Friday, October 23, 2015

How to Take a Toddler Trick-or-Treating in 52 Easy Steps

Halloween is almost upon us, folks. As it gets increasingly closer, I've noticed a lot of fellow toddler mamas*  discussing the night's events in the telltale tones of trepidation and—occasionally—downright horror. 

*That is, mamas-of-toddlers, not toddler-aged mamas. Just to be clear. I'm not sure on proper terminology here. Although, these days, WHO FREAKING KNOWS, amirite? Maybe I just gave MTV an idea for their next hit reality show. 

I mean, these ladies sound exhausted just talking about tot-or-treating. Er...trick-or-treating. (Although, if you ask most toddler moms, "tot" and "trick" tend to be interchangeable most of the time. Little rascals always keep you guessing.)

Anyway, I guess I just can't relate to the stress and/or pressure these mamas are apparently under. TRICK-OR-TREATING WITH TODDLERS IS A PIECE OF CAKE! (Mmmm...cake. Why isn't Halloween cake a thing? Don't get me wrong, I love me some Snickers, but I could also really go for some devil's food cake this season. Ha...see what I did there?)

Worried about taking your tots out this October 31st? Worry no more! All you have to do is follow these 52 EASY steps, and you and your little monster will have a grand ol' time!

Part I: Preparation

1. Ask Toddler what he would like to be this year for Halloween.

2. Explain to Toddler that “Hungry” is a feeling, not something he can really dress up as.

3. Get Toddler a Nutri-Grain bar to stop consequent screaming before asking again.

4. Explain to Toddler that “More” isn’t a viable costume option either.

5. Give up on soliciting Toddler’s input.

6. Peruse Pinterest for a creative DIY costume. Little Zephyr Basil’s mom isn’t the only crafty parent on the block. You got this.

7. Click on costume that seems fairly straightforward, involves no sewing, and has the word “easy” in the title.

8. Check Facebook and see that little Zephyr Basil’s mom has already uploaded 124,842 photos of him in a homemade Gandhi costume (made from all natural materials, of course), meditating in his Feng Shui’d bedroom and munching on homemade granola.

9. Throw pack of fruit snacks toward couch, where Toddler is screaming in front of the TV, and compose list of materials required to make “easy” Pinterest costume.

10. Wrestle Toddler into car seat and drive to Walmart. Be sure to bring more fruit snacks for the ten minute drive, or there will be literal wailing and gnashing of teeth.

11. Locate and purchase costume materials*.

*Note: This is an “umbrella” step for the six trillion actual steps involved, which may include: saying “no” to every (toy, book, goldfish, random piece of crap) that Toddler sees at the store; taking multiple potty breaks, none of which will actually involve Toddler peeing or pooping on the toilet; picking up the contents of your purse after Toddler upturns it in Aisle Five; and scouring the parking lot for Blankie when it turns up missing (only to find it stuck in the back of Toddler's pants when you finally give up and return to your vehicle).

12. Don’t forget to grab a couple bags of Halloween candy for Trick-or-Treaters.

13. Drive home, put Toddler back in front of TV, and attempt to make “easy” costume.

14. Easy my flabby, postpartum ass.

15. When it turns out nothing like the picture, bury feelings of inadequacy in the jumbo bag of Snickers you just bought. Don’t let Toddler see you.

16. HAHAHA. Bitch, please: Toddler always knows. Throw a Snickers his way to stop the screaming. Be careful not to *accidentally* hit him in the head with it.

17. Return to Walmart. Bring suckers for the car this time. They last longer than fruit snacks.

18. Hit up the Halloween section and allow Toddler to select outrageously priced, cheaply-made costume.

19. Check out. And remember to get more candy to replace the stuff you inhaled at your costume-fail pity party.

Part II: The Main Event

20. On Halloween, dress Toddler in Walmart costume. When he starts crying because it’s too (hot, itchy, blue, not-Batman), remind him that HE’s the one who picked it out.

21. Attempt to take picture of Toddler.

22. Send pic of the back of Toddler’s head to everyone on your contact list on your way out the door.

23. When Toddler gets tired of walking after approximately two minutes, pick him up and carry him door-to-freaking-door like a haggard, overgrown Girl Scout hauling around a carton of Tagalongs.

