Mondays Love to Hate: Halloween with Toddlers
Happy Monday! Halloween is hump day this week, and we are ready. My husband took a paid holiday, so that will help with getting the chaos honed in while trying to dress up the tots. Even though it’s a sugar filled mad-dash, of a day, we genuinely enjoy Halloween.
Before we had kids, we would make the best comfort foods and watch spooky movies. It was cuddly and quiet. Now that we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, it is one of our busy holidays.
Our son’s first Halloween wasn’t as eventful at everyone wanted it to be. He was 4 months old, and it drove the majority of my friends and family wild that I didn’t take him trick or treating. We tagged along with a friend with an older kid, but I let my son sleep in his stroller. He had a skeleton onesie on under his coat, but I didn’t see any point in going door to door for candy he couldn’t eat.
I don’t shame parents who want to take their little ones. It’s exciting to dress them up and get pictures. It just wasn’t for us. Every year after that first one has been filled with costumes, chaos, and candy. Now, we have double trouble.
My kids aren’t bad, but they are busy. They listen; you just have to catch them first. This is our first Halloween where both kids are going trick or treating. Our youngest will be 2 in February, so her big brother has been trying for weeks to get her to say Halloween. So far, she just says “hey, yum” while she holds up her candy bucket. My biggest goal will be keeping her from growling at people. She’s going to be a genie, and they don’t growl.
I’ve posted about what I love and hate about family gatherings and holidays before, but Halloween is different. It’s usually my husband, my two kids, and me. We meet up with my in-laws if my husband’s younger sisters are out, but they are getting to the point where boyfriends beat candy. Sometimes, my husband’s older sisters will tag along, but they stay behind us and do their own thing. This year, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big family thing.
It’s not that family is bad, but Halloween isn’t easy for me. Being blind makes it difficult, so adding people poses another obstacle, but it should be a good time. We will get pictures and meet up with my brother and his little ones once the night slows down. Usually, his family goes to the same neighbor we take our kids, and then, we meet my family after for a warm cup of coffee or cider. It’s very low-key though.
This holiday is definitely going to have its love to hate moments. I can feel it already. I’m pretty sure I will love and hate some of the same aspects on both sides of the list. For example, candy sounds wonderful and terrible all at the same time.
- Dressing Up – We love letting the kiddos pick out their costumes. Taking them to the Halloween store was a blast. They got to see all of the decorations and spooky props. My son was scared but enjoyed it. My youngest growled and tried punching all of the big monsters. When we had to leave, she waved at the big werewolf and blew him a kiss. After all the novelty of the store faded, the kids decided on costumes. My son will be Darth Vader, even though he’s never seen Star Wars. My daughter will be Shine, who’s a genie from the Nick Jr. show Shimmer and Shine.
- Candy- I love chocolate. My kids love chocolate. We all love that part of Halloween. I would also love to take possession of the peanut butter cups, but those are my son’s favorite. My kids don’t like candy that has too much going on inside though. They like plain chocolates but will eat things with caramel and peanut butter. They are not fans of peanuts or too much texture, so that’s where my husband comes in. He eats the “undesired” candy.
- Open Spaces- I love that Halloween is a holiday where we can walk around and not be confined in a stuffy house. We meet up at my mom’s after we are done, so my brother’s kids and ours can see each other, but it’s brief.
- Showing Off My Babies- I will admit, I love to show off my family. I’m so proud of where we are in life, and it doesn’t hurt to see those mean girls trying to chase their monster children down the road, while I look super cute with my hunky husband and beautiful babies. It’s catty and being bullied is no excuse, but I revel in those moments from time to time. Walking around with our family, even during the blunder moments, I’m happy and proud. It feels good to show others how far you’ve come, especially those who doubted you in the past.
- The Aftermath- The part of Halloween that we luck out on is that my kids aren’t in school yet, and we don’t have to wake up early. My husband works a second shift, so we can stay up late, watch movies, and eat candy. We will limit the junk food, but spending that time together is nice. I feel bad for the kids that have to go to school with the candy coma, and I feel even worse for the parents who have to juggle it all. I know next year my son will be starting school, so I’m going to enjoy this year as much as I can.
- Dressing Up- I love how cute my kids look once they dress up. The part that gets difficult is that my son won’t take his costume off, and my daughter won’t leave her’s on. My son loves his costume so much he threw the biggest tantrum I’ve ever seen because we wouldn’t let him wear it right away. It was a rough night. It should be interesting once they are all dressed up. I’m going to layer their clothes too, because the weather is always wonky. The preparation always seems to be the most work.
- Candy- Belly aches will ensue. Even if I put a limit on candy, my parents will undo it and say they are grandparents so they can spoil the babies. As much as I argue and protest, it’s a losing battle. We are on the winning streak of potty training my son. He barely has any accidents, but pooping on the potty is his biggest challenge at the moment. This night of candy will make potty training feel like being in hell while wearing a parka. I will also have to limit my husband, since we only have one bathroom. His IBS should make this super fun- guess I better double that parka in hell.
- People- As much as I love showing my family off, I don’t like being around lots of people. I can’t see and that makes my anxiety worse. I suck as remembering names, so I will say “oh hey” to almost everyone who wants to chat. We also go to the big development where our high school principle lives. He always talks my husband’s ear off. The development also goes all out and has light shows on the side of houses that correspond to music on a specific radio station. Some years, they even set up a tent and hand out hot chocolate to the parents. I know it sounds wonderful, but if anything holds up the kids’ rhythm, it could get bad. I just want to go, say trick or treat, and leave. I love how nice everyone is, but sometimes it feels like a street festival. It’s too much. Too many people.
- Tiny Legs- We park our truck and walk. We aren’t that family that drives to every house, there are a few who do that where we go, but it’s a close proximity kind of development. My toddlers have tiny legs and after an hour, they are done. I’ve been trying to get them a wagon, but I haven’t had good luck. My daughter will walk and be carried. She might go in a stroller some, but I doubt it. Her excitement will overpower her sore legs, until we are up all night rubbing her cramped up body. I always hope that they will sleep hard, but they usually wake up achey.
So there are more love elements than hate. I could probably pick apart the night and make another hate section, but I love Halloween. The good outweighs the bad in this case.
I’m not a people person, I can’t see the majority of what’s going on, but my kids are so excited. I try to constantly remind myself that this is their holiday. That is what makes all the hard parts fall by the way side.
Halloween with toddlers isn’t the easiest holiday, but it’s for the kids. As long as they let me take pictures of them, I’m pretty content. I can’t wait for pictures this year. Last year, my husband and I made our faces up like scarecrows. This year, I’m being lazy and wearing a cat ear head band. I may get into the spirit more though. To end my Monday ramblings, here’s my babies from previous years. Feel free to say what you love and hate about Halloween.