Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Lessons

Each year I learn something new on Halloween, even if it's just that you can never predict how the kids are going to handle the trick or treating. We trick in the exact same neighborhood, but it's always a great big guess as to which kid is going to flip out first. I've noticed that's it's directly proportionate to who had the most candy throughout the evening... which is ironic. More candy = constant stream of sugar/fake energy SHOULD = lasting hyperactivity, but NO.

The sugar coma sets in quicker and the one who eats the most candy CRAPS OUT FIRST.

Anyway. Last year, I learned that hey, kids get thirsty running around and stuffing mad amounts of candy in their pie-holes, and the rum and coke I was carrying in a travel coffee mug and the wine that Nate was carrying in his wasn't exactly anything we could offer up to them. So this year, I got smart. I put a mini 8-ounce bottle of water in each of their candy bags. And no, you needn't worry about the water making the candy bag too heavy once the candy starts pouring in, because they'll drink the water, subtracting the weight.

Another thing I either learned this year or learned last year and just forgot in the meantime, is that the one-piece kid costumes can suck a big one, especially if the kid has to use a public restroom. At Ethan's school parade, Connor, who was in a one-piece Lightning McQueen costume, had to pee and IT WAS AWESOME accidentally dropping the upper half on the ground that a thousand kids have peed on in front of the toilet, and then he stepped on it and probably peed on it. I was trying not to cringe when I redressed him in it. I will try to avoid one-piece costumes in the future.

When the candy-givers let your kid pick their treat, and you "help" your toddler "find the one 'he' likes," each and every one of the candy-givers knows that you're picking what you like. They called me out every time. Finally, I dropped any pretense and just started saying, "I like that one, Brandon!"

Taking a flashlight is a great idea (fantastic, really) but it only works if you stick together when using it. For instance, if you, the flashlight holder, walk one way around a parked car, and one kid walks the other, dark way, and trips, falls, and spills his pumpkin basket of candy everywhere, that's a flashlight-usage FAIL. Which brings me to my next bit of insight:

If your kid trips and falls and spills his pumpkin basket of candy everywhere, he will be more upset about his candy being all over the ground than he will about his gravel-embedded bleeding knees and hands. I PROMISE. Just leave him laying there and start picking up the candy RIGHT AWAY if you want the tears to stop quicker. He doesn't give a shit about his knees, HIS CANDY'S ALL OVER THE GROUND, DAMN IT.

I'm thinking I'm going to get those glow stick bracelets and necklaces for the boys this year. They have tons of them at dollar stores. And maybe let them have their own flashlights, too.

Brandon reminded me of this one this year: You can't always count on the two- and three-year-olds being okay with getting into their costumes. There's something about that age group - they just aren't sure about this costume deal; it could go either way. So two things.
1. Have a back-up plan in place for the kid. Like, a Halloween shirt and some face paint or something. Lame, sure, but at least it's something. People who give out candy want to at least see some effort on the kids' part.
2. If you happen to get your kid in the costume for something outside of trick-or-treating, take lots of pictures then, since it may be the last time they are willing to get in it. For instance, earlier in the day, I got Brandon into his pirate costume for Ethan's school parade, and knowing that it may well be the last time he'd be willing to wear it, snapped lots of pictures. 


Have you ever seen a pirate playing tetherball before?


I'm glad I did, since later for trick or treating, he refused to wear it again, so I put him in a Halloween shirt and painted his face like a cat. Then at the last second, I was able to get him into the pirate pants, so he was kind of like a pirate cat. Then the face paint smeared and he just looked like a dirty pirate. So it all worked out in the end.

And, I'm being reminded right now, hide the candy from them before they wake up in the morning. You probably are smart enough to have remembered to do that, but for some reason, I didn't remember last night and now I am paying for that mistake. So, since I'll probably re-post this next year (before Halloween) it will serve as a reminder for me.


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21 comments:

  1. My kid fell down no less than 557 times last night. For no other reason than apparently she's a klutz. Candy spillage vs pain tolerance should be a thesis to study in college. "Momma, I think I twisted my ankle, but can you please help me pick up these Nerd boxes? I'll rub some dirt on my ankle."

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    1. That would be a very interesting thesis! But I'm thinking... from now on, I'll keep some candy in my pocket and when one of the kids gets hurt, I'll quickly toss down the candy and scream, HEY LOOK, YOUR CANDY SPILLED!! Then they'll no longer be concerned about their fall and body parts!

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  2. Haha!!! It was Pystol's first "aware" Halloween as last year she was a month old and while cut in her unicorn outfit, rode around in the front pack. I remember thinking as my back was KILLING ME, that next year would be better. HEHEHEHEE except this year I went as a VERY pregnant lady, complete with Braxton Hicks contractions.. Yeah that's how WE do it!
    As it is Oregon, we were told it would be pouring down rain. As that's pretty much how its been the last few days I didn't doubt that. So we went to Comfort Inn where they close the first floor and have businesses come in and decorate doorways to rooms and hand out candy in a safe environment. Well it was dry in there, but packed with people in a hallway about 4 ft wide. Pystol isn't overly sure of strangers about now, and Daddy had just given her a pretty bright green bucket of her very own. People kept reaching for it. She'd jerk back whipping her bucket into my knees while Daddy would crouch down and say no you have to hold your bucket out sweetie. She kept looking up at me all confused? Why Mama? It's MY bucket and these people look WEIRD!!! Well we made it through that ordeal without tears, and once we were outside (it was not raining BTW) Daddy showed her the treasures in her bucket, even let her have a bite of TWIX. Understanding suddenly dawned on her 13 month old face. I am SOOOOO cute that people are giving me YUMMY STUFF!!

