The Five

Halloween in Real Life

Noah still won't dress up for Halloween, by the way. Won't even consider it. In the past we've managed to get him semi-costumed at the 11th hour via:

1) Lying. 

2) Candy-fueled panic with a side of peer pressure

3) Bribery

While I was debating which one of these FANTASTIC options to go with this year, my mom actually had an inspired idea: Why not just let Noah wear his karate uniform? 

I asked Noah what he thought about that: It would look like a costume without actually being a costume. We'd be playing a little trick on people, kind of.

He liked that idea. He liked that idea a lot.

"Everyone will think I'm the Karate Kid from the movie but actually I'm just Noah the Karate Kid. From real life."

It didn't exactly make for very exciting pictures, but still. This is easily the happiest he's ever looked on Halloween.

Halloween2011-6 Halloween2011-7

And everyone in the neighborhood was completely fooled by his non-costume costume. 

Ezra, on the other hand...


Ezra just can't even deal with any of y'all right now.


I mean, God. You people.

Around 5:30 pm, Young Master Ezra was sent to his room for a time out. By 6:00 pm, I was scrambling to make the boys some non-chocolate form of sustenance while simultaneously answering the door for early-bird trick-or-treaters and gathering up costumes and realizing that I couldn't find the boys' beloved Pumpkin Buckets (hence the last-minute procurement of They-Only-Had-Cauldron Buckets by Jason, a substitution that damn near RUINED HALLOWEEN)...and Ezra was sound asleep. 

Sound asleep and not at all happy to be dragged out of bed and propped semi-upright at the table in front of a sad bowl of non-sugary pasta.

His mood did not improve with the addition of his little chef's jacket and hat.


(The giant RANDOM HIVES ON HIS FACE didn't help either.)


Stop taking my picture or I will beat you with this wee wooden spoon, woman. 


Real chefs have knives, anyway. This is the worst Halloween ever.

Like last year, Ezra tried to pitch us on HIS version of trick-or-treating: Grab candy from house bowl, deposit in bucket, done. So streamlined! So simple! With no walking around in the scary dark AND less time between the acquisition of candy and the face-stuffing part. 

We didn't go for it. He showed up at a good five or six doorsteps still sobbing his eyes out about it. "TICK OH TREAT," he bawled to several slightly alarmed homeowners, miserably accepting Reese's Cups and lollipops before FINALLY snapping out of it and realizing that all told, this Halloween thing is a PRETTY GOOD DEAL.


(Please note that the one person in the house who could have been worn any costume of my choosing without means of protest was basically dressed as Mommy Bought a Hat* & a Onesie On Sale At Old Navy, What More Do You People Want From Her, Jesus Christ, She's Tired.)

(If you're wondering where the pictures of my costume are, I didn't take any. I went as an Exhausted Suburban Wrangler of Many Small Children. I wore jeans and a headscarf and an overwhelming sense of not giving a shit.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out how sneak all the Red 40 and Yellow 5 dyes out of Noah's candy stash before I have to peel a six-year-old gremlin off the ceiling later today. Because yes. Every year we go through all this sturm und drang over costumes and parties and trick-or-treating...and then everything fun magically vanishes the next day and I leave them with like, a bag of pretzels and one Hershey's fun size. 

*The hat actually says "BOO!" on it, but I now realize I put it on him backwards. I WIN AT EVERYTHING. 



You and I got our costumes at the same store! AWESOME!


Awww, so cute. That chef costume is just the cutest. I'm doing the same at my house candy wise. My son had SO much fun trick-or-treating but this morning I'm sneaking out all the chocolate (milk)/peanut contains/may contain/traces of candy. Food allergies suck.


When did Halloween turn into this? Thanks for the hilarious spin on it--and the reminder about red 40 treats. I've got 2 hours to clear the pail.


Your Halloween was as awesome as mine! Mine started with "What do you mean I have to eat dinner?" and "What's with this vegetable crap, woman?", had some lecturing teenagers in the middle (God, they weren't even dressed up, don't lecture me on the spirit of the season) and ended with me sleeping off my sugar coma on the couch. Score!


If none of your 3 kids are all that interested in Halloween and trick-or-treating, why force it?


I did not know that Red 40 and Yellow 5 cause more craziness. Lesson learned - will be removing those from the candy bag before my daughter (AKA Crazy Gracie) gets to them.
I already take most of the chocolate out, you know the kids teeth.


Love the chef outfit, and great idea with the karate "costume!"

Jen R

For two years I have successfully struck a deal with my son and traded all of his candy for a new toy. This year I believe I will go with Cars 2, since I already bought it anyway.


My son has similar issues about wearing costumes. After wrestling him into one last year for a darn picture, I decided that this year I would "fake it" too. Old Navy sold pajamas that looked like a skeleton, so I bought those, wore them several times beforehand as pajamas, and wore the top once as a shirt. Then when preschool/neighborhood costume parties came up, he thought he was ok with just wearing his pajamas.


