Monday, November 3, 2008
This year was the first that I decided to brave the parade at E's school. I had heard that it is crazy, you can't see your kid, and so in years past I thought it wasn't worth the hassle to try to park and jostle my kids through the crowds. This year I figured I would give it a shot. So we went and actually, it was a really fun time. The weather was perfect, in the mid- 60's, we got a really close parking spot, and it wasn't too crowded- we got a front row view. The school has a sound system set up, and one of the teacher MC's the event, announcing each class, as well as playing the music. I had a fun time talking with neighbors while watching the kids walk by, and E was pleasantly surprised to see me there.
Afterwards we headed up to the classroom for the party where the kids did crafts and ate. I then took E and her friend Lexi home with us. The kids played for a little while after school, and then my mom, dad and Cara joined us for dinner.
Of course the kids were too excited to eat much, and immediately put on their costumes when they were released from the table. Our neighbors joined us, as normal, and we all made our way out into the darkening neighborhood to collect the treats.
I had a wagon to pull K around in, and about halfway through N decided that he wanted to join her. It was no joke hauling those two around- my arms were seriously sore the next day! I am hoping that next year he will be able to make it the whole way on his own steam.
K realized early on what the deal was, and insisted on getting out of the wagon at every house to get her share of the loot. Actually, she got more than her share as she would grab two fistfuls of candy at every house that offered the bowl to her, fortunately no one seemed to mind a cute little piglet taking all their candy. Near the end when I was getting tired of carrying her up to each house and told her that we were waiting in the wagon, she would stand up in her seat, clutching her pumpkin in one hand, squealing and pointing at the front door, determined not to be left out. In between houses she munched on cookies, pretzels and m&m's.
Once we got home (an hour and a half later) the kids poured their candy on the floor to separate and count. We probably visited about 30 houses, and they got around 80 pieces each, which is plenty, but it also made me miss my old neighborhood, where I grew up.
We lived in Cheltenham Village where all the houses are twins, and very close together. In the same amount of time we would hit around 200 houses, and have so much candy that it would fill an entire gift box, neatly stacked. Those boxes then would find a place under our beds where we would eat away at our hoards until Thanksgiving, my mom's deadline for getting rid of any remaining rock hard Mary-Janes and Good N' Plenties that had been shoved to the bottom of the pile. Halloween was the one time of the year that my mom's rules on candy intake and sugar became more lax. That first night we were allowed to eat as much as we wanted, and we took full advantage, stuffing ourselves. Following that, we were encouraged to take several pieces to school in our lunch , in an attempt to get it out of the house. My dad also helped in the effort, as he would admit when we discovered a snickers bar missing from the carefully inventoried stash under our beds. We didn't care too much, since 200 pieces of candy is a lot for one little kid to eat in a month.
My own children get the Halloween night free-for-all as well, but after about a week their personal pile of candy is dumped into a community bag, from which we all partake. This would have infuriated me as a child, but they don't seem to mind (yet). At this point they are just happy to have a couple of pieces a day, and haven't gotten too possessive about their favorites. Thank goodness, because I already have my eye on those Twix bars!!