Her Bad Mother

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Every Day Is Halloween

It is fitting that, as Hallowe'en approaches, I am looking more and more like a zombie. A zombie with a bit of a bulge around the middle, which doesn't seem quite right, but still: I've got the vacant look and the darkly-circled eyes and the pallor of an old white sheet that's been washed once too often with dirty grey socks. Throw in some periodic groaning and heaving and much, much lurching and you've got the barely-living dead, for sure.

That's what weeks of nausea and vomiting and, now, many days of anxiety-induced and nausea-aggravated insomnia will do. I am now the walking pregnant dead. Should be good for scaring the children.

Wonderbaby is ready for Hallowe'en, too. She's going as an extra from the Brady Bunch movie, or HBM-circa-the-mid-seventies, depending upon whether I can get the wig to stay on her head. The thing is, I don't know what to do with her once I've got her costumed. She seems too young for trick-or-treating - and in any case, I'm not keen to get her started on the whole hoarding-candy thing - but she still seems old enough to get into the fun of Hallowe'en.

Last year she went as Sesame Street's lone burlesque performer. We stayed in and I made her dance, but there was NO CANDY.

So do we just keep her in, helping to open the door and give out treats to the little ghouls and goblins and ninjas and bees who come a-callin' (in which case, how do we keep her little paws away from all of the candy that the other kids are getting? I'm anal about candy - for her, not for me. I like candy, too much. I know, it's hypocritical, but whatever) - or what?

Nobody tells me about this stuff. How I am supposed to know what to do?

When did your kids start - or when will they start - trick-or-treating? How do you - will you - negotiate the whole candy thing? Or is Hallowe'en just a big ol' festival of evil and I should high me to a church and forget all this nonsense?

*(Undying - er, undead - respect if you get the reference of the title of this post.)

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54 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

We started our kids young. 3 months old, but we only went to relatives' houses (3 houses) and I ate the candy myself. (can't let it go to waste.)

My kids are now 3 and 5, and we still only go to a few houses. Halloween candy lasts for months at our house. They just like going door to door and begging I think.

The kids get one or two pieces of candy a day until they forget about it...which is usually after a week or so.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous mayberry said...

I'm with Heather. We take the kids to 5 or 6 neighbors' houses to be exclaimed over, then they come back and help hand out candy. We let them have a piece or two for a few days until they start to forget about it. Then PIG OUT TIME for Mom and Dad!

WB is probably too smart to be told that the candy is "for the big kids", huh?

11:52 AM  
Anonymous pgoodness said...

We started our boys at age 1 with a few friends' houses. This year, Matt is much more into it and Preston just likes to do what his big brother does. At 4 & 2 they won't get too much of the candy. Basically, we'll let them have some every once in a while (when they ask for the first couple days) and since we keep it out of sight, they won't generally miss it. We'll eat a lot of it; I'll take some into my office to give away.

My boys trying so hard to say trick or treat as they wobbled up to the door at age one was priceless. :-)

11:58 AM  
Blogger Someone Being Me said...

My son is only 9 months old so he is too young for trick or treating. We will probably take him in 2009. This year we plan on dressing him in his bear costume and sitting on the front porch handing out candy until he gets tired and then off to bed he will go.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Kaleigh said...

Post title is a Ministry song. Props?

Little ones trick-or-treating? C'mon, mom, she's all about scoring the good candy for YOU! When my girlie was that age, we took her to a few friends' houses, got a few pieces of candy, and called it a night.

On the other hand, when her little brother was the same age, he went door-to-door with the other kids and joined them in the same candy orgy.

But once the candy orgy is over, it's over. One night only. We usually throw away half the candy around Christmas, when we realize nobody wants half that crap. (However, these days the kids have worked out an amazingly-complex swap-meet after the trick-or-treating...they trade two skittles for a snickers or whatever. Hilarious to watch how seriously they take this part of the holiday.)

