Friday, October 20, 2006

Every party has a pooper and that's why we invited you

We interrupt this lovefest for a particularly bitchy moment.

I refuse to bring my 18 month old daughter trick or treating.

That's right. I'm not doing it. She's 18 months old, has adverse reactions to things being put on her head and scratchy, cumbersome clothing. I have an adverse reaction to buying a $20 or $30 costume, no matter how cute it is, that she'll wear for 15 minutes to carry her up to a strange house where she will immediately start to tear up when she feels forced to interact with a smiling stranger offering her candy that she can't eat.

Yes, I am Halloween's equivalent to a scrooge this year. And apparently I'm in the minority, at least where my friends are concerned.

I love Halloween, I really do. I love handing out candy to kids of appropriate age (that's a hint for those kids who are over the age of 14 who throw on a hockey mask and an old sweatshirt and call it a costume) and truthfully I do get a kick out of seeing the littlest of revelers in their wee costumes that make them look like walking stuffed animals. But let's face it, at this age is the holiday for the kids or for the parents?

My group of mommy friends wants to get all the kids (all the kids? Four kids, it's not a big group) together to go trick or treating. Okay, fine, have a great time but I'm not going. It's not something that interests me and besides I have to work that evening. I have told them on numerous occasions that I can't swing it. But my friends, being the rah rah sisterhood they are (and I should say here that they are wonderful in that way, always making sure that everyone gets included in activities and drawing out those mothers - ahem, me - that aren't natural joiners) keep coming up with ways, however misguided they are, to make sure we take part in the fun.

I love them for doing this but they're starting to tick me off.

I'm starting to feel pressured to join the crowd and I hate, Hate with a capital H, being pressured into doing things that I don't want to do. I have already decided that trick or treating this year is out of the question. Next year, sure, we'll be there with bells on. To me a two and a half year old can begin to understand the concept of trick or treating, or at the very least can say "Trick or Treat!" (my kid's still working on "up"), and they can eat some of the candy. But this year, no matter how much my friends want to include Chicky Baby and me, we're going to gracefully bow out of the festivities.

But they won't let me. I've done everything I can to make it painfully clear that I can't/won't be joining them and yet they insist on trying. It's starting to make me question my conviction. Am I really being a horrible mother if I don't stuff my toddler into a store bought costume and try to make her take candy from someone she doesn't know, candy that I later will consume (like I need more temptation in my house)? Am I missing out on some important milestone for my child by being a Halloween scrooge this year?

Do you think they make Scrooge costumes for adults for Halloween? Or maybe I can just dress myself as a large black cloud.

37 comments:

IAI said...

We're poopers with you (pooping with you?).
We did NOT dress the poor kid up at 11 months and we're not doing it again at 21 months. The shame! The horror! We're waiting until she's 3 (or almost three) and will actually "get it" enough to have fun. We're so awful, bah friggin' humbug.

Nancy said...

I don't blame you.

Mimi was just about 9 months old for her first Halloween -- I'd bought a sweatsuit with a cat face on it to suffice as a costume, and just brought her around to the neighbors so they could see her. But she wore that sweatsuit even after Halloween. For her 2nd Halloween, we were on a plane to Seattle.

We do dress Rosie up now, but it's mostly because 1) we have hand-me-down costumes and 2) we have big sister who's all into the trick or treat thing. But Rosie does not actually go door to door yet.

I don't think it's scrooge-like at all. To each his own. :-)

Kristi said...

You shouldn't be celebrating anyway. What with all the Devil worshipping and what-not.

Kidding.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

OK. I agree totally.

Lily was 10 months her first Haloween. I dressed her up as a punk rocker (homemade costume) with a purple mowhawk and everything. But that was as far as I went. Period. We didn't trick or treat. She couldn't eat the candy...she still had no teeth. We walked around the neighborhood, showed off her mowhawk and went home. She was inside before dark.

It wasn't about trick or treating, it was about showing off my costume designing skills to friends. That's it. Done.

Do what you want with Haloween. There will be plenty of Haloweens to go around when she can enjoy herself and actually say "trick-or-treat"...

You can dress up as Scrooge next year.

kittenpie said...

