Posted by The Vigilant Mom on October 24, 2011
A few years ago, my sister-in-law told me a story about taking her daughters trick-or-treating. She was waiting for them as they skipped up the path to a house. The door opened. A person dressed as a witch answered. And two seconds later, her daughters had stepped inside the house and the door had closed.
My sister-in-law fa-reaked. A born athlete, she sprinted up the walkway, possibly jumping a few small goblins in the process, and pounded on the door like Mike Tyson. A very scared-looking witch answered. Apparently they were just a nice couple who had decorated the inside of their house as well, and were dispensing treats in there. My sister-in-law accepted their apologies, offered a few of her own and then hauled her kids out of there before they could score so much as a candy corn. Serves ’em right for scaring the bejeezus out of her.
Halloween used to be easy. Our kids were small. They had to hold our hands. Their little legs could make it to maybe ten houses and then we would go home. They would go to bed and wake up with little memory of the candy they collected… which would somehow make its way into mom’s office. Win-win.
But now that they are older, and my role is only to trail behind and struggle to keep an eye on them in the teeming masses that are bum-rushing some neighbor’s house, we have laid down a few ground rules.
1) Don’t ever ever ever go into anyone’s house. I don’t care how nicely they’ve decorated it or how pleasant they seem. If I’m not going in, you don’t go in. Period.
2) If you are going to be stubborn and refuse to dress up as the sun, a disco ball or a life-size glow stick, I am going to put some reflective tape on the back of your costume. This is just in case you break Rule No. 3.
3) I don’t care how crowded it is or how desperately you want to get to the next house where rumor has it they are handing out full-size candy bars, you must stay on the sidewalk. I know it’s Halloween and people should be aware of kids running around on a mad candy-grab, but sometimes people make mistakes. So if you do step off the curb into the street, expect to hear my best prison-guard voice embarrassing you through the darkness.
Halloween is a great night for kids — freedom, craziness, sugar. That’s heaven for a child. Share their enthusiasm, but make some trick-or-treating rules clear before you venture out into the spooooky night.