This Halloween will be like no other, now that my daughter is a preschooler. You see, I’ve tried to keep her away from the gobs of Halloween candy that tend to get thrown into the bags of the oh-so-cutest trick or treaters.
But an innocent toddler she is no more. Last year, I was able to entice her with pretzels instead of lollipops, but I think she will be much wiser to my tricks this year. Nope, no more toddler yogurt snacks filling in for mini-Musketeers. This year, she’ll be snubbing her nose at animal crackers and tearing open the Kit Kats. Guess the party’s over in my world.
Don’t get me wrong, I never was the mom that forbid a gram of sugar from ever coming within 50 feet of my child — but I did put up a valiant effort to impose some limits. A bag of M&Ms here, a lollipop there was OK with me. I never used candy as a bribe and even if I did buy the occasional candy reward, my kids knew that they weren’t leaving the store with those dipsticks attached to a bag of pure sugar.
Up until now that is. My Little Mermaid is going to be swimming her way through a sea of candy, trying to keep up with her big brother who boasted for days after last Halloween that he had filled his treat bag up to the bellyache line.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not one to shy away from a Snickers bar. I ate peanut M&Ms religiously every afternoon when I was pregnant with L. Ice cream is still one of my favorite snacks. So it’s not that I’m trying to spoil the enjoyment of a sweet treat for my kids (or the best holiday of the year), but I twinge at the thought of so MUCH candy.
I guess the best I can do is to keep track of what S. is unwrapping as we make our way from house to house. My strategy is to steer her toward the chocolate, since there has to be more nutritional value in that than chewy squares of colon-clogging colored corn syrup.
And maybe she’ll be delightfully side-tracked when we happen upon one of those houses that has a bowl full of pennies or (score) a mini-tub of Playdough.
But in the end, it’s one day, and I’ll let her (mindfully) indulge the sweet-tooth she inherited from me. Once we get home, I can hide the excess of treats from the little one with a short-term memory. Her brother on the other hand will be making a mental inventory of every last Starburst he brings in, but that’s a story for another day.
Originally published in October, 2010