Pumpkinpie's first year, we just dressed her up to hand out candy with us. Second year, she went to a couple of neighbours with Misterpie just to say hi and show off her costume, but otherwise shelled out with us. This year, she might hit four or five houses of people we know. I keep costumes pretty simple, though, using what we've got with just one or two accesories added if anything. But I like the slow ramping up approach, it keeps the madness in check.

bubandpie said...

I wish I was as sensible as you. I have not one but TWO costumes for the Pie: a tutu for the daytime and a warmer lamb costume for night. We are officially nuts.

julia said...

I'm not taking Boo trick or treating this year. She's almost 2, but a. it will be past her bedtime and 2. I just don't want to deal with a sugared-up toddler who is already freaked out by the dark, nevermind the dark with scary people running around in it.

Next year. Maybe.

mm said...

OK, just finished very soon to be year old daughters costume this afternoon... sons just needs the legs hemmed...
I'll get to work on Scrooge for ya now.
I have to say we are insane about the holiday here... six pumpkins are adorning my step at the moment ... bows head in shame.
Daughter is more or less just an acessory to the biggest monster. He is Peter Pan, midsized brother is a crocodile and wee sister who isn't walking, talking or consuming any candy is going to be a very pretty Tinkerbell... just for show really....
Be scrooge, nothing wrong with it. Midsized monster was dressed as an accessory last two years too... this year he may actually like it?!
Next year will be a hoot for chicky baby!
Let me know if you want costumes. I've made loads of them, and they are all sitting waiting patiently for you.
k

Mama of 2 said...

While I will be taking Girlie Girlie (almost 17 months when the day rolls around) trick or treating it's mainly because Hubby will be DJing a Halloween party that night and I can't not take Little Man (9 years old).

If it was just me and Girlie Girlie we wouldn't be going. I would however dress her up in her costume and have her at the door while I passed out the candy.

So you are not the Halloween Scrooge IMO.

Heather said...

I say stick to your guns. Chicky won't even remember it. Hope you have a nice night in.

Pattie said...

Mrs Chicky,
You are a black cloud. :-P
*LOL* (kidding)

Seriously, though, I will tell you I had similar experiences with all three of my kids. I had friends who dressed their infants up in costumes and took them trick or treating. That was fine...I had no problem with it whatsoever. But, I didn't do it. I thought the costumes were expensive and uncomfortable, not to mention I had no motivation to drag a baby around and then have to eat the candy myself (heheheh...) I had one friend who thought I was neglectful for not participating. And you know what? I didn't care because I was convinced I was doing what I thought was right.

I found that by the age of two or so, it was great. My kids were so young (like your babe) that they didn't even know what Halloween was. It was more for me, which was ridiculous.

My son was three the first time he went, and he was old enough to enjoy it. My second daughter went at the age of three too, because she was really freaked out about the whole thing. Three=perfect. My third wanted to go at age two, because she saw them doing it. For her, she was old enough.

As a side, there are going to be MANY more times in your life as a Mommy that other people pressure you to do things with your kids that you aren't going to agree with. Hang tough, do what YOU think is right, and don't worry what your friends think about your decisions.

carrie said...

Don't feel bad, just tell your friends that you and Chicky Baby will be staying home finger painting mini pumpkins (a more age appropriate activity) and answering your door!!!

Carrie

Beck said...

The first time I took a toddler trick-or-treating, I was accused by many people of doing it just for the candy. The nerve! I did it so I could dress my toddler up like a dork. And so I could get lots of candy.
My next child was terrified of costumes, so he went out Halloween as "Unhappy Toddler in Stroller." He still made out like a bandit.

Domestic Chicky said...

I'm with you. I used to work on a street that would shut down for an afternoon and people would bring their kids around to trick or treat at the businesses there. I can't tell you how many people came trick or treating with NEWBORNS...seriously,people.

We will probably take Connor (almost 4) to his grandparents, and a few houses in the neighborhood, but that's it. We will probably put the same football outfit/jammies on Cameron that his brother wore. I enjoy seeing how everyone decorates more than anything else...

petite gourmand said...

