A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween For Moms

This article was supposed to be in this past week's ezine issue but I forgot. I really wanted to share this with all you other moms who I know do almost the exact same thing. Besides, it's nice to take a break and smile once sometimes. It does a business good! Hope you enjoy!

Halloween: The Kick-Off of the Holiday Candy Season
By: Debbie Farmer
[excerpt from "Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat!"]

I didn't want to tell you this, but the fact of the matter is I dread
Halloween. Oh, it's not because of the scary costumes or pumpkin
carving or the arrival of fall or anything like that. Halloween is the
annual kick-off of the holiday candy season which, every parent knows, lasts
straight through winter and ends shortly after Easter.

Every year I plan to cut down on my family's windfall of candy by
taking my children trick-or-treating to only five houses. Six tops. So it
always comes as somewhat of a surprise when, two hours later, we find
ourselves wandering up and down unfamiliar streets three towns over.

"Just one more house," they beg. "Please? I bet they have the really
good candy there."

Then I watch as my children, who are usually scared of pin-head sized
spiders and sleeping in the dark, charge straight through rubber witch
heads, howling ghosts, and Styrofoam headstones for the sake of free

Mind you, this is just the kind of at-all-costs attitude that always
lands us at home with enough candy to keep everyone in a sugar coma until
mid spring.

So this year, as an educated, conscientious parent, the first thing I
did after sorting through the candy for potential hazards, was to stash
it all in the freezer.

"Wha-at are you doing?" my daughter asked, horrified. "We can't eat
frozen candy."


You see, every parent knows that the most important thing about holiday
candy left hanging around the house is that you need some kind of a
system to dole it out. Left unguarded my children wouldn't rest until
every last piece was gone.

"You can eat a few pieces a day." I explained in my best take charge
type of tone. "But that's it."

They were outraged.

Of course, one of the big drawbacks to being a good role model is that
you're expected to adhere to your own rules. It would be both unfair
and hypocritical if I ate any of the Halloween candy while they were

Which is exactly why I considered the Twix bar, which I ate the next
day while they were at school, more of a reward.

The same goes for the Hershey's kisses that I popped into my mouth
after I folded the laundry. One for each sock.

For lunch I sampled two bags of chocolate covered raisins (more of a
health food than candy, really). Then, after that, I washed down a
miniature Three Musketeers bar with a pack of malt balls as a reward to
myself for ironing.

Of course this would've all been fine except minutes before my children
were due home from school I realized most of the A-list chocolate candy
had somehow disappeared. And how, I ask you, could I explain that?

So, in desperation, I figured out a simple plan: I called my neighbor,
Julie, who loves chewy candy.

"I'll give you a seven boxes of juu juu bees for a Snickers bar and a
package of Reeses Peanut Butter cups." I hissed into the phone.

"Toss in a few tootsie rolls and it's a deal."

Then I called Ellen next door, who likes gum, and traded a pack of
jawbreakers for two bags of peanut M & M's.

Luckily, life being what it is, everyone's A-list candy is different.
Which means that with a little tenacity I'll be able to restock my
children's candy supply before they get home.

Oh, sure, there's a message in here somewhere.

Maybe it's that parents shouldn't implement rules that they can't
follow. Or maybe it's that holidays should be celebrated in another, less
tangible, way. Or maybe, just maybe, it's that parents should stick to
eating only the candy that no one in the family will miss.

Whatever the reason, I can't worry about it now. I only have five
minutes to exchange seven packets of Candy Corn for three rolls of
Lifesavers, then trade up for a half dozen Pixie Sticks which should just
about equal the one Butterfinger bar I accidentally ate while walking down
the driveway to the mailbox.

I just hope that Easter comes early this year.

Write the author at: debbie@familydaze.com
subscribe to column: http://www.familydaze.com
Hey, if you enjoyed this essay, there are plenty more like
them in "Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat!" A sturdy hardback book (247
pgs, Windriver Publishing))
great for short naptime reading or propping up a wobbly end table.
You can get your copy at BN.com, bookstores, or you can just Click


  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger Kara said…

    WAY cute! I love it!

    I had someone hide the candy that's suppose to be given to the trick or treaters, because I have a bad habit of eating it all before the big day comes. Problem is I begged and pleaded he tell me where it was and he gave in...I may have to run to Walmart tomorrow before the kids come knocking at my door. :S


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