12:27 PM  
Blogger Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

We do what the majority does. We take them young, but we eat the candy! As they get older, they get to pack one ziploc bag with their faves. The rest are a) eaten by mom and dad or b) eaten by just mom. No, we donate the rest to the church or the food bank.

12:27 PM  
Blogger rachel said...

Ministry. Which makes me so happy as the last couple references of yours that I got were Blake and Aristophanes. This makes me feel like I have more street cred.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

When Isaac was 3 months, we took him to a few neighbours' houses and scored a bottle of wine, three bags of chips, and an invite to a Christmas party. Plus the neighbours loved seeing him out in his bunny costume.

This will be our third year trick or treating. We'll maybe hit half a dozen houses and then go home where he can help me hand out candy. As for what he collects, we'll keep it hidden away and let him have his favourites over a period of days until he's forgotten about it.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

Ugh the candy makes me nuts.

We took her when she was a baby and also when she was 16 months just to a party at the huz's work. That's all.

Then last year she went through the neighborhood and I switched all her candy over to organic stuff -- I left a few goodies in there that weren't too heinous, but my 3 year old doesn't need to be eating snickers bars.

This year she'll go through the 'hood again -- Drew will be with her (no candy collecting for him) and we'll probably do the same. Let her pick a few things that she'd like to keep and then recycle the candy.

OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Otherwise I will eat it. Ack.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I remember the whole door-to-door experience being a little scary to my kids at Wonderbaby's age. That said, we are taking all three kids out tomorrow night because we don't get any trick or treaters at our house due to the lack of sidewalk. The toddler will likely only make it to a few houses before being done but she'll be all over the Smarties. At this point in my mothering, I'm pretty liberal with the treats.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Karen MEG said...

HBM, great minds think alike (like your title :).
My guy started only going to family's houses at around 2 years of age. He started doing the door - to -door once he began school, but only our street for the kindergarten years. Last year was the first that he did majorly with friends, when he was 6. Little girlie, who'll be 3 at Christmas, has been a tagalong the last couple of years (in her stroller, usually passed out), but is majorly psyched to go out this year.
We give them about one treat a day. We usually end up tossing them eventually as it takes so long to go through at that rate. Unless there are some good ones there that me and the DH raid.
WB is a doll! Have a good time this year!

12:51 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

We're taking Jane to about six of the neighbours' (a few of them are expecting her and will have a somewhat healthy treat for her--or at least some candy without nuts). But if she has a kit kat or two, it won't be the end of the world (they're so tiny!)

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

My oldest (now 7) didn't go door to door until age 3. At age 2 he was more than happy to give out the candy. The younger ones (4 and 2) went younger. As for the candy, I let them gorge a little on Halloween, then put it away for me and hubby to eat. I find that they forget about it pretty quickly, though that may change now that they are getting older.

1:04 PM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Ben was three. But the second child has to start earlier, because s/he will otherwise end up supremely jealous of the first child.

Thus Jack started at two.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

At that age, we took the kids to just a few houses of people we knew (and liked) so they could call out "Twick or tweat" a few times and reap the rewards of a sucker. Sadly for them, their momma wouldn't let them have a lot of candy. (Still doesn't. I'm a meanie.)

I'd like to say we tossed the bulk of the candy, but mostly I just ate it when they went to bed. We didn't start real trick or treating until they were five and six and even then, we limited the number of doors they could knock on.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

I let them choose about six of their favorites and then offer a buy-back program (money for candy) and then a shopping trip to buy something they want (usually to the book store, where they get plush animals and nothing literary). I then donate the candy to the school whereupon I commence complaining about "those teachers not knowing how to elicit without candy." Just kidding. But I won't say about which part.

Julie
Using My Words

1:57 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

My girls went up and down the street last year. They scored even more from daycare. I threw away half of it and sealed away the rest of the treats in a storage container and pulled them out on occasion. It lasted us a really long time.

