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Betsy Block


Halloween Postmortem

Halloween Postmortem
For part one of this two-part series on Halloween, go to The Halloween Grinch.

When I got up the morning after Halloween, nine-year-old E was in the bathroom. I cheerfully sang out, "Good morning!" and heard back, in a low growl: "Who ate the skittles?" And then: "I know exactly how many pieces of candy I have, Mom."

Apparently there was an empty candy bag in the trash can - a bag from which he had not partaken. Within minutes, before 7 AM, he was agitating for sugar. "Skittles have real fruit juice in them, you know," E said authoritatively. Then four-year-old P started crying because she wanted to take candy to school. Lots of candy.

Let the games begin!

The troubles had obviously started the night before, when the dad in our little trick-or-treating group taught his own adorable four-year-old daughter to say, "Trick or treat, smell my feet," which led to a talk with P about how different families have different rules. It also wasn't that much fun to have two girls - and only one flashlight. And it was downright awkward when the neighbors set up a beautiful outdoor theater showing Young Frankenstein, yelled out a number of times that everyone was welcome to come, and then nobody did. "If you go over there," BD warned, "you can't leave until it's over." That was spooky.

Still, even I have to admit that seeing my four-year-old farmer with pigtails, overalls, and a black mustache that got partially licked off during dinner just about did me in.

Best of all, both my kids did, in the end, offer me candy. The kinds they don't like, but still. I took it as a sign, like a sickly weed growing up between cracks in the cement. Growing toward the sun.

Recipe for Disaster
Take children trick-or-treating. Let them acquire way too much candy. Dream of the day that the fighting will end.