Halloween, Candy, and the Chronically Pained: Coping Tips for Parents

Oh, it’s my favorite time of year.

No, I’m really not kidding. I truly do love Halloween. I love the spooky vibe, the crisp chill in the air, the feeling that anything can happen, if you just look closely enough …

And, unfortunately, I’m also being sarcastic. Yeah, I just love Halloween. Walking around for four hours on end, hauling bags of candy which turn my child into a raging tornado of “GIMME!” and trash my house and … oh, yeah, did I mention the WALKING?! Halloween HURTS, people.

Well, fortunately, this year it seems my kid has decided to forego the usual trek around the neighborhood in favor of more centrally-located festivities. (Phew.) But for those of you with younger kids out there, Halloween truly presents some challenges.

Here’s how I handled it in years gone by:

Abdicate Early and Often

I totally let the kiddo’s dad take over the walking duties. In turn, I stayed home, passed out candy, and baked cookies. Yes, more sugar to give the Gimme Monster. It got me out of walking. Your point?

Rest Up/Dose Up

Ah, the old stand by trick of the chronically pained. Take a good long nap before any activities requiring lots of effort, and make sure you take your meds half an hour before starting up.

Have a Plan

I negotiated ahead of time with the kiddo to specify which houses we’d be going to, and in what order, and what would happen when Mommy cried “Uncle.” It didn’t eliminate the disappointment but it went a long way towards reducing the fallout.

What do you do to deal with Halloween? Do any of you eschew the holiday altogether — just turn the lights off and watch old episodes of Dexter? Do you give out stuff other than candy — you know, like, maybe that nutritious stuff instead? (I can’t fathom, but I hear some people . . .)  Give us your best coping tips in the comments!

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