24. Remove Toddler’s (cape, monkey ears, wig, eyepatch) because it’s too (hot, itchy, blue, not-a-Batman-mask).

25. Approach house and allow Toddler to ring doorbell.

26. Tell Toddler to stop ringing doorbell.

27. Tell Toddler to stop crying just because he can’t keep ringing doorbell.

28. Try to get Toddler to say “Trick-or-Treat” when masked stranger opens door.

29. Who the actual f**k dresses up like a demented clown while handing out candy to little kids?
Oh, right. Daddy. Daddy does.
Way to go, Daddy.

30. Say “Trick-or-Treat” for Toddler while he cries and screams into your shoulder.

31. When Bozo the Toddler-Traumatizer reaches into candy bowl for an Airhead, tell him that Toddler is allergic to red dye 40…

32. …but really loves Snickers.

33. Try to get Toddler to say “Thank you.”

34. When Toddler starts whining for the “big red candy,” say “Thank you” for him and walk away. Quickly.

35. Point out little Zephyr Basil across the street, in all his miniature Gandhi glory, and use Toddler’s momentary distraction to scarf down Snickers bar. You need the energy more than he does right now.

36. Continue to lug 35lbs of squirmy Toddler—plus awkwardly shaped pumpkin pail—past five houses with unlit porch lights.

37. Stingy bastards.

38. When you finally find a house giving out candy, haul Toddler up driveway resembling Olympic ski jump.

39. Repeat steps #25 – 38 for the next 90 minutes.

Part III: The Spoils of Victory

40. At home, dump Toddler’s candy on kitchen counter for inspection.

41. Repeatedly pull pants up while Toddler tugs at them, begging for candy.

42. Once you’ve deemed candy safe, allow Toddler just two pieces before bedtime.

43. *Incoherent wailing*

44. Attempt to brush caramel and cement-like taffy from Toddler’s gnashing teeth.

45. Wrangle Toddler into pajamas, shove tuck him into bed, and listen to screams of “More candy!” until he passes out.

46. Contemplate ways a serial-child-killer might open a candy wrapper, lace its contents with rat poison, and seamlessly repackage it.

47. Go check on Toddler.

48. Once assured that Toddler is indeed breathing, pour a glass of wine and raid pumpkin pail for any remaining Snickers bars.

49. Plop on couch, turn on TV, and try to relax.

50. Watch breaking story about poisoned Halloween candy.

51. Neurotically repeat step #47 for the rest of the night.

52. Wake up the next morning to Toddler’s screams for “more candy” and your hair glued to the couch upholstery with caramel.

Happy Halloween, from all of us at Between the Monkey Bars!

Also, if you like what you read, do a Mama blogger a solid and consider sharing!*

*Or I will intentionally deprive my toddlers of sugar, hunt you down, and tell them you have tons of chocolate in your pockets.**

**I won't really do this.


  1. My pre-toddler (13 months) has just learned the glory that is "NO!" (or at least shaking his head vigorously back and forth). However, he has not learned the glory that is "candy", so any spoils will be split between the grownups. Unfortunately, his bed time is 6:30, which doesn't leave much time for spooky fun.

    As for Snickers, you can have mine if I can have your Reeses.

    Also, your kids are adorable. What is the costume on my left? Some kind of banana gunslinger? I'm sure it's something I should have heard of...

    1. Hey, any candy-collecting time is a plus! And yes, lol, I would willingly trade my Reeses for Snickers. I am a PB cup fan as well, but Snickers and Milky Way always win out. Unless there happens to be dark chocolate, but it seems like no one gives that away on Halloween. I don't think most kids are a fan (which would work out better for their parents anyway). :)

      The costume on the left is Vector from Despicable Me! He's a nerdy "villain."

      What are you dressing your kid up as?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Okay, see, I knew I should have known! I have a habit of completely forgetting movies after I watch them, but now that you remind me, it camem rushing back! Very cute!

      As for my son's costume, it all depends how motivated my husband becomes in the next 24 hours. He bought a giant nude-colored body suit for himself with the plan of putting my son in the boba wrap UNDERNEATH the body suit and then cutting holes for his head, arms, and legs a-la Kuato from "Total Recall".

      However, since the bodysuit remains intact and Halloween is tomorrow (plus, we don't have any makeup to make our son look icky), I imagine he will be wearing the slightly-too-large prisoner costume I bought him on Amazon. If only I had a police costume to go with it!

    4. There's some really weird typo action going on, but I'm just going to leave it. Sorry!

    5. Of both scenarios sound awesome. You should link me to a pic!