I’ve always wondered how dentists feel about Halloween.
Back when I was anchoring the news, we would occasionally have dentists on-set once a month, and when it came to this time of year they’d often have candy-returns that they would plug, where their offices would collect candy and ship it overseas to people in the armed services. In return, kids would be put into the running for contests.
But I can’t help but think that, despite pushing for moderation, there’s got to be some dentist offices filling up with kids who just go overboard with the stuff.
Anyway, that was a bit of a stream of consciousness.
My mind was on candy because this year, we’re trying something a little different. In years past, we’ve always given the option of candy or a comic book, culled from stacks I would accumulate throughout the year to give away. However, as time has gone on, those kiddie comics of the past that used to be so easy to find in “6 for a $1″ bins, have disappeared.
So, this year, imagine my delightful surprise when I walked into my local comic shop (where I’ve been going regularly since the age of about 7, when I had to stand on a footstool to peer into the back issue boxes) and found pre-packaged stacks of mini-comic books, ready to hand out and completely kid-appropriate.
I was thrilled!
Coming 20 per pack, they had varying titles and topics, but all were labeled ‘all ages,” meaning, it’s okay for little ones to get them. And, I admit, I love the slogan on the package “lasts longer than candy!” You’re darn tootin’ it does. I would have went nuts with glee as a kid if I had gone to a house on Halloween and gotten a comic book instead of a mini Snickers, and in the years past when I’ve given out comics, I’ve smiled ear to ear at having some kids genuinely feel the same way, running feverishly down our sidewalk to their parents yelling “Comics!! They gave me comics!!!” It’s been pretty darn cool.
So, this year, I’m keeping up the tradition, thanks to these Halloween Comicfest comic packets, and Meg has also ordered some Halloween toys (glow in the dark vampire fangs and spider-rings) as an option as well.
So, it’s a candy-free Halloween this year for us, and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I like the idea of finding something that’s still fun, but a little bit different for the kids. They are items that can be enjoyed long after the wrapper is taken off and at the same time, safe for everyone, even kids with allergies or diabetes, as has been very popular with the Teal pumpkin initiative as of late.
And I mean, it’s not like we’re handing out toothbrushes. :)
With Halloween fast-approaching, we carved a pumpkin this weekend. While it may not be rocket science, I want to offer one bit of advice that I found made our whole process incredibly easier - if your child is taking an afternoon nap, use that nap-time to get all the gutting of your pumpkin out of the way.
It may not seem like much, because it’s such a small, simple thing, but it can make a world of difference if you’re little one is not quite at the age of carving themselves, but still wants to take part.
I’ve heard a lot lately about how pumpkin’s last longer if you carve them from the bottom, but I went for the traditional method of cutting around the stem and pulling it out to make my way inside.
Then, using the carving knife and an ice cream scoops, I gutted all of those seeds and pumpkin-innards until we were left with one big, hollow pumpkin.
This made things so incredibly easy when the little guy woke up from his nap and wanted to carve his pumpkin after dinner. We weren’t trying to juggle the circus of a 2-year-old wanting to pull everything out himself, getting it everywhere, or just losing interest.
With just the hollow pumpkin, ready to go, we simply put him at the table (with his little step stool) and he guided us through the process of what he wanted his pumpkin to look like, from the eyes, to the shape of the nose and what kind of mouth he wanted. (“Happy pumpkin!” was pretty much the description he gave us to work from for the mouth).
So, here we have it – our Little Carving Supervisor’s Pumpkin, made all the easier by getting the prep out-of-the-way during nap-time.
I totally recommend it.
Outside our window, the street lights brought some illumination to the pavement and yards below, but the thick, black darkness filled our home.
I moved my head to the left, seeing the glowing red numbers of my alarm clock. Not quite 5 a.m. I was curled in an odd, not very comfortable S-Shape, my body wrapped around the slumbering cats curled up in our bed throughout the night.
Then, I heard it. A tiny little voice from the other room.
Our son, talking in his sleep.
He called out the name of one of my parents’ dogs, the same playful way he does when he wants them to chase him around their house.
A few minutes later, I heard “Ernie! Elmo! Help me with...(a slew of words that were unintelligible).”
Shortly after that giggles and laughter.
Some time later, I heard “Dada, me take binky outside, peeaassse?” (we’re still working on weaning him off that binky. It only shows up at night for sleep currently as we try to lessen his dependence on it)
I just laid there in bed, smiling, trying to stifle my laughter at these wonderful adventures, laughs and lives he’s living in his sleepy little head.
It was wonderful.
As I’ve probably mentioned before, we’ve been incredibly blessed that our little guy started to use the potty when he did, which was around Christmas time at about a year and a half. We were shocked, surprised, a little overwhelmed, but completely over the moon that he decided to guide himself and tell us that he was ready to start using it.
Lately though, there’s been an odd little trend developing – the potty as a delay tactic.
Much like a well-planned army strategy, the little guy will very agreeably go to bed, per routine, after we’ve read a few books. All seems well until he begins to realize he doesn’t quite want to go to sleep. First, you hear the rumbling in the crib of a little one moving around. Next, the toys that talk as he plays, puttering around as we hope he starts to fall asleep. Then it comes.
“It’s sleepy time, buddy. Time to go to sleep.”
“Potty! Go potty!”
One of us enters the room.
“You’ve gotta go potty, buddy?”
“Uh-huh. Potty! Go!”
And it’s into the bathroom, plopping him on the potty (with his cushion-y little seat adapter for little buns) and away we go. Sometimes, yes, it is quite legit, and we’re very thankful that he tells us so that we can avoid the alternative. But there’s some nights, like a recent Monday night, where while legit, quickly turned into a 45 minute gab session as he sat on the potty, done for a while and just wanting to talk.
“I think you’re done, buddy. Are you all done?”
“Okay, well give it a try to get anything else out.”
And we sit and we talk, and we talk. And before you know it, a half hour or 45 minutes has flown by and you start to realize “he has completely played us.”
And I fall for it every time.