Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Halloween Edition

I never got to do Halloween much as a kid.  Went out a few times with my friends when I got a little older. We didn’t give out candy at our house much either.  I enjoyed that for the times we did do it.  It made me feel like we were more connected to our neighbors and the neighborhood.

Now we had a thing in Jersey called mischief night.  It was the day before halloween. That’s when you went out and toilet papered houses, threw eggs at cars, disabled school buses and settled scores if necessary.  Didn’t do too much of that either, but I did my share I guess.  It was a little more hairy for me, as both of my older brothers were local police officers.  Never got busted on mischief night, but we used to snowball calls in the winter too.  There was like five us hiding in the woods along RT. 40, a car came, we rose up and pelted it.  Turned out to be one of my brothers, in his police car.  Whoops.  We all ran like hell, yelling out instructions to each other to get our story straight, change clothes when we got home, threatening the weak sisters in the group we knew would snitch, etc…  Didn’t work.  Even though we couldn’t see the police car in the snow storm, he could see us.  ID’d all five of us.

Anyway, apparently mischief night is not a thing down here in Knoxville.  I asked someone about moving my car, keeping the outside lights on and all that.  They looked at me like I had five heads.  They never heard of it.  But halloween is a big thing here which is very cool.  Our neighborhood is a good spot for tricker treaters.  Lots of great neighbors and everyone gets involved.  Even before we had Frank we got into the “spirit” of things at halloween.

The first time we gave out candy it got busy and stayed that way most of the night.  Tracy was out chatting up the neighbors and I was on door duty.  My office at the house is right next to the front door.  So I’m pulling door duty and doing homework.  I was furiously typing a history paper that I’m sure was late or due the next day.  I must have really been banging away on the keyboard because I did not see the front door open.  All of a suddenly I feel eyes on me.  I look left from my desk and there is a three year old kid in a suit and tie holding a briefcase.  He looks at me like, “really bro” and says trick or treat with the most disinterested tone of voice I think I’ve ever heard. About a second after that, mini-Trump’s mom sticks her head around the door and starts apologizing.  I didn’t have a problem with it.  Kid knew what he wanted and went to get it.  I let him pick his own candy and he only took one piece, said thanks and left.

That was a great start to our halloween experience in Knoxville and our hood. It only got better when Frank came along.  Following are some shots of his costumes.  Only his first one was store bought.  We decided to make the others.  It was fun, but I now know why we may have skipped halloween when I was a kid.  His costume took a lot of time to do. Well I have 7 brothers and sisters.  Nobody has that kind of time or money.

1st halloween – 7 months old wearing THE DOG

Still 1st halloween. In his Little Gym “after party” costume with Pumpkin Cat RIP 1988 – 2010

2nd halloween in the Tomato. Home made and an homage to his mob name – Frankie Tomatoes

Another Little Gym after party costume. Doubles as glow in the dark jammies – nice!









Of course by his 3rd halloween he was heavily into Thomas and friends.  That’s trains for y’all living under a rock.  The train was quite the production but it was a ton of fun to do. He got raves around the neighborhood, which of course belong to me.  I was on door duty again, so the accolades fell on deaf ears.  So I’m going to give y’all a behind the scenes peek at the construction of Thomas. Compliment at will in the comment section.

In the paint shop

The face assembly goes on. Used my own eyebrows as a model

Complete with magnetic hook

Thomas on the move

The complete get up














Not sure we’ll be able to top Thomas this year.  But here is a sneak peek at the lads 4th Halloween costume.

He wants to be a pilot.

Now the girl wlll also be in costume, but the diva attitude has started to set in, so she’ll require her own page once her costume is complete.  I believe Super Girl is the current theme under consideration. No doubt there will be a photo or two come Halloween night.









11 comments on “Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Halloween Edition

  1. Halloween was so great growing up in SOCAL..perfect weather. Never needing a jacket (which of course ruins your costume) Now a days Halloween in my neighborhood is not the same. Most parents send their kids to a church or school functions. I get may 30 trick or treaters if lucky. I do live in a gated community but even when I did not not much foot traffic. I guess all things have to change. But my experience as a kid was AWESOME!

    • fmlinardo says:

      Yeah most of the time in Jersey it was so cold, you had to have a costume that used a lot of clothes. Our hood gets a lot of action so I feel like I’m getting the Halloween I never had.

      • Kellie Kennedy says:

        You are lucky to still have your neighborhood kids. I think that is fantastic. yes I imagine COLD …brrrr

  2. mamacravings says:

    Y’all freakin’ rock it out at Halloween costumes!

  3. Kathy says:

    Dude i went trick or treating all the time….maybe you didnt get to because of tour antics on mischief night! I of course was a complete angel!!

    Oh and good work on the costumes, cant wait to see pics from this year!

  4. Aunt Carol says:

    I too remember trick or treating. But I do believe there were some years we did not go. Also, I never participated in mischief night activities. I do remember the boys hiding in the bushes at home with the hose and letting kids have it when they tried to soap Dad’s car 🙂 Ah, the memories! Love the Thomas Costume, I don’t think I ever saw prictures of that before. I’m sure Anne Marie will be quite vocal about what she will and will not wear for halloween!

    • fmlinardo says:

      Yes it has already started. She was going to wear a camo jumper to sort of match Frank’s flight suite/military costume. But her advocate(read Tracy) has decided on super girl.

  5. Debra says:

    Your Thomas beats the pants off the Thomas in the stores, which (in my opinion) is ugly. I have rerouted Drew every time we’ve come near one, for fear he’ll grow attached to it and will not let me convince him to be something else. Is that wrong of me? Do I care? Did I mention that it’s ugly? I guess if Drew were in it, it would be incredibly cute. Seth, on the other hand, wanted to be a crossing gate this year. Try finding that in the store,or online, or anywhere. I managed to convince him to be something else. Wrong of me? Not when you consider that it would have made me crazy trying to make one, and I am barely keeping my head above water here. And what does Mandy want to be? Well, despite the fact that so desparately want her to communicate with us (which she is doing great on), it is nice and easy to make decisions for her. So all 3 of my kids will be superheros, pieced together from the store, consignment store, and my craftiness (ha ha – I have great vision and terrible outcomes). Watch out for Superman, Spiderman and Spiderwoman (yes, she exists). Maybe your superhero can hookup!
    Oh, and for the record, my mom (who taught school) would decorate the house, play a very scary record, and rig the door so it open slowly on its own while she descended the steps in her witch costume. Kids (ncluding her students) would run screaming from the house. oIt was great and we always had lots of candy leftover.

    • fmlinardo says:

      Thanks Debra. I think. Is “beating the pants off ugly store Thomas” good?

      When you say “crossing gate”, do you mean the actual gates that block railway crossings?

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