We Are Both Right

Halloween Making a Permanent Move to Saturdays?

As much as I love Halloween, I’m dreading it a bit this year. Halloween falls on a Monday which means that we (and this is a collective, nationwide we) have a very limited amount of time from when the kids get off the bus from school and go to bed to squeeze in a lot of celebrating as well as our day-to-day things  – costume wrangling, instrument practicing, trick-or-treating, homework, eating dinner (sorry, even on Halloween the kids have to eat something hot and nutritious).

A Connecticut lawmaker, State Representative Tim Larson, feels our pain. He is proposing a bill that would permanently designate the last Saturday in October as the scariest day of the year. His reasoning is that moving the holiday to the weekend, would make the day safer, less harried and more fun.

“Halloween is fun night for the whole family, but not so much when you have to race home from work, get the kids ready for trick or treating, welcome the neighborhood children, and then try to get everyone to bed for an early school and work morning,” Larson said in a statement.

He’s meeting with some adversity, most notably Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy, whose spokesperson told The Hartford Courant, “The Governor is worried about confusing the ghosts, goblins, and witches – so he thinks leaving Halloween on Oct. 31st is the right thing to do. No disrespect intended toward Rep. Larson, of course.”

I think it’s a great idea, although my husband points out that if Halloween was permanently on a Saturday, the opportunity for little and not-so-little goblins to make mischief will be extended. In any case, we don’t live in Connecticut, so it’s a moot point for us for now. Still, I’m hopeful that is an idea that will catch fire.

What do you think? Would you welcome a weekend Halloween celebration?

Pretzels Anyone? A Sugar-less Halloween

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

Best of: Scaring Up a Halloween Costume for the Littlest Goblin

baby Halloween costume

Trick or treat...dressing up the little ones for Halloween is half the fun. ©Mitchael McDonald/stock.xchng

What’s long and brown and red all over?

A mommy dressed as a hot dog covered in ketchup.

And that would be me walking around the neighborhood this Halloween had the tables been turned, and my son had the opportunity to pick out my costume.

He saw it in the store today and had to have it. But just not for himself. I guess no self-respecting 9-year-old wants to look like processed meat with condiments spread from his head to his toes. Can’t say I blame him.

On the other hand, if the parent of a toddler happened to think that was the cutest thing ever, you can bet there would be a mini hot dog strapped in a stroller being traipsed around the neighborhood getting laughs at every door. Because that’s our privilege (and pleasure) as parents.

Who can resist those adorable bumblebee costumes and Woody and Jesse get-ups? How about the pumpkin baby? Or the real-life Rubik’s cube?

Whether you buy it from the store, or put in hours crafting it yourself, your little one’s Halloween costume is a chance to be creative. It won’t be long before they ask to dress like zombies and rock stars, so get in there while you can and try on some of these costume ideas for size:

Suzanne

Fisherman and baby fish: The first joint costume my children donned for Halloween, my daughter’s first and my budding fisherman’s sixth. His favorite part? Netting her.

Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion or any other Wizard of Oz combo: Another great costume pairing for siblings who don’t have a say in the matter just yet!

Static cling: Haven’t had to do it yet, but attach a few socks and underwear to a sweatsuit and it has to be the easiest last minute, low-budget costume ever.

Amanda

Sam I Am: Dress your child in all yellow and then add a two-sided placard. On the front have it read “I am Sam.” On the back, “Sam I am.” Add a paper plate with drawn green eggs and ham.

Any of the Harry Potter characters: A black robe, a red, blue, green or yellow scarf [depending on your house] and you are good to go. You can style hair and add props accordingly.

Pea Pod: Store bought, but one of the cutest ones ever for our infant.

What Halloween costumes are you planning for your little one? Any favorites from Halloweens past?