I have to admit to putting lulu in a cow costume last year, and this year...well let's just say we're sticking to the farm theme...
the kid's gonna hate me when she's 16.
But we don't trick or treat quite yet,
the grandparents come into town, we walk around the neighbourhood looking at all the decorated houses and jack-o-lanterns, eat pigs in a blanket (some weird childhood tradition) and hand out candies to the kids.
But this year I refuse to buy all MY favourites like
kit-kats and aero bars because who's kidding who?
I end up eating most of the crap.
I should get that really gross candy corn instead.

Mommy off the Record said...

"Am I missing out on some important milestone for my child by being a Halloween scrooge this year?"

Hell no, you're not being a scrooge. Kids at this age don't know what's going on.

I mean, honestly, I'm stuffing my 16 month old into a pirate costume and taking him trick or treating for ME, not for him. I mean, do you think HE'S going to be eating the candy? Oh no. That'll be me.

I know. I have to shame.

Christina said...

I took Cordy out trick or treating last year when she was 13 months old. She was an adorable Tinkerbell and it was mostly a chance to go around and meet the neighbors, with the bonus of candy for me.

She's going out this year, too, but only because I really like it. She wouldn't notice one way or another, but I love Halloween, and again it gives me a chance to meet the neighbors who have moved in since last year (it's a new development).

If you don't go, you won't be scarring Chicky in any way. If you wanted to compromise, you could dress her up and have her help pass out candy.

Lisa said...

There's nothing wrong with keeping her at home if you want. And I never pay more than $15 for a costume. Just can't force my small town, financially conservative German genetics to do it.

She'll have fun just watching some of the kids come to your door.

As for my kid, he went out at that age. He had fun. I took him to a ton of places. But I admit it was mainly because as a kid, I only got to go to four houses max (my mom thought candy was evil.). And the thrill was over with in 10 minutes. The candy was usually eaten up in half that time. So in the past (and what I plan to do this year) is indulge my inner child as well as my real one and take him to ask many places as he wants! (But I always end up eating about half of the candy he gets.)

sweatpantsmom said...

I'm with you. Everyone who knows me is well aware of my aversion to Halloween, so they know better than to ask me if what I'm going to dress up as. As if!!!

I do the decorations and the trick-or-treating for the kiddies, although last year my husband took them around with some neighborhood kids while I stayed home. I had the feeling someone was stealing from our 'Help Yourself' bowl and I wanted the chance to catch someone in the act, put them in a headlock and roll them down the driveway. Let the festivities begin!

CrankMama said...

If it makes you feel any better, my daughters didn't trick or treat until they were 3 and they were none the wiser, and I was none the poorer OR crankier.

Stick to your guns, sis!

radioactive girl said...

When my first baby was 9 months old, a group of my friends and I went around the neighborhood with our babies, but we did it more as a time to get to see all the adorable kids dressed up and I don't even think we got any candy. It was fun, but if you don't want to, I don't think that makes you a scrooge. The baby isn't going to miss anything, we just did it as a social thing for us adults.

MotherBumper said...

I don't plan on going trick or treating with Bumper but I bought the costume for my own amusement (I'm selfish, what can I say?). She just looks so deadly cute in it. But I completely understand your stance. I've actually been feeling pressure from my mommy group about something non-Hallowe'en related and even though their intentions have been good, I'm not really interested. It sucks to feel that way.

I love Hallowe'en but all we are going to do is hang out and I'll eat the candy.

something blue said...

I'm sad that we don't have a baby to put inside a pumpkin this year. I guess it is the cat's turn. (He would never succumb to that treatment!)

At 17 months, Strawberry liked putting on her costume and walking down the street with her bucket. She would not willingly walk up to houses for treats. We would never dream of forcing her as that would be traumatizing. She was pretty confused by all the other children in costumes that came to our door. Halloween is a strange night!

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

We dressed our daughter last year (at 5 months) for a party and on Halloween Night. We just showed her off to the neighbors we knew, but no real trick-or-treating.

She'll have plenty of years for that.

Izzy said...

They don't really get it at that age. Save the big to-do for next year when she'll better understand. as for your friends, I don't have any good advice. I hate those sticky situations.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Stay strong Mrs. Chicky! This is how it all starts.