The look of pure exhilaration as they run up to the houses and hearing their little "tank coos" is priceless.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Seems like everyone is on the same page mostly...we let the girls go to a few houses each year and now that they are older we usually hit about 20 houses in our immediate area.

In terms of the candy, they get to eat one or two things that night and for a day or two - then I toss it. No trading or whatever, I get rid of it and they have not noticed yet.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

I love Halloween, so I'm all for kids getting to do it. However with your pukingness and tiredness, I'd say stay in. Let her dress up and give out treats. Watch Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin. Maybe buy fruit snacks or something for her to have. I mean you can give them out to if you want, or goldfish or whatever, I've seen it all. But giving her a tiny treat makes it seem special and next year when she's old enough to understand, then take her. Trick der treeeting is what my youngest niece calls it.

Plus, plus...we'd all love to see her all dressed up.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Badness Jones said...

Take her out - at least to a couple people you know. We took our first out for the neighbors to admire when she was one, let her have a box of smarties, stole what we liked and tossed the rest. She's been hooked on the whole thing ever since. Last year I was 8 months pregnant and I had to drag her home - she'd have gone on forever. A lot of the candy gets tossed, and sadly, her father and I eat more than we should. Sigh.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous radical mama said...

This comment thread is making me feel so much better about robbing my kids candy bags! Luckily, my children have very poor taste in candy. Dots and Dum Dums. *shudder* That leaves me all the candy bars. I'm hoping that one of them hits the Milk Duds jackpot this year so I don't have to hit the candy clearance rack.

A started trick or treating at age 3 and the others have tagged along with her as she got older. Now she is 6 and in full Halloween mode.

3:47 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I LOVE that song.

And for us, we sit on the front steps and give out candy, and we take her to a few houses on the block of people we know. She gets a little taste of the experience that way, but just a bit, and only a few pieces of candy, which we dole out over a couple of weeks.

3:50 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Oh, and um, in that costume?
She looks so absurd,
she looks so obscene...

3:50 PM  
Blogger fizzledink said...

My Smooch is 21 months old, and his experience with Halloween so far is limited to kid-centered, non-candy events. Last year we dressed him up as a pumpkin and went to a MOMS Club party; this year we dressed him up as a duck and took him to a playgroup outing to the local aquarium's Halloween event (they were giving out candy but he didn't notice ;-) ) and to a mom's group potluck party.

I don't imagine we'll start trick-or-treating until he's 3 or 4, and actually knows what's going on. I have a hard enough time keeping myself out of the candy I buy to hand out!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

This will be our first year begging for candy. In the past there was a costume party at my church which had fun kiddy games. This year they are having a trunk or treat where the kids will go from car to car in a lit parking lot. I plan on stealing the majority of the candy and eating most of it myself. I gave birth to them, so they owe me!

4:50 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

We took him from the get-go, but then he was almost 1 at his first Halloween. We didn't let him eat the candy - we ate it ourselves. Yes, we are Bad Parents. This year, he will trick or treat, and we will ration a few candies out over time, but the majority will be thrown out or yes, still eaten by us...I want to save his teeth. Mine are rotten already.

4:57 PM  
Blogger karla said...

Wow. I think I started reading your blog last year around this time because I so remember that picture!

We are friendly with a bunch of the neighbours, so our 10 month old will be trick or treating at their houses, but that's it. More of a social thing really.

I am a bit anal about junk food and I have no idea how I will handle Halloween when my son is older.

My mom used to let us have a free for all, but she also made sure to remind me not to each too much and end up fat like her. Yeah, that worked well. Instead I just became anorexic as a teenager.

Sigh..

Parents can never win can they?

5:37 PM  
Blogger karla said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

We took The Girl trick or treating at nine months old. Mama wanted candy.
I might take your little one to a few doting friends houses very early on in the day and let her trick-or-treat there before heading home to hand out candy for a while - give her a little taste of the whole experience, you know?

