03 November 2009

Technology Failure

Tried to post Halloween photos last night. Technology let me down. Blogger was nonresponsive, Facebook photo uploader stalled out three times in a row . . . I gave up after 45 minutes of trying. Maybe tonight will be my night.

For now, I give you the text to support the photos-t0-come.

This was the first Halloween that Maddie and Riley really seemed to understand and be excited about. They talked for a month or so about what they wanted to be; Maddie chose panda bear and stuck with that while Riley went through a few options,* finally settling on sun bear "with long, sharp claws." I found the experience of making their costumes to be one of those defining projects of motherhood. I remember my mom going all out to help me make whatever costume I could imagine. I don't think I ever had a store-bought costume growing up, and because of this, I feel it is incumbent upon me to provide the same for Maddie and Riley. Plus I like doing crafty things. Plus panda bear and sun bear were pretty easy to pull off: black or brown pants, black or brown shirt, black or brown hat and gloves, sew on white belly for panda and white crest for sun bear, sew ears on hats, fashion claws out of duct tape, voilĂ .

Maddie really loved her costume, especially the part where I put black makeup around her eyes which ended up just making her look like a burgler. Riley ended up refusing to wear the gloves with the "long, sharp claws," and most of the evening he also went hatless, but that's OK.

We ended up being total lazy bums and driving around to our various trick-or-treating destinations. In our defense, my dad had compiled a hand-picked list of various friends who were waiting for us to drop by, and they lived far enough apart from one another that walking was not feasable. Maddie and Riley were trick-or-treating celebrities and recieved special treats at most of our stops; should we do plan ol' trick-or-treating next year, they might be disappointed.

Maddie and Riley had the routine down. Riley was the designated doorbell ringer. They both did well saying "Trick or treat!" and were happy to oblige if encouraged to take more than one piece of candy. Since we mostly visited the homes of friends, they also got into the habit of just barging right into people's homes to check things out and relax a bit after receiving their candy. The first time we went to the home of someone we didn't know, I had to hold them back from just inviting themselves in to watch some football and have some snacks. Shy, they are not.

I'm pleased that after what (for them) amounted to a frenzy of candy feasting on Halloween itself, Maddie and Riley have totally forgotten about their candy. I'm keeping it around for a week or so, just in case, then it's coming to work or going in the trash or something. Next year I will need a more robust plan around Candy Control; this year, I got off easy. A friend of mine advised using the Switch Witch strategy: showing the kids a special place in the house to leave candy for the Switch Witch, who comes at night and replaces the offered candy with some kind of non-food gift. I explained that to M&R and they seemed excited but then forgot about the candy, which makes things even easier. What do those of you with older kids to do for Candy Control? Just over the course of the evening I got tired of dealing with the, "Can I have one more piece? Can I eat this?" I'm not looking forward to that being prolonged.

Pictures to come.

*My favorite of Riley's options was recycle bin. I thought this was going to be the final choice, and it would have been awesome because the dude is obsessed with the various types of trash and the bins into which said trash goes. Of course, he also loves the sun bears at the zoo, and having two bears was cute.

29 comments:

Sinda said...

My kids were content for years with the knowledge that they could keep a few pieces (2 or 3 to start with; more as they grew older) and the rest went away. This year, at 7 & 9, they sold me most of it at 10 cents a piece, and kept a small pile, the size of which was agreed to mutually. I take the rest to work and leave it on my desk for passers-by.

Tricia said...

My boys are 6 (almost 7) and 5(just turned) now. I've told them that they can have 3 pieces of candy per day and I don't care when and they don't have to ask. They just have to stick 3 pieces a day. Then we had to define "piece" as "package." Then we had to tell them if they didn't eat dinner that they just didn't get any candy. They younger one keeps clarifying the rules with me, but he doesn't keep asking if he can have just one more piece. And, that is nice.

cv said...

I had a dry run a week ago when we went to a trick-or-treat event at the providence zoo. I realized that n definitely thought she was supposed to pause after every booty-grab and unwap/eat the spoils immediately. So I went into the actual halloween event on saturday armed with MANY conversations about how we were NOT going to eat our candy on the spot. First, I equipped her with a bag of 10 candly-corns which she WAS allowed to nosh on when we were tricking. Then she agreed to one item per day going forward. Two days in, she's nearly forgotten about the bowl full of loot. I think I can deplete it slowly and by the end of a week or two, it'll be gone.

stephanie said...

