake to follow me outdoors and to go trick-or-treating. He refused. I dragged Jacob outside with the promise of candy, and he hit up two houses and was very upset that people talked to him when he stood in front of their doors. (How dare they! Didn’t they know that he had no interest in socializing yet? Geez, people!) Finally, his will won over my desire for him to enjoy the holiday I had come to love so much, and we headed back to the house. Jake was clearly exhausted from missing his nap, and so he laid right down on the couch, even before he could look into eating his candy. I placed Ben next to him, and for a nice change of pace, in stead of objecting, Jacob cuddled him closely and they took a mutual nap. (Under my watchful eye… I’m not that negligent. I promise.) Watching the two of them cuddled together, quietly, was the highlight of my day. It certainly was not what I had in mind for a Hauntingly Happy Halloween, but it was happy nonetheless. I could not have asked for a better memory.

About Mindy

I am a mother of two boys, a disc golfer, a former derby girl, a sonographer and an aspiring writer. Sometimes words and events replay in my head endlessly until I let them out. I am verbose. I have lots to say all of the time. If there's something you'd like to know, you'd be better off asking.
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