I’ve only been doing Halloween as a parent for three years (as of Thursday night) and while I love any excuse to get June dressed up for my own amusement any chance I can get, there are a couple of things about this particular holiday I’m not totally down with.
For starters, it’s freakin’ cold. I know, I know, I’m the first parent on the planet to comment on this fact but what is the point of getting my kid gussied up in her Halloween garb only to have to hide her costume behind a giant winter coat? Last year, she was all set to go as Danger Mouse — I loved this costume, I designed it myself and even made the cape — but it was so cold outside — literally 20 degrees — that she ended up Trick or Treating looking more like a mini model in a winter Land’s End catalog — she wore a hat and coat (and cape). On second thought, the cold weather makes costume selection so much simpler. Her costume for Halloween 2014 will be Coat Girl. And the year after that: Parka Princess.
But the coat cover up is not the worst of it. I had to watch her fingers turn blue after she kept refusing to put on her mittens. Why do toddlers despise wearing mittens even as their fingers are about to fall off from the cold? I don’t understand this. Her fingers were numb by the time we got back to the car yet she still refused to wear hand protection.
Secondly, it’s a war zone out there. Little kids amped up on Nerds and fun size Three Musketeers knocking down anything and anyone in their path on their quest for more candy. Last year I spent an inordinate amount of time saying to careening kids, “Careful, watch your step, sweetie. Oops, watch your step. Whoa now, be careful, buddy. There’s a two-year-old right in front of–[BAM! WAH!!]” That’s the sound of June hitting the pavement, crying.
Thirdly, walking door to door with a toddler is like trekking through the Alaskan tundra — it takes FOREVER. Sidewalks up to front doors are for toddlers epic journeys with no beginning and no end. It’s just a barren stretch of nothingness invariably resulting in total mental and physical breakdown by the fourth house. Especially in our town where the houses are set back 1,000 feet from the sidewalk, I swear. Do people really need all that yard? Three hours of Trick or Treating door to door with June last year resulted in a net yield of three pieces of candy, one of which was a pencil.
Which reminds me — no more pencils. Please. No kid goes Trick or Treating with the intention of rounding out their collection of writing implements. Especially not a three year old.
I get now why some parents prefer Trunk or Treating, a relatively recent phenomenon in which a bunch of likeminded parents who also can’t be bothered park their cars in some parking lot and let their kids run from trunk to trunk asking for candy. What could be better? I wouldn’t even have to get out of my car. I could keep listening to NPR and eating Funyons. Now that’s a holiday.
But I am nothing if not a masochist. You know where I’ll be Thursday afternoon…grimly navigating the sidewalks and neighborhoods of my small town with the rest of the parents trying to enjoy All Hallow’s Eve.