It’s not that I don’t like Halloween. Believe me, I heart zombies and dismembered bodies on my front lawn as much as the next gal. It’s just that Halloweening as a parent, much like sitting down to have your meal, taking a shower, or consuming your beverage while it’s still hot is proving to be an event that requires as much planning as the G20 summit. Halloween is a minefield laid with parent booby traps. Take one wrong move and you land on Wastefulness. Another one and you’re confronted with parenting’s most daunting trap, Guilt. Celebrating Halloween as a parent, like any other “as a parent” activity, comes with its own set of challenges.
They say that behind every great man there’s a great woman. Well, behind every great Halloween challenge there’s a great woman who doesn’t DIY and a great kid who JUST WANTS THE ONE COSTUME THAT NO STORE CARRIES.
Here are some other common Halloween parenting stumbling blocks:
Does your kid change their mind about what they wants to dress up as once or thrice a day? Do you play along every day and let them believe you’re totally buying them that costume they’ve always wanted since 5 minutes ago, then wait till October 30th to purchase their actual latest “always wanted since 5 minutes ago” costume assuming you can still find it? Or do you decide to stop the madness mid October and teach them the importance and value of committing to your fifty seventh choice?
Also known as case study in lose-lose situations. So you had a baby. Then another one. Some courageous souls even proceed to have more. And then it’s Halloween. And once again. And again. So what to do now, mom? Do you invest and make room in your closet for a whole new wardrobe that seems to be committed to the idea that less (closet space) is more? OR do you intend to plea "special schmeshial" when taken to moral court by number two?
Any fans out there?
Remember the movie Hellboy? Me neither. I had to Google “you woke up the baby!” to find out which movie this quote came from, but I do remember completely identifying with the fury of the character who utters these words before going ballistic. Halloween provides ample opportunity for “you woke up the baby” scenarios to take place. Especially if you live in a make-your-knock-on-the-door-
So what do we do as parents? Accept. Accept that challenges come with the territory just as we’ve accepted the fact that our room temperature food is never really ours anymore and that from time to time a remote control will be launched against our forehead. We talk to our kids about sharing but it’s us who are in for the real lesson here. Whether it’s our food, forehead, sleep, money, Halloween decisions or our hearts they are no longer entirely ours and that's not such a bad thing, right?