Never Take Candy From a Stranger: Halloween Madness

There I was this morning, minding my own business, getting ready to drive my kid to her 6:45 am volleyball practice when my daughter popped out from a dark corner and yelled "BOO!" at me.

I just about crapped my pants.

Well, you know, if I were wearing any pants. Which I wasn't.

I screamed and immediately wanted to murder my child. I tend to react that way when the dickens is scared out of me by an annoying human before I've had my morning coffee.

"Guess what Mom!" my kid hopped about, grinning from ear to ear, oblivious to her imminent death.

"What?" I growled, as my heart beat raced out of control.

"It's HALLOWEEN this weekend!"

Lucky me. I will admit it. I don't get Halloween. Sure as a child, I see the allure. Free candy and the chance to run around the neighbourhood scaring old people. But as a grown ass woman, I am not seeing the charm. I don't want to navigate through the throngs of over-excited children and weary parents just to bang on some stranger's door so my kid can have a piece of cheap candy tossed into a pillow case.

I've never been a very good Halloween mom. I dread having to think up costume ideas for my children so I avoid thinking about it and suddenly it's the night before Halloween and I'm standing in a small town drugstore looking for cheap costume ideas and sifting through the rejected remains of  two bit hooker polyester costumes and an assortment trashy looking psycho masks.

Between all the cute little princesses and goblins running amok on the streets, well I kinda want to kick them. And the grown-ups in costume? They annoy me even worse. Bunch of over-achievers. Harumph. Way to make us lazy parents look even douchier than we already feel as we teach our children invaluable pan-handling skills.

Halloween has never played a big part in my family's history, mostly due to Bug. He wasn't able to eat candy and he abhorred being stuffed into any type of costume so after two years of trying with him, I called it quits. We became a none Halloween'ing family and not because we are too Godly for it, but because I was too lazy for it.

I'm screaming behind my mask of smiles. Really.

I bribed my children with bags of purchased candy and we sat in front of the television screen and I forced them to watch scary movies with me. For years, it was perfect. My children still had their sugar rushes and I was able to cuddle my little monsters in the darkened confines of my house.

And then my son died.  And there went my reason for not letting the older children trick or treat. I no longer could use their little brother as an excuse to avoid all the irritating aspects of this obnoxious holiday. I either had to pony up a real reason (sorry kids, I don't want to go out in public because people annoy me) or just admit I am a lazy ass.

So it was back to standing in a drugstore at the last minute trying to convince my son why it was perfectly acceptable for him to wear a cheap Marilyn Monroe wig because that was all that was left on the shelves.

Fric and Frac have gotten a few years of trick or treating in since their little brother died and I'll admit, I had hoped they would come to the dark side with me and come to believe that walking around in the dark, outside in the cold and begging for candy is stupid and silly when they have a mother pleading to throw as much candy as they want at their feet if only they would agree to stay home.

My children, the willful little buggers they are, refuse to see the light. They simply refuse to be brain washed into my way of thinking. No, instead they mock me for my common sense and then request garishly complicated hand-stitched costumes because they like to poke their mother bear with a large pointy stick.

I had hoped with the addition of Jumby in our family, I'd be able to once again use the 'disabled, tube-fed, non-mobile child' as a reason to once again banish the festivities from our house (I can feel your judgement just typing out this sentence but I refuse to bow down to peer pressure) but not only have my children grown taller but they have apparently gotten smarter over the years as well.

They are devious.

"But Moooom! Jumby loves to be around other people! He'll have so much fun! And it'll be great for the community to see him out and about!"

"But Mooom! You don't want to deprive Jumby of a quintessential childhood activity! He's been through so much already! He deserves this!"

"But Mooom! We can take our little cousin too because he is finally old enough to go trick or treating!"

They look at me with their hound dog eyes and bat their big baby blues at me and suddenly I'm wondering what I did to deserve such Halloween lovers for children. So I'm back to arguing with my children about whether or not we are heading into town to knock on a bunch of doors so that they can stuff themselves silly with candy given to them by strangers.

I think Fric and Frac are too old at 14 and 13 years, respectively. But when I asked Twitter a few weeks ago, the response was split. Some people think they'll be all right as long as they are in costume and have Jumby and my four year old nephew, the Worm, with them and others are curmudgeonly and grinchy like myself and say, no way, they are too old.

For the record, I really love the curmudgeons. They warm the cockles of my blackened Halloween-hating heart.

So what I want to know, is what do you think? How old were you when you last went trick or treating? How old is too old? I'm going with public opinion on this one because my husband refuses to chime in. ("Whatever you decide is fine, honey." Wishywashy weenie.)

Also, am I the only Halloween-hating human on this planet? Can I really be the only person around who thinks decorating your house for a three hour event once a year is not only a waste of money but insanely tacky as well?

And lastly, someone please explain how I morphed into a geriatric old man hiding in his basement with his house lights all off, while muttering under his breath about crazy young whippersnappers. I became my damn father. And sadly, I have the chin whiskers to prove it.