Last night, like the rest of the country, Mike and I took Mazzy and Harlow trick or treating for Halloween. But, unlike most dads I know, Mike had just spent over an hour in hair and make-up. That’s not even exaggeration. When I walked into our apartment, Mike was sitting on a stool with a make-up artist (who was dressed up as fake news, mind you) applying latex to his face so he could have the joker’s surgically messed up grin.

Meanwhile, Mazzy and Harlow were getting dressed at my sister’s apartment downstairs, having no idea their dad was already home or what he was doing. Harlow was dressed up as Harley Quinn, which was the inspiration for Mike’s costume.

IMPORTANT WARNING: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT refer to my daughter’s costume as Harlow Quinn. She understands the joke but she does not appreciate it. She was dressed up as Harley Quinn. I repeat— HARLEY Quinn. She took her costume seriously and she is still carrying a mallet. You don’t want to get on her bad side with this one. Trust me. I speak from experience.

Mazzy went in her own direction and decided to be Robin Hood this year, although she just referred to herself as a warrior and picked the costume because she thought it looked cool, which is a totally valid reason for an 8yo girl to select a costume.

The pair of them together looked pretty BADASS.

I decided to be Catwoman to round out the Super Villain portion of our family. Just like I did last year with Malificent, I am a big fan of dressing up as a character who just requires a black outfit and a headpiece. No make-up artist necessary.

While we waited for Mike to finish up his costume, Mazzy and Harlow went trick or treating with Jack and Neve (PJ Masks and Minnie Mouse) in the building. They live in a substantially larger building than ours and most people just leave their bowls of candy in the hallway, so their pumpkins were almost filled before we even left for the night.

Mike’s costume surprise was the best. I brought Mazzy and Harlow down to the lobby and then we waited for Mike to make a grand entrance when the elevator doors opened. They saw the elevator stop on our floor by looking at the lit up numbers above the elevator bank and then literally counted down until he arrived. Harlow said, “If he has make-up on, that would be amazing!”

And he did. OH MY GOD HE DID.

Here is our Super Villain family:

And here is our Super Villain family + Robin Hood:

Once outside, we headed to the West Village where we go trick or treating every year. They close 11th street to cars and it’s always filled with families. Every year, it seems to get more and more crowded.

Some parents hate the crowds and some parents love the opportunity to people watch as much as possible. I like to complain to make myself seem like a normal jaded New Yorker, but secretly, I fit into the ladder category. I love the mayhem of Halloween in NYC.

Although, at the beginning, it was so crowded Harlow had trouble maneuvering through all the kids and edging in to get herself some candy.

Mazzy saw tons of her friends while trick or treating and that’s half the fun of congregating on these designated blocks. The first year we went, we knew no one but our children, and now after five years of school under our belt, we couldn’t walk two feet without bumping into someone else we knew.

We even ran into Poppy, who coincidentally, looked like one of the Joker’s sidekicks.

Harlow has this thing where she looks into the treat bowls and then rejects the contents entirely based on the candy selection.

She is very specific. She spent most of the night on a search for Banana Laffy Taffy. This was something she got tons of last year on Halloween and has never had any other time, so I guess she was looking forward to eating this “one night only” candy again.

Unfortunately, Laffy Taffy wasn’t nearly as popular as last year and it took her until the very end of the night to find one. Mazzy found her a strawberry Laffy Taffy and she rejected it for being the wrong flavor. It was getting dark and her prospects looked grim.

Mazzy proved very useful, edging her way through the crowds to look for Laffy Taffy for Harlow, Kit Kats and Twizzlers for me, Skittles for Mike and Twix for herself.

Mike kept begging for her Twix but she would not give those up.

We all tend to eat candy throughout the night, as we get pieces we like, and then put everything away once we get home for parental distribution at a later date. Last year, they forgot about their candy stashes entirely.

Mazzy’s big score of the night was cotton candy. She had the patience to wait for it, while Harlow did not.

All in all, it was a very successful night. As it got dark out, we headed further into the West Village where it is less crowded and everyone goes door to door on rows of brownstones, much more like a traditional Halloween experience. Some of the houses have truly amazing Halloween decor.

One brownstone we made sure to visit was Alice’s old house. That’s Mazzy’s best friend who moved to Australia over the summer. The past few years, we have always ended the night by giving out candy from Alice’s front stoop. It was dark and undecorated last night, but we took a pic to send to Alice and wish her a Happy Halloween.

Finally, at the very end of the night, Mazzy found Harlow a Banana Laffy Taffy. It was the perfect way to end our night of trick or treating.

We headed for the subway, where Harlow bumped into two people who she knew were somewhat related to her character, but since she’s never seen Suicide Squad, she wasn’t sure exactly how.

I think my favorite part of our subway ride home was the fact that nobody else in our car was dressed up.

As excited as Mike was to get dressed up and surprise the kids again this year, he was still as Mike as ever on the way home after three solid hours of trick or treating. Disgruntled and grumpy— that’s the Mike we know and love.

If you remember his Evil Queen from last year, I think Mike was making the exact same “dad face” on the ride home, except while wearing a different shade of lipstick.

Then, after the kids went through their loot, separated their candy pieces by brand (as children do), and brushed their teeth, a babysitter arrived to put the kids to bed.

Mike and I went out into the Halloween mayhem on our own. We had a masquerade ball to attend.

Halloween 2018 marks the first time we saw Halloween after 8pm in 8 years!

What did you do for Halloween? What did you and your kids dress up as? Tell me in the comments below!

Don’t forget to share your Halloween costume photos on Instagram with #mommyshortshalloween or under this post on Facebook to be entered for the annual Halloween Costume Awards.