Next they'll be forcing Mary Kaye and Pampered Chef

Then it will be school, and 847 fund raisers by mid-October.

Keep putting your foot down.

Stay strong.

Teach chicky chicky baby not to succumb to peer pressure!

: )

The Mentor Mom said...

Stop questioning yourself! You are not a horrible mother for not taking her trick or treating! We didn't take ours trick or treating until they were almost three. We did the obligatory pumpkin costume (aka, orange blanket sleeper that we could use all winter long) and let them help pass out candy. They got quite a kick out of that. So hang in there!

mothergoosemouse said...

Huh? Do what you like. You're no Scrooge. She'll have more fun at home anyway, seeing the big kids come to her door.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not taking Kaitlyn out either, and I didn't buy a costume. The temperature has been in the low 50s at night here, so I'd have to put her in her winter coat, hat and mittens anyway.

It's too bad that your friends are putting so much pressure on you. Tell them you hope they will stop by your house to see you and the baby, maybe you could have some coffee and cookies for them or something.

vasilisa said...

I totally feel for you. I don't feel like doing anything either, cause my kid is also only 18 months old... He doesn't care... But his dad and grandparents do. So they are going to take him... While I'll be in my bubble bath...

modmom said...

at your daughter's age you might like a one of those kids parades during the day that are usually in a shopping district + attract hundreds of kids + they can trick or treat from merchants or just look at all the other kids, that's what we did at 1, 2 + now we'll do it this year :)
i think halloween is too scarey for a lot of kids + maybe okay just to go to your closest neighbors for fun! you don't have to dress her up at all, just go visit!

Jenny said...

You're not a scrooge. Hailey's 2 and this will be the first year we've actually taken her trick or treating. We plan on doing about 3 houses and then going home. Trick-or-treating before age 3 is for you really...not for them.

ewe are here said...

Hi, came over from One Plus Two...

You are not being a scrooge, and I say that as someone ho LOVES Halloween. It was always my favorite holiday as a kid, and it continued to be so into adulthood. And they hardly celebrate it over here in the UK where I am currently living. Sigh. But I digress....

Even if I was back in the states, I probably wouldn't be taking my 17 month old trick-or-treating this year for the very same reasons you aren't. He's too young. And I definitely wouldn't let him eat the candy.

OTOH, I would probably make a costume and take him round to see the family and his playgroup that morning, but we do that anyways. Last year, when he was almost 6 months old, I invited his babygroup and mommies to a 'Halloween party' at my place. Which translated into silly little costumes (MF was a pumpkin) and an afternoon of tea and cakes and watching our little angels roll around on the floor together, something we did once-a-week anyways (well, except for the costumes ;-)). Next year, tho', look out trick-or-treaters. I plan to head to Virginia to visit my mom so my boy can experience Halloween!

Velma said...

We used to live in a huge development where people went all out, smoking cauldrons in the driveway, every house decorated, and it was fun and social but completely overwhelming.

These days, we have to factor in my son's peanut allergy, which makes the whole candy-collection vibe problematic.

We have ended up with a good routine of afternoon storefront trick or treating with friends, where there are lots of other small kids (and less older kids with the truly scary costumes). The kids get to show off their costumes and people fuss over them, and that takes the focus on all the potentially deadly peanut infested candy that Mean Old Mommy won't let them eat. We are home before dark, the kids eat a few pieces of "safe" candy and the sugar high wears off by bedtime.

sunshine scribe said...

My son didn't go out trick or treating until he was almost 3 and he only went to 2 houses. Last year (age 4) was his really first time and even then we hit only about 10 houses.

When my mom's group wanted to take our 9 month olds trick or treating I suggested a little Halloweeen party (sans candy) instead. We now do one every year ... so fun.

stefanierj said...

Oh thank you for saying this. I just hate the whole pressure of the costume, getting my son to do something ELSE he hates (because apparently, diaper changes and baths aren't enough?), and having him get candy I won't let him eat--it's silly. But yet I feel pressured to do it, which is stupid. Good for you for being a no-costume club enabler!

metro mama said...

We're not taking Cakes trick or treating. We have a kiddie party (photo-op) to go to Saturday, but that's it.

I think it's silly to take them out that young.