As we draw closer to Halloween, I begin to brace myself. As you might guess, Halloween is not my favourite holiday. Far from it. I admit that it does have a few redeeming qualities, like seeing the neighbours out and about, having family over, the candy haul (although that is a double-edged sword), and of course I do like watching my kids run around the neighbourhood like they own the joint. But other than that, I don't have much use for the day. Here are some reasons why Halloween is my least favourite holiday as a parent.
1. The costumes.
So I suck at costumes. I've long since given up my dream of being a Pinterest mom. The thought of putting together a costume sends panic running up and down my spine. Theme-day-at-camp costume? Panic! One of the kids needs a costume for their speech at school? Panic! ...Halloween? Double panic!! I have very little creativity for costumes. To the people who cruise Pinterest for three months before the big day and come up with an amazing homemade creation? I admire you, but alas, I will never be you. And because I suck at homemade costumes, we have to purchase. And guess what? Store-bought costumes are dang expensive these days. Then after spending your hard-earned money on that expensive costume, they will change their mind. On Oct. 30. At bedtime. Every year. Time to practice holding firm! Ugh!
2. Carving a pumpkin is not my idea of a good time.
I'm sure there's a parenting rule somewhere that says you have to carve a pumpkin, but for some reason we get busy and almost always end up carving it 15 minutes before the trick or treaters start to arrive. It's rushed and let's face it, messy and kind of gross. And since I always forget until the last minute there's some slightly crotchety moods and pumpkin goop flying everywhere. And of course there's the mad dash to find a candle fit to light it up. Hmm... Where did we put them after the last power outage?
3. Being late on school party day.
So my kids dress up for Halloween at school (which is one thing I do really appreciate), but we are guaranteed to be late for school that day. Any little thing can throw us right off of our morning routine. And getting dressed up is no little thing. So don't look for us on time that day. We'll still be putting on our costumes.
4. Face make-up.
Our Halloween get-ups could be a whole lot better if I didn't have such a strong aversion to face make-up. The only reason that I can think of that I don't like it, is that somewhere in my subconscious I'm worried that if I put it on their faces, then they'll have to have a bath to remove it after trick or treating is over. And who wants that? Guaranteed, I'll be exhausted by then. And the kids will be in a sugar haze, so we avoid face make-up like the plague.
5. The weather is always rainy.
And not a nice warm tropical rain either. But a sideways, ice-pellet, cold kind of rain. Enjoy trick or treating in that! Hmm... We might want a nice warm bath later after all. Where's that make-up again?
6. The candy.
That for the next two months I'll hear about. Every. Single. Day. "How many pieces can we have today, mom?" On repeat. Being a dutiful mom, I try to help them along as best as I can by disposing of much of it after they go to bed. In my belly. It's one of the truly selfless acts that parenting calls for. Fortunately we eventually run out of candy bars and chips. Once the bags are down to rockets and suckers, they tend to stop asking.
7. The scary stuff.
Some of the stuff out there is pretty spooky for smaller kids. Heck, some of it spooks me out too. I think the year we saw someone dressed as Michael from the movie Halloween, is the year my daughter started wondering if the candy was worth it. And there's always someone out there dressed as a bush who jumps out at us and takes 10 years off my life.
8. Getting ready to go out is a crazy scramble.
We always think we have enough time but then at the last minute we're trying to shove costumes over top of winter coats and searching for mittens and winter hats that blend in with the costume look. Nothing like Halloween in Canada.
9. The constant door answering.
So don't get comfortable if you are the one staying back at the house. Here comes a zombie and a princess. And shortly on their heels is the Pinterest mom and her kids in their amazing costumes, made from 100-per-cent recycled non-toxic materials.
10. The poor dogs are in a state of manic "there are burglars attacking our house!"
I never know quite what to do with the dogs at Halloween. We can't have them right at the door, and when I barricade them in the living area they get anxious to be with us. Still haven't quite figured this one out.
Despite my apprehension about Halloween and all the extra work and headaches it can bring, when we finally make it outside I do enjoy the trick or treating part. It is nice to talk to the neighbours, spend time with family and see the kids excitedly running around in their cute costumes. And hey we'll dry out eventually right? Hmm... I think my nose is frozen shut. But as long as it isn't my mouth, I can still help them dispose of some candy later. Candy tax you see, for putting up with this holiday. And it is without a doubt the biggest perk of Halloween.
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