Happy Behavior on Halloween

So there’s this feeling of pride you get with your kids that’s like nothing else. Honestly, I think it’s one of the reasons we choose to be parents. Sure, the moments when they’re acting up in public are real lows, but when they’re well behaved, darling children…totally worth all the work.

This year, we went Trick or Treating in my parents’ neighborhood so that we could spend the evening with them. We also got to stop by my grandma’s house for a while so she could see her great-grandchildren in their costumes and watch them devour some of their loot.

Ginny and her Gramps
Ginny and her Gramps

Ginny dressed as a pirate princess. Earlier that morning, she was in her Izzy costume we put together (Izzy is a character from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”…Ginny’s all-time favorite show these days). We had to stop by the dentist to check on her chipped tooth, and on the way back, we found a garage sale with kids costumes on display. I stopped to see if they might have something for Jack for next year, but we found a pirate princess costume in Ginny’s size instead. Seeing as how Ginny is sort of obsessed with pirates (I can’t lie…I love that!), we bought the dress and pirate hat. Thomas tucked Ginny’s foam Neverland sword into the sash tied behind her back, which really completed the look.

I tried to put face paint on Jack. Emphasis on the word tried. I really enjoy painting, and I’m somewhat a perfectionist, so trying to put Tigger’s stripes, nose, and eyebrows on Jack resulted in a lot of frustration on my part. He kept turning his head and squabbling, no matter how much Thomas tried to hold him still. Silly of me to try, I know, and in the end, he looked like he got in a fight with an orange piece of sidewalk chalk and a black marker. 🙂

I dressed in the Eskimo costume I’ve had in my closet for years. Getting into it was pretty exciting, since I bought it a year before I got pregnant with Ginny and never got a chance to wear it, for what I think are pretty obvious reasons. Thomas went as a “Safety Tiger,” and really, the safety vest worked great for walking around the streets at dusk. We’ll probably have him do that again in years to come.

Getting ready to head out Trick or Treating, Halloween, 2015
Getting ready to head out Trick or Treating, Halloween, 2015

The weather was rainy and a bit cold, so there weren’t too many kids out Trick or Treating. I thought for sure there would be, since Halloween fell on Saturday this year. Apparently, so did everyone else as they stocked up their candy supply. When we started out, we explained to Ginny and Jack that they could only take one piece of candy from the candy bowls held out to them, and to our surprise, they listened. In fact, Ginny always made sure Jack got a piece.

As time wore on, people started realizing that they’d be left with a lot of candy in the house if they didn’t start giving out two or more pieces. That changed the game, which confused Ginny and Jack at first. But Ginny seemed to understand that she could take one, unless the person holding the candy bowl said otherwise. And she always made sure Jack got the appropriate amount as well. I was so proud of her.

Jack, on the other hand, did not want to be carried, which made things very difficult. He is bound and determined to be just like his older sister, and heaven forbid I stand in his way. He always wanted to walk, albeit slowly. And he struggled like mad when I scooped him up to cross streets. Once, a car stopped for us so that we could cross. I grabbed Jack and he promptly dropped his plastic pumpkin full of candy in the middle of the road. So there we were, trying to grab the candy and hold onto the kids, all while the cars started lining up, waiting for us to get out of the way. Embarrassing, sure, but really funny too.

Overall, the kids did great. Ginny always said, “Trick or Treat,” and said, “Thank you,” 90% of the time, whenever she wasn’t too distracted. The homeowners seemed to love seeing little toddlers all dressed up, and I think they were impressed that our kids weren’t diving into the candy bowl, given their age.

They slept horribly after all that candy.

We’re spacing the candy out now. They only get a piece when Ginny uses the potty. Seems to be a good system. I was giving them a couple pieces of candy corn or a Hershey’s Kiss (or as we call it, a Chocolate Go Bell, thanks to my Nana). So the Halloween candy doesn’t really change our system.

On a side note, I’ve been listening to Love and Logic’s advice on parenting, and I find Jim and Charles Fay incredibly helpful. Thomas’ cousin recommended this group to me because there were classes given at a church near her and she found them really helpful. I was hesitant at first, but when the kids got a bit out of hand and I just didn’t know what to do, I got a Love and Logic audio recording and found myself really surprised at how simple yet brilliant their suggestions are. I’m sure I’ll write more about them later. Unless, of course, I forget or never get to it. 🙂 That seems to happen a lot.

I really wanted to write this blog after I gave the kids their piece of candy this morning. Jack chose a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup out of his pumpkin, and I said, “Good choice Jack.” I opened the wrapper and handed it to him. After he took a bite, I asked him if he wanted to share it with me. He started slowly backing away, step by step. After about five steps, he got this big grin on his face that said, “Mommy, I am way too smart for that.”

Sigh. I’m in trouble with this kid.

I actually caught this moment on my camera. Look at that little mischievous grin!
I actually caught this moment on my camera. Look at that little twinkle in his eyes…
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