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  3. #2
    Well that led to a death grip on the candy bucket and a willingness to walk up to and sweetly smile at complete strangers for an extended period of time. We went home and hit up out neighborhood, and came across a couple of really amazingly decorated houses, the last of which apparently has a tradition of supplying hot coffee or cider to the poor wet, cold, tired parents of candy cracked little trick or treaters every year. They will definitely be on my route next year. It was at this point that my daughter found a puddle of icy cold water to fall into, not that she cared, as 20 min earlier just as I was standing out in the elements a stroller driver (BTW she wouldn't ride so it carried my keys water bottle and Daddy's hat)I thought hey its not raining that's nice, at that very moment it started to POUR. I laughed my husband who had been packing around 28lbs of wiggling bumble bee for blocks and blocks said uh oh its raining as if that is significant to children. Pystol however threw her head back so the rain could fall on her face while laughing maniacally and trying to grab rain drops.
    The bucket did get dropped once, spilling candy all over the sidewalk. Fortunately big brother was there to save the day with the spot light attached to his helmet, so we were able to ensure not even a starburst was left behind. He was a pretty good sport especially since at 15 I'm sure he'd have rather been out with friends than trekking along with his 13 month old little sister. I did remind him though he has just expanded his candy begging years, as the other little sister is coming shortly, so as long as he looks young he can go out with his sister's and still score without being lectured. LOL its the little things! We were almost home and I was texting my mom who works nights, my husband was out ahead. I had whined a few times about contractions as I don't walk 10 feet these days without them, (December where are you?) and I said when we get home we need to get in the car. I was referring to a text I'd gotten from my mom about her handing out candy at work, he thought I was going into labor ;) no no babe these are the pretend contractions. They suck for sure but not so bad as the real thing!!! Well the night had gone too well, we got to Mom's work and Blydd got his fingers closed in the car door, sigh at least he hand on 2 pairs of gloves or it could have been worse!
    We went home after that, and got the baby out of her wet costume, she was playing with her bucket, I liberated a milky way dark for myself and she wanted one too so i let her have it, then took the candy bucket to put away. DADDY!!!!! Mama stole my candy!!!! Bad Mama!!! She actually said My Candy!!! hehehehe yeah kid 2 pieces of chocolate is way more than you need. Some screaming a bath, more screaming and an hour and a half later she was out. Just think next year I'll have a two yr old and a 10 mo old!!!! Yay bring on the happy pills now!!!

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    1. Sounds like a crazy night! Glad you didn't get put into labor from all the walking and excitement!

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  4. I blew my opportunity to get decent costume photos yesterday morning when my frog and cow were playing happily, prior to preschool drop off. I took a few shots and thought that surely there'd be plenty more chances. By the time evening rolled around, before the neighbors arrived for dinner and things got too hectic, I begged the frog to put her damn hood up, so she would look the part, which she refused to do only because I wanted her to and the cow just kept crawling off.

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    1. Boo! Now you know for next year! I had to learn that one the hard way, too.

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  5. This was one of our most enjoyable Halloween's ever. Thanks in small part to the travel "coffee" mugs ;)

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  6. Thanks for the tips, GREAT to know for next year...when my daughter will be 2.5 years old, and it will be only slightly less obvious that we're just out for candy for mom & dad.

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    1. Ha! You can always claim it's for the "experience" for her!

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  7. Note to self: don't take the kids to the one neighborhood that goes all out. It was like my childhood Halloween with kids and parents everywhere, decorated houses, and full size candy bars. They'll expect it EVERY YEAR.

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    1. OR, just keep going back to the same good neighborhood! We found a good one and that's why we keep going back!

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  8. Nobody told me that all the parents drink! That is the coolest secret I've ever figured out. This is our first year living in a place where kids actually trick-or-treated, and every single parent had a solo cup or a travel mug. I didn't figure it out for a while, but once I did, it made trick-or-treating much more fun.

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    1. It's a great thing to know. I should probably be concerned about the fact that from the first Halloween on, nobody told us to do it or suggested it to us; it just was a "natural" thing to do...

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  9. Great post! My daughter is only just getting into the Halloween scene, but I definitely learn something each year!

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  10. This is our first Halloween actually going trick or treating for the little dude. And his Mama (we don't do Halloween in NZ).

    i'm a little anxious.

    I mean - what if we don't get anything GOOD?

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  11. I'm painting a cat nose and whiskers on my 2.5 year old daughter for trick-or-treating...should I put pirate pants on her, too, just in case?

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