It’s Almost Halloween, Do You Know Where Your Ghosts and Goblins Are?

The countdown to October 31st has officially begun, or so I’ve been informed by the ghoul-worshiping creatures with whom I reside. “Only TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS till Halloween, Mom! Isn’t that ENTIRELY KEWL?!” the crew reminds me again. And again.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Halloween, Schmalloween,” I grouse to no one, thinking of how consumed my brood will be with all-that-is-grisly-and-gruesome till the night of terror and celebrated harvest of sugary treats is finally over. Indeed, I’m troubled by the hype surrounding the event, nauseated by the deluge of candy corn spilling from checkout counters near and far and burdened unmercifully by the demands that have been placed upon me to produce two of the most obscenely wonderful costumes on the planet—“…because we HAVE to be the SCARIEST, Mom. It’s a RULE. No more baby stuff. We want to make people screeeeeeam! Can you make us some costumes, Mom?!”

“MAKE you some COSTUMES?!” I muttered to myself through clenched teeth. “Surely you jest, my dear, sweet children,” I chortled while marking the calendar with big, fat letters, “BUY COSTUMES,” all the while fighting the urge to add, “BLOW THE ENTIRE DAY IN PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT HALLOWEEN APPAREL.”

Oh, the PRESSURE! Oh, the HORROR! Oh, the GUILT associated with parenting smallish beings! That’s code for: I have serious issues with time management, I like crafts but I’m not especially crafty, and I can’t sew to save myself. I much preferred the chapters in life during which my charges were oblivious to my non-Susie Homemaker allegiance. Or when they were perfectly content to be disguised as plump-ish pumpkins or whiskered kittens (read: sinfully adorable garment-age conveniently plucked from store shelves or received as gifts). My husband and I then bundled them up and wheeled them around the neighborhood in a big, red wagon—pausing only to wipe noses, to sample the loot and to shift their lumpy bodies around like sacks of potatoes. Life was so much simpler then. Complexity now rules the land. There are voices to be heard, desires to satisfy and wallets to purge.

That said, a week ago Sunday all three of those matters were sufficiently addressed as it relates to the aforementioned holiday. Three stores, two giddified children and a ridiculous chunk of time later, we had spooktacular Halloween outfits. And all was right with the world—except the process itself was unbearably tedious if not downright maddening. There were rubbery rats to pet, hideous-looking masks to ogle and 67 varieties of wigs to try on. True to my paranoid self, I obsessed, “I do not like LICE in my HOUSE! It makes me CRINGE, it makes me GROUSE! Please, oh please, don’t let there be, anything LICE-ISH there for me!”

Needless to say, nothing even remotely “lice-ish” awaited me in this Mecca of Halloween wares; however a sea of costumes, a barrage of creepy sounds and an infinite array of gotta-have-it-or-I’ll-die accessories beckoned to my brood, rendering them incapable of making a decision. Never mind that solid commitments had already been made. “But Mom, we have to look at EVERYTHING FIRST; and we have to try on capes and hats and horns and tails and….”

Again with the demands. Ugh.

My only saving grace: stumbling into a tree that insulted me. Well, it wasn’t a whole tree, actually. It was just a knot, gnarled and twisted into an unspeakably ugly face, hanging from some sort of bogus tree, poised to share its cantankerous self with those simple-minded enough to encourage such banter. I qualified. And because I find such oddities mildly intriguing, I could not walk away. So we talked. The tree and I. In the middle of Neece Paper. And I felt like a fool, yet completely compelled to continue.

In the end, that craggy hunk of Wizard of Oz-inspired surliness served as the perfect diversion for my pain and suffering (i.e. it kept me from going berserk while fulfilling my duties as the official Appraiser of Halloween Hokum).

May you be so fortunate this Halloween.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (stockpiling candy corn, leafing through the pages of Crafty Mama in hopes I’ll glean something and contemplating the completely frivolous purchase of a trash-talking tree face).

Copyright 2009 Melinda L. Wentzel



Filed under Holiday Hokum, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Kid-Speak, Rantings & Ravings, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

22 responses to “It’s Almost Halloween, Do You Know Where Your Ghosts and Goblins Are?