This year only my 7yr old captured candy my 13 yr old just terrorized the girls down the street with water guns. But I told them just eat what they want until 5 pm on Sunday then each of them can pick 5pieces they'd like to keep. The rest goes to work or in the trash.

Anonymous said...

Here on the east coast there are dentists that are buying Halloween candy for $1 / pound and giving it to our troops.

Cris said...

That is too funny about them wanting to go inside your neighbors' houses...my daughter is two and wanted to do the same thing at each and every house. And these people are strangers to us (albeit neighbors...) I tried to explain that barging in on everyone after they give the candy is not part of the Halloween tradition!

Christie said...

This just proves you can use duct tape for everything. I'm excited to see the pics.

Vanessa said...

My daughter's almost 11, and I really just let her have at it, with the caveat that she has to brush her teeth thoroughly before bed. In a day or two, she either gets tired of candy and doesn't want any more, or she finishes all the stuff she likes (a short list, since she hates both caramel and nuts), and then I throw the rest of it away. In the long run, she doesn't eat any more than she would if I rationed it out, plus I don't have to deal with weeks of begging or play Candy Police and bust her for sneaking it. Not so sure that approach would work with three-year-olds, though.

Holly said...

So excited to read there are kids out there who want to be a sunbear and a panda bear in the same house. I am a panda keeper and there are sunbears in my area of the zoo too. Maybe next year Andean bears and sloth bears will make the cut.

Diane said...

Let them gorge for a day or two, then toss it.

Tracey said...

I let my son go nuts and eat as much as he wants until it's all gone. I'd rather get it out of the way all at once than stretch it out for weeks....

Kate said...

I love the Switch Witch! We have the Book Fairy who comes and takes all the candy and replaces it with books. I give my kids the option of doing it and they've always chosen to leave the candy.

Raddit said...

Do you have the book I Stink? My 3-year-old LOVES it, and if Riley is into trash and containers and what not, I highly recommend it. I think we've checked it out from the library about 8 times!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I am with you in the ol' homemade costume department. I have fun seeing if I can turn Vivi's ideas into reality (usually with some internet help.)

The candy thing is a whole new ballgame for us. On Halloween, I basically let Vivi gorge herself and because she is 3, we could just trick or treat at our neighbors and it felt like more than enough. Of course, she hasn't forgotten about the little bit she didn't manage to eat on Halloween night so that sits on top of the fridge for after lunch and dinner. But all day I hear, "Can I have a piece of candy now?"

Can't wait to see the pictures!

Anonymous said...

I am with the person who let the poor kids eat it. They do get tired of it after a day or two. I have three kids and they all did the same thing. There was always Halloween candy left in there buckets mid November and it went to work. Never the trash. Candy is freakin' expensive, I think that is a total waste. The $1 a pound is awesome idea!!

We did a bit of trick or treating with them, not a too many houses and then usually hit a party or event that was put on by a school or church. The years the weather was bad, it still gave them something to look forward to and the night didn't seem like a bust.

Abby said...

We don't do Halloween but we do Purim, which is similar in concept from a small child's point of view (costumes and tons of treats from other people's houses). My kids know that Purim is the ONE day of the year that they can have all the candy and junk they want. We're pretty low-sugar the rest of the time but Purim I let them eat themselves sick. The next day, Purim is over (actually, it's over at sundown) and the candy all disappears. I give it to my babysitter to take it to work. It works because they know that Purim is the exception to the rule and when it's over, it's over.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Oh man, these are great ideas. Switch witch and candy-for-the-troops just ROCK.

Shortie has a peanut allergy, so her candy is very carefully managed, fortunately. She also complains that sugar makes her cranky (and blames me for allowing her to eat it) so it's less of an issue in our household than most.

I'm lucky! I LOVE YOUR KIDS!

X

Supa

Allegro said...

Kudos on the homemade costumes. I ventured to the Marth Stewart land of craftiness when my oldest was an infant and vowed never to go back but this year the kids wanted a costume that could only be homemade. It was a rough trip but they were SO happy with the final product that it made it MORE than worthwhile. I may have to try again next year.