But hey! At least the lice are gone :)


Well, mine was excited to get dressed up, but refused to say trick-or-treat or thank you. She chose the big, orange bag of pretzels to open first, but when she saw what was inside she gave me a dirty look and said, "I want candy."


@Ellen: We don't "force" anything. Opting out is always a choice we offer but they never want to. (Though Noah chose to skip his school party this year and I was fine with that.) But Noah loves actual trick-or-treating...just not wearing costumes, so we come up with ways to work around that fear/anxiety so he can enjoy himself.

Ezra was just tired and cranky and in a bad mood, but OF COURSE I offered to take him home. He adamantly refused, because CANDY CANDY CANDY.


We knew ours wasn't going to go well when it began with an all out tantrum over I'm not sure what. Somehow our friend got her to wear at least part of a costume and we rolled with it. I think visiting all the puppies was her favorite part.

Emily B

Your mom is a genius. Genius! Our son thought he got a great deal--ate five pieces of candy last night, then left the rest out in his bucket for The Great Pumpkin, who traded it for a new Thomas bridge track piece, discovered this morning. Score! I get to eat all the Reese's he traded, and we aren't negotiating "just one more piece?" "candy for breakfast?" "if I eat it with grow food?" for the next two weeks. Win.


So cute!! Hey - funny you referenced the previous Halloween posts. Last year little Ike was just a jelly bean in your belly!! And now here he is!! Crazy how things change in one measly year.


I know you don't want to talk about it, but I'm very curious to know what worked on the lice. There was an outbreak (that is, one kid) at my kid's school too, and I found myself talking to the mom last night, who said it's all done with. After reading your commenters bewailing the super-bug bugs who aren't killed by anything, it all seems like a bit of a (welcome) anticlimax.

Also. I told my Terrible Eater that he could have one or two pieces of candy for dessert for the next week, and then it was all going away. He was aghast. I told him that if he starts eating real food like, say, brocolli, chicken, pasta, or cheese, it might stay around longer. He was doubly aghast.


For future reference, I have a kid who can't eat candy either. Our solution was the Halloween Fairy who takes their candy and leaves a Build-A-Bear gift card in its stead. They LOVE it. The older children know I am the Fairy and sometimes ask to BE the Fairy. Then we all play the greatest trick on the little kids ever, because it's not mean! (Their version of events.)


Karate outfit = awesome idea! I'm glad he was comfortable and enjoyed it.
That chef's outfit is just adorable!
Do you have an Earth Fare close? If not check with Whole Foods. We are going to Earth Fare and exchanging our candy for a treat bag from them. If you trade in over 100 pieces of candy you get a free kid's lunch! We let my 2 1/2 year old little girl keep a pack of smarties and a pack of M&M's and the rest goes to Earth Fare tomorrow! She is really excited to see what will be in the treat bag.

mark @ yelling near you

Both the idea and the photos of Noah are priceless!

There's an idea that could be advanced out of this, wherein a tooth fairy/Santa Claus like figure comes in the night after halloween and changes all of the bad, sugary candy into healthy food like dehydrated apples and nuts and whatnot. Johnny Appleseed maybe? He doesn't get as much play as he ought to.


I hope you are not as hard on yourself as you sound. You are doing an amazing job.


OMG - I almost snorted soup out my nose when I read the caption to Ike's photo. That is so my life right now - just so freaking tired.

Last Wed., my 2 year old and I went to a pre-Halloween party and she threw a fit over putting on her costume. So, yesterday, I decided to dress her for the day in her skeleton pjs, just in case she didn't want to put on her costume. And she didn't - when I picked her up from day care, she was still in her skeleton outfit. Well, she may not have been the pirate I so craftily pulled together (read: bought a pirate hat and found pirate-ish clothing in her closet) but she still wore a costume! It's like Noah's non-costume costume. She thinks she won, but it is actually I. Yes, I'm proud to have outsmarted a two year old. God, I'm tired.

Wacky Mommy

You tried, Mummy. Good nuf ;) Happy Halloween!


Sounds very similar to what was happening over here...Colin had crackers and a cheese stick before heading out(on the couch in his Lightening McQueen footed pajamas which he insisted on wearing under his costume or else I would never have wrangled him into his costume since he appeared to be suddenly scared of Tigger despite having been fine with wearing said costume 2 weeks ago while riding his tricycle around the neighborhood). Next year you need to join us because the trick is having a few glasses of wine prior to getting the kids dressed. By the way, the boys looked adorable and the karate outfit totally works as THE coolest costume. It's all about what makes them feel good I say. And re Ezra, Colin was also asking to go home. Actually said, "I have enough candy now. I don't need anymore or else I'll get a tummy ache". Really? New heightened stranger anxiety at 3? And god yes, the baby was the easiest...slept the whole time.


The "Switch Witch" made her first annual appearance at our house this year. She took all the Halloween candy and left behind one toy for each child. So far, so good. Maybe worth a shot with yours, too!


