How I Deal With Halloween

jodie-halloween-finalLet’s tackle Halloween in a fun way! I cannot even begin to count how many years Halloween has ended up like a real-life fright night in my house, as I try to get the kids ready for Halloween. I’d rather end up in a pumpkin smoothie than have to go through the rigamarole of taking my kids trick or treating. But it’s not as if we have a choice, is it? So get ready, we must!

First, I need to find THE perfect costumes! But, oh no, wait! It’s the 30th of October… I still have two children’s costumes left to buy and, unless Amazon have hired some extra speedy pigeons to deliver these costumes, it means a late-night trip to one of the local supermarkets. Did I say one? Sorry–I meant ALL FOUR OF THEM because each one only has bits and pieces and that means a mix-and-match costume! Why did I leave it so late?! I told myself every week in October that this was the year I would be organized for Halloween. I would do it: My children would look perfect and feel great, and I would make all of these tasty Halloween treats and be the perfect, cool, organized mummy of the year, with fancy decorations and perfectly carved out pumpkins.

One child is so sensitive to the outfits I buy her that she doesn’t wear them. They are discarded after the first 10 minutes because she absolutely insists that she put it on way before it’s time to go out! I know that once this costume is on, it isn’t going to last half an hour, so I try and plead with her not to put it on yet–at least wait until her makeup is done. But, noooooooo! How dare I suggest something so logical; something that wasn’t her idea. How dare I make her wait before she puts on the outfit that will be discarded by the door on the way out because “It’s too scratchy, mummy” and “It’s making me uncomfortable.” Arghh!

The other child gets so overwhelmed by special occasions that nothing seems to be good enough. His costume isn’t right and he didn’t want THAT one. He wanted one practically identical to it, which was black and not brown! I really can’t win.

We have face masks, but she wants paint too. We have wigs, but he wants his hair sprayed a different color. We do it all. We do it to keep the children happy and to make sure that they experience all that they can from one day of complete and utter madness. Of course, I just want to stay home and answer the door to all the happy children and give them sweets,

It’s time to go out now and start knocking on doors, but the child who is overwhelmed and seemingly ungrateful for everything seems intent on ruining it for everyone. Running off like he just sat on an exploding rocket; knocking on doors before all of the children have reached the same destination. I’m sure he thinks that the first one to knock is going to get all of the sweets. Walking with my family on Halloween night is like experiencing an evening at a Halloween special night designed to frighten the bejesus out of you.

It’s very difficult for my girl, in particular, because she’s dairy-free and it’s very sad to have to take away her chocolates (mwahahaha). But I do replace them with tasty apples, which she loves anyway.

We do Halloween slightly differently in England than in the States: We wait until it’s dark out and go then. I think this is mainly because people are at work; therefore, we leave as late as possible so that people have time to get home. It’s quite unnerving because my children have no sense of danger, and are very, very impulsive. I am on high alert from the moment we leave the house until we get home: running after them and shouting at them to wait, like I’m herding a load of scarily dressed, face-painted elephants hyper from the 500g of sugar they’ve just practically inhaled.

I love seeing my kids all dressed up. I can normally manage to get one picture of them all before they trash their outfits. And, even though it’s a misery trying to organize it all and keep them all as happy as they can be, they enjoy it too. At least I think so. Well, they enjoy the sweets and lovely treats they accumulate over the ten or so houses we visit. I can’t manage much more screaming over who wanted to be the first to knock on the door than that. So we trudge home, to view our goodies and argue over whose is whose and why they’ve ended up in each other’s bag, with cries of “Mummy, I don’t like these lollipops, I want his ones” and “ I only have 200 of these and he has 400. Why can’t I have some of his too?!”

They’re promptly whisked to the bath to wash off their face paint. Even though they didn’t want to sit still for it when we were putting it on, now they’re screaming blue murder as we try to take it off, because they don’t like the face cloth. While all of this is going on, I’m finding a decent enough hiding place for the sweetie overload in the hope that they forget all about them in the morning…

Happy Halloween!

Jodie Eaton

I am Jodie, the mum of three beautiful children. I write to gain awareness, understanding and acceptance of autism, which my two eldest are diagnosed with, along with numerous other disabilities. Please follow me @lotsofloveandaffection.

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