You guys sound like you had a blast and that always makes me smile. These will be special memories for your kiddos. As for what to do with all the candy - maybe my kids aren't old enough yet at 5 and 7 but they still forget about it after a bit. I'm letting them have their fill this week and then it will just be gone. out of sight; out of mind. We threw away last year's leftovers Halloween night.

Watercolor said...

Crazy all this candy rationing. lol. Growing up, we kept what we gathered and did whatever we wanted with it. That was the point of getting the loot in the first place. heh. We shared w/ Mom and Dad, but otherwise, just kept in in our rooms and in a few days it was all gone. No fights, no issues, no problems. I can remember this being the rule even when I was about 5. Can't remember farther back than that.

Kathleen999 said...

We are doing what my mom did with my and my siblings: One piece of candy per night for dessert. That's it. Seems to work fine. My kids are not candy fiends. They never really had any until the last year or so (they're almost 5) and don't always like it. So this method seems to do fine for everyone.

Anonymous said...

As a child, I too, like another poster commented, was able to keep my Halloween take in my room and eat it as I pleased. My kids have the rule that they can't keep any sticky or chewy type of candy (caramel, lollipops, etc.). That stuff just goes straight into the trash. Obviously, this is because it's so very bad for the teeth. Once I remove that type of candy from their Halloween take, there isn't a lot left but they can eat the remainder when they want except not before breakfast and not in lieu of a meal. They do either grow tired of it or forget about it after a few days.

amy said...

We use a distract-and-remove strategy. Ours our 2 and 5, so we didn't make it far on Halloween night and came home with plenty of time to answer the door for trick or treaters. I kep telling the kids to look out the window and see if anyone was coming, then I swiped a few pieces at a time from their buckets and put them in the giveaway bowl. By then end of the night, they thought that the pieces that I was letting them eat were the reason they just had a few pieces left -- magic! It's worked two years in a row, but probably won't hold up with a 6 year old next year.

Bonnie said...

For little boys obsessed with garbage, I highly recommend the DVD "Where the Garbage Goes" from a company called Little Hard Hats. We acquired the DVD when it came inside the package of a Tonka garbage truck that my son got for Christmas two years ago, and it's been a favorite ever since, even with the adults! To assuage any potential guilt over the kids watching a DVD, it's only 30 minutes and includes messages about treading lightly on the earth. And face it, there is much less out there for kids obsessed with garbage trucks than, say, for kids obsessed with fire trucks.

amy said...

Ack, that was "ours ARE 2 and 5"

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating to me because in England Trick or Treating barely exists...my parents bought treats and didn't get any visitors (we ate the loot ourselves!). How much candy do kids usually collect? From these comments I imagine it's a LOT.

monica said...

I let mine just eat it as they please. The 6 year old has almost nothing left, the 10 year old has barely eaten any of his (he is a real saver). We don't have it as part of our daily life otherwise, so I figure- what the heck, they are kids and candy is a thrill. Especially fi they get to control how much and when.

One of the things I LOVE about the candy is that it is eaten and GONE forever. I don't like the whole switch witch idea 'cause then they just get another toy - we have way to many toys, and toys last a lot longer and are harder to pass on than candy.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

My sister is a nurse, so every year, the boyz donate most of their candy to the "sick patients" at Kate's hospital. Because sick patients LOVE candy, don't you know? I usually let them keep about 10 choice pieces, and let my sis take the rest to her work.

Anonymous said...

I've never really considered trying to "ration" or control their candy. i think that would make my kids obsessive about it. They pretty much get to eat what they want on halloween (that is the fun isn't it??? It was when i was a kid!!!) and they really don't eat a whole lot. Then it sits on the counter, sometimes they ask for a piece sometimes they go days without asking at all. I think they get it out of their system on halloween. I think too much parental control about the candy makes kids hoard and be obsessed with candy/sweets etc. I think it we don't make a big deal about it, they know when to stop. Kids are MUCH better at stopping when full that we adults are!! After a while, I will probably bring the good stuff into work and throw the crappy candy left. They don't seem to eat it much after a week or so after trick or treating. I also relate to the posters who said they let them keep it in their room. I think I got to as a kid, I may have to let my kids do this, however I'd be scared my dog would get into it!!

Jane said...

I'm feeling kind of dumb here, but what exactly is a sun bear??