6:23 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

I agree, maybe a few houses...let her indulge in a few pieces and let it be done. Sounds like a nice little middle ground arena.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

God willing (or whoever else is in charge of my life these days) we'll take Chicky out to a few houses tomorrow, let her have a piece of candy, and then confiscate the rest. Not that I'll be eating it. Zombies don't like chocolate. Tater tots are okay, but not chocolate.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous MJ said...

I didn't take my children out when they were 2 (or maybe even 3?) because I'm mean. Actually, I'm not butt like you I'm obsessive about candy. What I decided to do was give them unlimited access to a bowl of organic animal crackers. It worked. They weren't too clear on what I was handing out and were so thrilled to have as many animal crackers as they wanted.

Now, that they're 6 it's all about the candy and I'm much more laissez faire about the whole thing.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I love trick or treating and going with a little one (especially in a costume) gets you EXTRA candy!
Last year Matt had no idea that he was getting candy. He thought he was just visiting people. He would just walk in and say "where are your toys?"
This year he gets it so it could be scary.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Mocha said...

Absolutely get thee to a nunnery right away. Or "high" to the nunnery. Whatever you're supposed to do.

At that age we just answered our own door as it was just as fun for them to do to see these strange and cool characters show up (we monitored that to ensure no scary folks scarred them for life).

My God, but she's cute. That costume is divine.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I thought they were collecting candy for me this whole time - I'm supposed to let them eat? huh.

8:10 PM  
Blogger iheartchocolate said...

My first child, I have taken since she was able to hold the basket and walk. My littlest daughter is not yet two, but we will take her and tote her 8 mo old brother in a stroller. This requires two parents, one to walk one to the door and one to stay with the littlest. I have no idea how to prepare her for this though. The candy-shall be consumed by mommy. Mostly, suckers and things she won't choke on will be handed out at appropriate times. I never bribe her with candy and rarely give any-but I love to watch her enjoy a lollipop. Have fun. That pictures is adorable!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

I'm taking Boo tomorrow, The Bug is staying home and not dressing up. Boo is nearly three and this will be her first time trick or treating. She'll go to a few houses and then I'll take her home. We still don't know anyone in our neighbourhood, even after two years here and we're moving next week, but I'm still going to take her out. Hopefully she'll have fun and won't be traumatized. She'll get a couple of pieces of candy over the next couple of days but most of it will be confiscated and exchanged for gold fish crackers or something equally non-candy-ish.

I just realized I haven't bought any candy yet. Crap.

12:46 AM  
Blogger mama speak said...

Our oldest went to family & friend houses her 2nd year. (She was only 5 mo her 1st yr.)
Now we live in this really cool neighborhood where everyone knows each other & we all have kids generally the same age, so last yr (she was 3) we went TOT w/about 10 kids + adults for hours. It was so fun. DD#2 was 6 mo last yr & slept though it all. But since she's so focused on doing everything Big Sis does I imagine she'll be right there w/her. JIC she does crash, I'm taking her to a daytime TOT at a nearby shopping area. At 18 mo maybe it doesn't matter to her, but I do think she'll dig seeing all the other kids & stuff.
Hope you feel better soon!

1:15 AM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

My oldest around 3 and my younger son maybe 18mo. He had no clue but loves chocolate!! We also done parties versus the outside house to houe.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Last week the East Lansing businesses had a "Pumpkin Walk"-all the businesses along the main road had a sign on their door if they were participating, and they were giving out candy. Kaitlyn was absolutely not interested. She seemed freaked out by the huge crowd, and she didn't understand walking up to a stranger and holding out a plastic bucket. So I'll take her to a few neighbors' houses, and then keep her in. If I put an episode of Dora on, she won't know the difference.

I remember that photo from last year! Happy Halloween to you and WB!

7:49 AM  
Blogger becks said...

