That's Sun-Bun on her first Halloween. See how happy she is I dressed her up?
It’s timely that this is a Halloween post because I had to sweep all the cobwebs out of this blog before posting. ::cough, cough:: Wow, this place has really been let go.
Moms, we are just three sleeps, nine meals and fourteen snacks away from All Hallows Eve – are you ready? I thought I was ready and then I read about Walmart accidently labeling certain costumes as “fat girl” and noted that my choice of a witch this year made the “fat girl” cut – I felt bad until I realized it gave me the affirmation I needed to dip back into the bag of Halloween candy.
I’ve put together some tips to navigate Halloween based on your child’s age. Of course, some of you have more than one child, to which I say, the youngest sets the agenda. So, if you have a baby and a three year old, do not sling your baby to your body and try desperately to get your toddler to hold your hand while you cross the street so your elderly neighbor can see the Thomas the Tank costume you tack welded on your lunch break. You are excused. Buy a bag of candy and give it to Thomas the Tank to eat in front of It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
But if you are heading out, here's my Tricks and Treats for making it work.
If your kid is a baby.
The treat – You win all the cute points. Nothing like an Anne Geddes photoshoot in the pumpkin patch to rack up the facebook likes.
The trick – It’s a one and done deal. Take photo, share photo, pat yourself on the back. I know, you want to take the baby out. You want people to try to pet your baby lion. This is not a good idea, don’t fly too close to the praise-sun Icarus. Your baby will poop up the back of that beautifully hand felted toucan costume.
If your kid is a toddler.
The treat – This is a short night, in fact it’s not a night, it’s an evening. It's a short walk down the street after dinner and then find the map Dora because this Explorer is heading back to her casa.
The trick – You break the rule of keeping it short and hit the toddler melt down factor. They tear off the super sweet Anna cape your mother sewed, they refuse to wear their ninja turle mask and now just look like a kid in mismatched green pants and shirt. "Are you a frog?" asks one unsuspecting granny. NO I’M A NINJA AND I WANT CANDY screams your three year old. Don’t say, I didn’t try to warn you.
If your kid is a kid.
The treat – They can walk without you holding their hand and it's unlikely they will poop in their costume, although it's highly advised your remind everyone to take a pee break before heading out. At this age, your significant other can stay home handing out the candy without you glaring at them as you head off down the street trying to navigate a jogging stroller with one hand and a uncooperative toddler with the other.
The trick – You need a game plan and to share that plan with your kids – several times. We are going to do our block and that’s it. Or we are going out for one hour – and you provide the count down because, well, I don't know about your kids but mine say things like, "It's 47:30."
If your kid is a teen or a pre-teen or that age where they text and drink Starbucks.
The treat – I’m guessing there is no interest in heading out trick or treating.
The trick – There probably is interest in heading out for the night. But to do what?And that sums up all teenage problems, basically, every night is your Halloween and I don’t know how you do it. Fortunately I never will have to deal with it because I’ve asked my kids to never grow up and they said okay as long as they don’t have to ever eat broccoli and I said, deal.
Most importantly, regardless of your kids' ages, whether you bought or made their costume, if you are a fat-witch or a skinny latte, if your kids eat 100 pieces of candy or eat organic apricots - have fun. Really. Smile. Hug your little Ninja and your Princess Butterfly and hand out candy like they're beads on Mardi Gras, it's just one night, so make it a good one.