  1. nice post halloween is coming around the corner!!!

  2. Freshly Pressed! Nice post. I find it cute knowing that your children are having a Halloween countdown instead of getting scared of it coming. They must have experience a lot of fun everytime they get to celebrate it. Enjoy your Halloween! Hope you’d find the scariest costumes too! 🙂

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  3. It’s amazing how children start counting things down so early. I can remember being as pumped up as your kids for Halloween, then cursing the day as it led to the worst stomach aches ever. 🙂

  4. Last year my daughter wanted to be a “pink robot” for Halloween. I couldn’t find one online, so it wound up taking me 3 prototypes, until I made something she would actually wear!

    This year she wants to be a triceratops, a blue one. I thought, “Oh, no! Not again!” I selfishly talked her into being a green one and ordered it online this year. (Is it possible to feel guilty AND relieved at the same time?)

    Thanks for your post!

    Veronica Samuels


    because you will realize how blessed you truly are.

  6. Just discovered your blog. Don’t know if you should read mine. I was you once – now, my ‘kids’ are hundreds of miles off doing who knows what way (way) past midnight on Halloween. I miss freezing my ass off and getting to peek into neighbor’s houses while we trick or treated. Now, sad little blogger that I am, I blog about said kids, and how we got from where you are to me writing the emptynest chronicles. Enjoy the little beggars.

  7. with 4 little goblins to please I usually have to half buy,half create costumes. I get a little stressed but I look forward to every year. Fun post! Yay moms!

  8. This is great. I find it hard enough to decide what I should be for Halloween. I always want it to be fantastic. I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to be when I have kids. “You’re being a lumpy vampire again. Deal with it.”

    ❤ Milieu

  9. Loved this post 🙂 Have a spooky Halloween!

  10. Haha. At least you can say that there isn’t a Suzie Homemaker allegiance for you! My 5 year old daughter always wants hand made costumes (last year she was obsessed with being a penguin and practicing walking for WEEKS!) and I don’t really have an excuse to get out of it. My business is making fantasy costumes! Sounds like you’ve got it under control now, and the next horror lies in the actual trick-or-treating itself. Good luck, Supermom!


  11. Fun site, but read them all my story!

  12. I love Halloween! even if I don’t actually trick or treat! but I love it!!

  13. I have been lucky enough to find costumes at resale shops and garage sales. This year the want to be zombies. Great! I just need to get a make-up kit and a black mask for the one re-using the Robin costume. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  14. Enjoyed your post very much! Good luck with Halloween coming up, cant wait to hear how crazy your kids will get with Christmas coming up right after! Haha!

  15. Great blog, and great post.

  16. I would have loved it if my parents had bought me a costume as a kid. But we could never afford it so we had to figure out something made of our everyday clothes — which took a lot of the fun out of it for me. I wanted to wear something that no one had ever seen before. Something that was specially purchased for that day. Dad always said that would have to wait until my wedding day. Yeah, he was a bit of a killjoy.


  17. I don’t have kids but me and the significant other are determined to make the front yard a spook-fest for the kiddos of the neighborhood. I’m afraid of making to too spooky and thus scaring off the bity ones.

    Thank you for this post! It’s nice to know how excited the kids are. If there’s any kids like yours in my neighborhood, our little project should be a big success!

  18. Great post. I used to love Halloween when my kids were little, getting creative about their costumes and watching them transform. Oh, and eating all their candy, also.

  19. Love it! I feel that you are a kindred spirit! I too have dealt with this Halloween drama, and after years of spending hours making my three kids’ costumes from scratch, I now throw a few old sheets and some Sharpies at them and tell them they are on their own! The guilt I feel however, is short lived, because no matter what they don on Halloween night, they always come home with a motherload of candy.

  20. Pingback: It’s Almost Halloween, Do You Know Where Your Ghosts and Goblins Are? (via Planet Mom) | Gealachs Blogg

  21. Nice post … and Happy (early) Halloween!

  22. The blog is really a nice one. I enjoyed by reading the post and watching the pictures of your children. They are so amazing and cute also.Wish you a very happy Halloween.Enjoy the day.