We took my little guy (who is the same age as Wonderbaby) out last year simply to join in the parade of costumes. There are tons of kids in our neighbourhood so as far as he knew he was just dressed up for a night time stroll with the rest of them - he had no idea candy was involved. I intend to do something of the sort this year.
(BTW I have the same costume for my youngest this year - that baby chick I mean).

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Rachael said...

Nightmare Before Christmas- yes?
I'm just barely pregnant with my first, but my older sisters would dress up their babies when they were still too young for the whole Trick-or-Treat thing, bring them to the grandparents' houses, and they would get gifts and candy for their pumpkins. That was the extent until they could say "trick or treat" themselves!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Yeah, see, the thing is that WB has a highly developed sense of property rights - anything that goes into a bag that she's holding is hers. I'll have to deploy some slight of hand and other sneakiness to get candy away from her. And then, yes, eat it myself.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Huh. I have no kids yet, so can't weigh in on the when-to-start issue, but my parents, and therefore I, always traditionally give more candy to the little kids, and now I'm rethinking that because reading this thread tells me all that candy goes to their parents!

1:14 PM  
Blogger LSM said...

I know it's not good to admit that these important details of my children's lives have faded a bit over time, but I'm hoping the fact that I'm now on the end of trying to convince my oldest that she is indeed too old to trick or treat will help justify it!

But, I believe the first time I took the now almost 14 year old trick or treating was the year she was three. Of course, that means I took her sister who was one along with her. But, we only trick or treated along our own street, and I didn't take candy for the one year old. After all, I had the three year old's candy to eat!

All three of my kids will be going out tonight. I have told my oldest that this is the LAST year since she will be in high school next Halloween. I figure next year she can take the younger ones and save my husband the trip.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Unfit Mother said...

We are adopting the Sugar Fairies this year to take all but the pieces of candy equal to the age of my children. We're also considering sending leftovers to soldiers in Iraq (just posted about this).

2:08 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Great idea, Unfit Mother - maybe you could drop a link to that post in the comments here? Or I'll try to remember to go grab it and post it here.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Cordy has gone trick or treting since she was 1. Lucky for us, she has no concept of what candy is. She thinks it's fun to sort and play with, but doesn't realize she can eat it.

So she collects the candy, and we eat it when she's in bed. Sounds mean, but she doesn't know the difference, and collecting it is where the real fun is for her.

In the future, we'll probably employ a candy trade-up system. She'll give up x pieces of candy in exchange for something else she wants, like a game or DVD.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

My neighbor just moments ago told me she's not taking her 15 month old trick or treating and I felt bad for her. That's how old Thalia was last year when we simply dressed her up as a bear (last available Old Navy outfit on the 30th), rang a few doorbells and stole her candy from her.

This year she got to pick her costume (and her sister's) and we'll let her eat a few of her pieces of candy. I can only imagine what next year will bring.

But I love love love every minute of it. If only costumes would magically appear, I'd love it more.

4:49 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

I have not read through the other comments because I must immediately shout MINISTRY!!!

Anyway.

The girls amassed a shitload of candy here, but I swear they have more fun handing it out than collecting it themselves.

10:55 PM  
Blogger KrisUnderwood said...

What a cute picture!

This was the girl's first trick or treat through the neighborhood-she's three.

Even so, we only went to about 6 or 7 houses.
As for candy, there is some stuff in there that I would never let her have. Those have gone in a special bag for mama.
The others are stashed away for bribes. Heh.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I wanted to post a comment about the video in your previous post....

My 2 1/2 year old saw the video over my shoulder and said, "Mommy, is that safe for ME?!!!"

How cute!!!

7:04 AM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Hee hee! So cute. Fly is barely a year now, and we took him to the mall to get treats from stores. His loot: a soccer ball sticker and a lollipop. Pretty meager.

3:09 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

ah Ministry. What fun it was dancing to that song.

Let her have the sugar. Life is short....

or...there is the 'Halloween Fairy'. You trade (devour) the candy in exchange for a coveted toy....

10:59 PM  

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