THIS year I walked the hood instead of handing out candy, and it was glorious, like a tiny suburban, clean (but scary) Mardi Gras! It has taken me a long time to come to accept that Halloween will happen. Year after year. I’ve slowly chipped away at my “candy is immoral” position, eeking my way toward a more workable, reality-based one. I’ve actually come to enjoy dressing as, say, Phyllis Diller. Sharon Osbourne. PeeWee Herman. And I’ve got strategies for the candy!
First, managing The Candy:
Lots of trading and organizing and negotiating happen between the two kids, and those are ALL GOOD SKILLS! Haha. We’ve consistently said that the kids could have 2 pieces after dinner. On weekends they negotiate for more, and *I* think we’re lenient, but Running Mate does not. Nor do the kids.
Running Mate does ask for and eat some of their candy, the Dad Tax. That’s the closest we get in our family to tithing, but we are community-oriented parents who believe in taxes and community services.
Second, teaching with The Candy:
Candy overload is a great teaching tool for both kids and parents, as we learned from a kid vomiting in the car because of too much birthday cake and ice cream. Twice. I just did not get it the first time, I guess. It was ages ago, and it didn’t take much cake. Vomit is a great tool for parents; we can talk plainly about the perils of evil evil sugar, and about moderation, and about taking our advice.
Stupid tiny wrappers are a great chance to practice picking up your own garbage. Ug.
A few years in a row, Thing 1 wanted to melt down and mix together a bunch of candies and make some kind of Frankencandy or fudge. Kitchen experiments are fun sensory experiences, they encourage executive function skills and basic chemistry lessons (probably more than basic if I knew more). The Frankencandy looked too yukky to garner more than the obligatory taste. The fudge concoction looked edible, we nibbled on it a little, but it wasn’t what he’d expected and we didn’t eat it all.
This year, while doing dishes, Thing 1 made a joke and I laughed and laughed. He offered me a peanut M&M. He was sweet and funny and we hugged. He offered me a peanut M&M. I thanked him for helping me with the dishes, UNASKED. He offered me a peanut M&M. Big Bang Theory fans will know why I stopped laughing and asked, “Are you trying to Penny me?”
His turn to laugh. HARD. “Yes.”
Third, giving The Candy:
This is a great opportunity for the kids to GIVE! Yes, you have a large amount, you have things that other folks might want more than you (trying to say nicely to give away the stuff you don’t like) and lots of people on your “thank you” list: send a special piece to each grandparent, give to the crossing guards on your way to school, to the neighbors who did not participate this year, sadly, because their kids are grown.
Your candy will be gone in no time.
As always, I’m here for you. Please do follow along on Facebook, and share this post widely. 🙂