Trick or Treat?
Ask any kid, what their favorite holiday is and the top three answers will likely include their birthday, Christmas/Hanukah and Halloween.
Given the gluttony of candy, wayward bedtimes and permission to roam the streets after dark, it’s no surprise that Halloween tops the list for most kids.
However, if you ask a working mom (or any mom!) about Halloween you might get a very different reaction.
Of course, we all love candy. And the rules are clear with my kids. Mom gets first right of refusal on anything that includes peanut butter and chocolate. But beyond that, this holiday is a nightmare. Not in a Halloween movie kind of good way……
It starts with the costumes. That moment when your child tells you they want to be some obscure character with a rainbow cape, striped socks and pointy hat. You scour the bowels of the internet to find “exactly” what they want. Upon arrival, this costume is no longer acceptable and you’re back to late night internet sleuthing for an acceptable alternative.
And if you have older kids, you’re receiving the mandatory emails from school about inclusiveness and how group costumes shouldn’t exclude other kids. That email likely arrived five minutes before your middle schooler tells you her grand plan for a group costume with four other kids. Cue up my Law and Order legal skills to start the full blown cross examination of who is included, excluded or otherwise potentially slighted by this costume. Eye rolling ensues.
Decorating for Halloween is another whole area of pain. The kids want to make the front porch look like a mash up between Nightmare on Elm Street, Charlotte’s Web and a blow-up plastic recycling bin. After I’ve bribed them appropriately, we all agree that a few well-placed pumpkins, pretty fall mums and some scary hairy spiders are the way to go.
Cue up the outlook calendar for another hellish experience. You know, the one that shows a school parade, class room party and the street roaming for candy that starts promptly at the dismissal bell. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite jive with the office schedule. There isn’t an understanding that this holiday is an all-day affair particularly with those who don’t have young children and similar demands to be in attendance at all of those events. So, I struggle with the demands of negotiating meeting times and travel schedules to keep everyone happy. Needless to say, I am on a 6 am flight on Nov 1 since the meeting planners didn’t take into consideration the need for parents to be around on the 31st.
Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of this holiday, I’ve learned to deal. The excitement and pure bliss is enough to get me in gear and on that 6 am flight. Well that, and the handful of mini Reece’s Peanut Butter cups in my tote bag.
Next year, I will plan ahead and petition the office for a new statuary holiday!