The Halloween Fairy rocks. We started it last year, the first year our son got SO much candy, like one of those pumpkin buckets filled to the top. And conveniently it was also the first hallowen after losing two teeth. SO he suspects the tooth fairy and the halloween fairy to be the same fairy. He and now also his little sister go through all their candy and pick out what they "would rather trade the fairy for money" and then while they sleep the fairy takes it away and leave some cash in their pumpkin bucket. Of course we go through the candy they kept and remove the most offensive dye filled junk and they never seem to notice. Both this year and last year they left more than half their candy for the fairy to take. They get really excited to go to the store to buy a toy with the halloween fairy money too.


My Halloween involved shoving the girls and the hubs out the door to go trick-or-treating. I stayed home to bathe the dogs (that had just rolled in swamp muck) and hand out treats. Needless to say, everyone had a memorable evening!

Of course, I'm eating their candy as I write this...

Amy B

The main thing I got out of this post: I had never heard the term Sturm und Drang before, but now not only do I know what it means, I know where JK Rowling got the name for Durmstrang. And my geeky mind is blown.


b*tch stole my costume! Your mom is awesome-grand idea! And come on we all know you FORCE your children to participate in heathen holidays for our blog reading enjoyment, duh.


We almost didn't even make it out the door for trick or treating because of the hour+ long tantrum my 3-year-old decided was necessary. Over a piece of cheese. I hate 3.


Do adults dress up where you are? Like getting your kids dressed up isn't hard enough!? I remember you dressed up last year (I was pregnant too)and I felt like a complete slacker at your enthusiasm. And I remember you looked really skinny. And then I probably stopped reading and sulked and ate something. Ha.


I bet you force your kids to eat the candy too, and LIKE IT. So evil!


Thank you for this... OMG.... The hilarity of it all. I so miss those days, i really do. Daughter #2 had her tonsils out last wednesday and yeah, try consoling an 11 year old who's not well enough to trick or treat let alone eat the damn candy she would have gotten. Daughter#1 to the rescue: skyped up my iPhone and held it up door to door for #2 to whisper "Trick or treat" to some surprised neighbors. Pathetically creative? You betcha... Candy galore? Enough to feed a small village... :)


I like how you used "sturm und drang" like it was no big deal.


Ohhhh you awful.. um.. FUN-FORCER!!! How dare you help your kids to have a good time and navigate social anxiety!! I oughta... ;)

Let's see. Halloween. 9 y.o. a very cute girlie Grim Reaper but would not let makeup artist mommy apply the makeup in the most awesome way possible. Hmmph. Also sad that daddy was out of town on Candy Day. The 18 month old was supposed to nominally be a puppy - super cute puppy hat from Target, gray sweats, drawn on whiskers. But he was fuhreaked out by the makeup and the eleventy people at the group ToT bash we attended. Fortunately, the girl got quite a sweet haul, and the bb boy stayed placidly in his stroller for the 1.5 hours we trekked around. Good times!


Our daughter didn't want to trick or treat to more than about 4 houses because she would rather be home handing out candy to other people. It was freaking freezing, so we didn't push it. I didn't want to be out either! In the end it was fantastic, as we didn't have to steal 80% of her candy in the night. Only drawback - no good candy for mommy. Seriously though, if they are that grumpy about it, why go? It was COLD!


Dude... that does not sound like fun! :-/


You got yerself some cute kids, there :)

Every year, I put a witch hat on, and call it good. I sit on the driveway with a friend, and we hand out the candy. I make the older kids sing or dance if they want candy.

Random information: In my neighborhood, some of the houses give cans of soda/pop (whatever you call it where you are). That gets very heavy.


lmao OUT LOUD at work right now. I too wore the "don't give a shit" look this year. I'm so glad I'm not the only one.


Noah's dimples haven't lost any of their charm, even after all these years. And Reese's mini cups don't have any red 40 or yellow 5. NOM.


My Mason = your Noah. Sunday night, I shamefully returned his $39 adorable elephant costume to Kohls, because he couldn't even bear to look at it.

So, in the spirit of Halloween suck, er I mean, "kinship"' will you please tell me where you got Ezra's chef outfit? Because that ... I think I could make that work.


You know, that reminds me... I recall part of the challenge with soccer being the uniform, and partly it was the feel of the fabric, but I seem to remember it being how costume-y it was. Did you run into that at all with the karate uniform? Or had the Karate Kid film festival primed the ol' acceptance pump on that one?

Erika Mitchell

Oh my gosh, "I wore jeans and a headscarf and an overwhelming sense of not giving a shit." This may be my favorite line of yours to date. It also describes me perfectly at the moment.


This was the first year my 10yo daughter said the dreaded words "I don't want to go trick-or-treating". Halloween is my favorite holiday and I had to beg and plead and finally won when I told her if she didn't go she wouldn't get any of her brothers candy.

Plano Mom

Yep, real life. When he's 13, you'll spend the day dealing with him because he absolutely cannot skip his football game to walk around not trick or treating.


Your mom? Genius. Also, Jen R, who trades her son ALL his candy for a new toy? Brilliant. I'm probably (definitely) going to steal that one. And Noah? You rock. You totally fooled everyone with your uniform, and you are amazing. ;)

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