I didn’t feel entitled to write about Halloween because I hadn’t really gotten the hang of it yet. At least for me, Halloween with small kids seems to require a lot of tactical planning and strategy. Prepare dinner while face painting and disguising, put dinner in oven to keep warm, go out trick-or-treating (one parent stays home to give out candy), return home, serve dinner, eat dinner while running to the door to dole out candy. Repeat over and over, “No, you can’t have candy until you’ve finished all your supper,” sort candy, try to limit candy consumption during sorting, try to contain and limit household damage of strung out children hoped up on sugar, attempt to put little monsters to bed now crashing from sugar high, which may include whining, crying and tantrums.
Then, there’s the dilemma of what to do with the CANDY! Between the candy collected and the candy left over from the dole out we usually have enough candy to feed a small village until Christmas.
But, this year seemed to go more smoothly (meaning I didn’t feel totally exasperated). Plus, we also managed to keep the candy to a minimum which is always a good thing in my books. So hear are some lessons learned:
1) In talking with neighbours we realised that the parents thought that each house gave out too much candy (for sure, no one wants to be the labelled the “stingy house”) and that the kids ended up with a full bag after only having done our street. This year, I did my civic duty and bought less candy! In order to extend kids trick-or-treating experience I only bought two boxes of 50 candies each and dished out two candies per child. We will forever be known as the “stingy house.”
2) Prepare dinner early or order out before trick-or-treating. You will not have time to prepare a proper meal in between face painting, dressing up kids and dealing with sugar highs (trust me, I’ve tried).
3) Go trick-or-treating early, sort candies and re-gift any candies that you or your kids don’t like. Did I say “re-gift”? Yes, yes I did! Pretty horrible, I know. But, Jake can’t eat gum and hard candies and doesn’t like liquorice. Plus, I’m pretty sure that there’s some happy Halloweener out there really enjoying Jake’s jaw breakers. Not to mention that it cut Jake’s candy stash in half. And, this makes mommy very happy.
4) Also, we limited the candy giving out time. Apparently there’s an unwritten Halloween code that if your pumpkin is turned off you are closed for business. So, we closed up shop at around 8pm when we had no candies left.
5) Give in! Your child will eat candy, they may not want to wear their costume exactly the way it was intended, they won’t sit through supper because of the constant doorbell ringing, and they will have a sugar high. Don’t fight it, just ride it out…it’ll soon be over.