Ten things I’ve learnt parenting a toddler during Halloween

Here’s ten pearls of wisdom I’d like to remember/pass on.

  1. Pumpkins are tricky. In every sense. They are hard to purchase, (last minute) hard to carve (last minute) and hard to make presentable (whatever the bloody minute). This year ours actually resembles a manic, toothless serial killer with a drink problem which brings me on to point two…
  2. My particular toddler is apparently, terrified of pumpkins. Now, I’m pretty sure if I’d made more of an effort, like a Peppa bloody Pig or Bing effort, said toddler may have been more appreciative of weird, fruit carving tradition, but as it was toothless, alcoholic Ted Bundy did not go down well.
  3. Another apparently, which normally I’d apologise for but given Halloween as a parent is apparently so stressful I won’t, Darth Vader is not a suitable costume for a sixteen month old toddler according to the one that fathered her. I hope he thinks it’s suitable for forthcoming festive period or he will owe me £11.99.
  4. Organised events will require Valium and copious amounts of wine. Rooms full of toddlers dressed as clowns, fed only on cheap sweets and Panda Pop is more than nerve fraying…I’d go as far as saying its horrendous. My body managed to perspire in places that I thought were impossibly sweat free zones. At one point I actually felt my spleen tremble such was the chaos.
  5. Dressing my human last year was lovely. I was able to pop her into a little pumpkin suit and cart her round Tecos like one would show a pony. This year getting her to keep the pumpkin hat on was torture in itself. Getting her to keep the pumpkin hat on and remain in my arms whilst we queued for ‘organised event’ was a horror story in itself.
  6. I think all parents should be made aware that at some point during a Halloween shin dig you will lose your child. It’s inevitable. Lots of small creatures whizzing around, bouncing off walls and cardboard werewolves can only mean that your little devil will get caught up in the craziness and merge in well with other little creatures. You think you may be relived for a smidgen of rest bite but you won’t, you will panic and relive every Halloween horror film that involves the abduction and slicing of children. You will.
  7. Because of all of the above, you should take wine in your bag. You will need wine.
  8. There will always be at least three other mothers that are winning at Halloween. Let them win. Let them have the best pumpkins and the best costumes…next year you will have wine.
  9. Unfortunately the skull prop, for photographs, at an organised event may or may not have the same name as your vagina. It was incredibly unfortunate that when my sixteen month old toddled over to said skull and started petting it the photographer asked whether she ‘loved Eric?’ it was probably more unfortunate that I then actually said ‘ooh Eric? That’s what I call my vagina.’ Cue awkward, Halloween tumbleweed and possible social service referral, we will see.
  10. Next year I may consider a Sunday school, church type party that allows wine with a strict no pumpkin policy.
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