Oh, Halloween, you cooky crazy holiday, you! I really can’t stand your guts.
Or your gore… or your gluttonous amounts of candy… your freaking expensive costumes… But each year, you come back around with your Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins and your insanely cute kiddos and almost make me change my mind.
Zombies and Ghouls and Death – oh my!
First, let’s talk about the sad progressions kids make from being cutesy and adorable (i.e., the fireman and Minnie Mouse) to wanting to literally look like death warmed over (i.e., the zombie soccer player).
What is that? Why is that? Why do children need to grow up and be disgusting and make Mommy do undead makeup instead of cute little mouse noses and whiskers?
I guess that’s just how it goes, though, isn’t it? Usually, when they’re around 3rd to 5th grade, kids start to want to be a little more daring for Halloween. It happens to all of them, mamas, so don’t think your precious little Tigger won’t want to bounce off as a zombie something-or-other or that white mask thing from Scream some day cuz they will! But I’ll also tell you that one day, they will drive themselves to Goodwill and put together the most amazing nerd costume all on their own. And you will laugh your butt off at how creative and funny and grown they’ve become.
Zombie stuff is just a phase, thank goodness! But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, anyway.
Costumes Make Me CRAZY
Let’s break it down, m’kay? That monkey wig was the least expensive option and still cost a good $20 (he said he was going as a politician that year…hehehehe!). Thankfully, Rainbow Fairy Ballerina Girl was wearing a recycled dance costume from the previous year’s recital. Hippie Dude got his costume at the local pop-up shop for about $25 (the jeans and tee were already his).
But that sweet, precious little Ariel? That red-headed Disney delight? Oy! The headaches that child caused! First, she begged and begged and begged for both the dress and the wig. How could she look like Ariel with just her regular brown hair?! Then, once Mommy donated some plasma to pay for the dang thing, do you know how she thanked me? With incessant and obnoxious whining and complaining, that’s how. The wig was too itchy, the skirt was too long, her sandals hurt her feet.
Seriously, whatever happened to the plastic dresses that tied in the back and the masks you couldn’t see or breathe out of properly from when we were kids? They were good enough for us, right?
I mean, they sure look cute when they’re all dressed up, I guess. Like, really really cute. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, anyway.
And then there’s the school stuff.
How, pray tell, is one mom supposed to make it to 4 simultaneous parties/parades at two or three different schools? Or what about the years these blessed events are spread over two or three days? And how, pray tell, is one mom supposed to keep track which donation she volunteered to send in for which kid? How, pray tell, are the kids supposed to learn anything when they’re so hopped up on sugar they pretty much all could use a dose of insulin. And how, pray tell, do the teachers not lose their ever-loving minds?
It’s a conundrum, really.
But, then again…how can you say no to a whole parade full of pint-sized Disney princesses (Ariel..again!) and “beautiful not scary” witches? And how can you deny Prisoner #24601 there when he asks you to send in 24 non-homemade, non-peanut, non-gluten plain sugar cookies? You just can’t, that’s what.
And, really, who cares if you send the 3 bottles of Sprite to the 2nd grader’s teacher when she really asked for 2 bags of candy pumpkins (and you send the pumpkins to the 5th grade teacher who actually asked for the Sprite). I mean, they’re smart, right? They’ll figure it out.
So, yeah. School stuff is crazy and you live through it and it’s freaking adorable and so are all the kiddos. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, anyway.
So. Much. Candy.
Years ago, my friend Katie referred to trick-or-treating as “legally sending the kids out to roam the streets in the dark to beg the neighbors for food.”
I mean…she’s not wrong!
Last year, I kid you not, one son of mine hauled in 12 pounds of candy all by himself. Yes, I said 12 pounds!!
What in the holy heck am I supposed to do with all of that? We certainly don’t need it. Not my kids’ teeth, not my waistline…not one part of us needs that much candy. Much less when you multiply it by the four little beggars who go roaming!
I mean, sure. Reese’s peanut butter cups are so good they’re going to be served in heaven, I think. And who doesn’t like it when generous neighbors give out the full-size candy bars?
But if I have to endure the wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes when I tell them that it’s time to give some away (ahem…to the trash can), it almost isn’t worth it, ya know? Why don’t I just go to Costco and get one of their big bags of candy and the kids can walk outside for a second. Then, they can ring out doorbell and I’ll act all surprised and hand over the bag. Then we can just be done…right?
But, I guess they do have a good time with their friends. And I guess they do walk more of the neighborhood on Halloween than they do any other night of the year. And I guess there’s that aspect of being neighborly and seeing all the cute little people that makes it kind of amazing. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, anyway.
Just call me Scrooge.
Rants from Mommyland has it 100% correct, don’t they? Halloween is totally for kids! But, as moms, isn’t that what we’re all about? Doing things for our kids?
So, fine. These kids want to dress grow up and stop being cutesy in favor of zombify-ing yourself? OK. And, yes, I’ll search for and spend on and create all the costumes these kids want, for as long as they want to wear them. I’ll go to any and all school functions that I can and buy all of the party necessities they ask for because I know that pretty soon I’m going to blink and they’ll all be too grown up for it anymore. And I’ll even let them keep more candy than they probably should because, well, it’s delicious and it’s about the only time of year I let them go hog wild on the sugar (for a day or two).
Being a kid at Halloween is a pretty special thing. And I certainly wouldn’t want my Scrooge-ness to take away one ounce of their happiness and innocent fun.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, anyway. (wink, wink)