Family Life

Halloween is super annoying once you have kids.

By Ann Herren, October 2018

There is a point, usually when your child turns two or three, that the ‘grown-up’ Halloween is *poof * – suddenly gone. And what you’ve come to know as one of the more fun nights to ‘adult’ in New Orleans has been ripped from you

It’s sad, but you need to know that if it hasn’t happened yet, it will. And you will survive. Like bats in a bat cave, we’re all in this together.

Let’s break it down.

Locale: First, the actual physical event shrinks, instantly and rapidly, from being a giant New Orleans-wide party (starting in the Marigny) to a single-street prowl, hopefully in your hood. This walk is excruciatingly slow, working your way from one house to another.

You will come to hate the sidewalk and the cluster of parents at each house’s entrance, and you will really hate reminding your kid to say thank you 100 times. If you’re like me, you’ll also hate the other parents that don’t care if their kids don’t say ‘thank you.’ No win.

Locale # 2: If you’re the person that always enjoyed spending the night in, perhaps dressing up as a friendly witch and passing out candy to random small people, you’ll lose this joy, too. Now you’ll fill a big plastic bowl full of your favorite candies because you’re not one of those awful people, leave it on your porch steps with a note that says ‘please take just one [smiley face]!’, only to discover the bowl was emptied within 5 minutes of your departure as kids swarmed it like locusts and left it upside down and empty. 


How our Star Wars-obsessed daughter forced us to dress one year.

What you wear: Your costume, should you so choose to wear one, is actually not your choice. Now that I think about it, whether you wear one is not your choice, either. Your child will decide how stupid you will look, and frankly, it won’t matter, as your will to live rapidly declines.

What you carry: Instead of carrying a drink, your arms are now laden with pieces and parts of the costume they’ve shed because it’s too damn hot even though it’s almost November, it’s too hard to see, it’s too itchy, or any combination thereof.

You will also carry half their candy because they don’t know how to just take one at every house, and it will become too heavy. But be warned– if you’re caught snacking on their hard-earned booty, there will be hell to pay.

What you get: No cool Halloween drink concoctions at local watering holes. No more of that. You’ll get to carry their water bottle and costume parts and their super-heavy loot. We’ve covered that.  If you’re lucky (or skillful), you can negotiate for some of the better candy once home. 

I have a sugar addiction that I am powerless to fight, so I can negotiate the best stuff from my daughter, and she never knows what hit her. But if you’re unskilled at hood-winking kids, you might end up with Bit-O-Honeys and Tootsie Rolls and all the junk that shouldn’t even exist.

The extra stuff that happens that can prolong the torture:

How I got back at her. (Her expression is priceless, it’s why I mother.)

Costumes. Again, forget yours. You might as well be a Banana or one of the Paw Patrol and be done with it. But don’t worry, your opinion doesn’t matter, anyway. What will consume your house for weeks leading up to Halloween is ‘What are they going to be?’ This is a big deal and will require many, many, many conversations.

And I hate to drop this truth-bomb, but you need to hear it. Once a decision is made and you order it, make it, hunt it down, lose hours of your life making it happen, they will– on that very last day–change their mind. I’m sorry.

School Treats. This one was always hard for me because I vacillate between making fun of the over-achieving moms that make every class holiday truly bespoke and being the mom that makes ‘All the things’ because let’s face it- being admired by 4-11 year-olds was my subconscious life goal. But it’s there, and Halloween brings it out.

My best advice, if you don’t want to fall down the Pinterest rabbit hole, is to simply order cupcakes from your local grocery store (seriously) and drop them off in the carpool line. Ding, Dang, Done.

Happy Halloween.

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