I love this time of year- I know I’ve said that about fall in general already; but this time when the dark quiet of the winter settles over us here in the northern hemisphere is one of my favorites.
But parents on Halloween confuse me.
There are the paranoid ones- where they let their kids go out, travel two steps behind them the whole way, and then won’t let them eat anything they brought in.
There are the pushy ones, who make their kids go to every house and say “Trick or Treat!” to socialize them or something.
There are the ones that believe in free-range children, who let them run loose. There are also two varieties of these- the ones who set small children loose to roam, and the ones who have older kids that they know can handle themselves.
There are the let’s-all-stay-home-and-hand-out-candy parents, ’cause every kid wants to do that on Halloween.
There are the new ones, who think everyone in the world wants you to see their precious months-old pumpkin all dressed up and eat the candy you bought for the kids that came to the door.
And I think they’re all nuts, to be fair. And I don’t know what kind of Halloween parent I’ll be, but I know one thing:
Taking out an infant is just stupid. I’m serious- if they can’t at least walk up the sidewalk to the door themselves, they don’t need to be going out if they’re your only child. They aren’t even old enough to know it’s a “thing” yet. They don’t care about their costume, they poop themselves every couple hours (if you’re lucky), they can’t eat the candy, and the majority of people aren’t going to care to see your child, even if it IS in a pea-pod, or lion’s mane, or caterpillar, or pumpkin costume that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen. They want to give some kids some candy, not a grown man/woman carrying a child obviously too young for solid food, let alone candy. What, are you going to keep it for when they’re older? Scrapbook a piece of it as “Baby’s First Candy”?
And yes, trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition. That’s great- but so is getting trashed on New Year’s Eve- are you doing that with your baby, too?
For families with an older child- old enough to be trick-or-treating, sure, whatever- dress the baby up too and take them out for a little bit. But bundle them up and make sure the big brother/sister understands that you can’t be out very long. If you can’t get a sitter or one parent isn’t staying home to hand out candy.
Dressing babies up is one of the most adorable things ever, it’s true. So do it, but take photos at home or in a studio for “First Halloween” photos, or have a babies party with your friends that have young children, too. If you have to show someone how precious your pumpkin is, take them to family’s homes, where you can go inside and chat for a while and let them play with the Adorable One. Or heck, hand out candy and have them answer the door with you- candy in one hand and baby in the other arm. Kids like seeing babies, and they still get to see kids dressed up for a little extra stimulation (not that they actually care, and with some costumes, they may find it alarming anyway).
Yeesh. I swear…A parent ever comes to our door with an infant and expects candy, I’m slamming the door in their face. You, sir or madam, got to trick-or-treat when you were under ten; it’s someone else’s turn now.
But other than that…Happy Halloween everyone!