Halloween is a day of celebration for dentists, who shout “Ka-Ching!” as they book skiing holidays at expensive resorts while our kids gobble sugar. Single mothers also love to be a part of the pagan goddess ritual of decorating houses with cheap crappy decorations made in a Chinese factory and the foraging of bags of sugar and chemicals to feed small beasts. Every year, as we make our way down our friend’s streets (never in our neighbourhood) I barely hear the cries of, “Mum we haven’t got enough lollies,” because I’m too busy flirting with the dads I’m chatting up.
I love Halloween. At work I try to make sick children happy, and scaring well kids on October 31st is a brilliant release. I can stick warts on my nose, paint my face green, have a few beers and channel my inner scary mummy. I love to rise to the challenge of freaking out a kid who has a decapitated head stuck to his chest. Last year I happened to be driving the clown van on the night of Halloween. As a bonus, I managed to embarrass my teen who was hunting in a pack with her besties with my elegant clown fashions.
On October 31st, macroneurotic parents are unpopular, shunned along with their raw, vegan, unprocessed dairy, wheat and taste-free ‘treats’. On All Hallows Eve I don’t cook dinner and my kids get fed by strangers. My youngest child has perfected a sweet innocent look that fools most people. Her blood-curdling scream is evil. I pretend she doesn’t belong to me.
But there’s one thing I don’t understand: Why take a toddler or a baby to Halloween celebrations especially if they’re your eldest child? Parents save yourself the trouble until your kids are at school and stay home with a cheeky bottle of fun. I nearly ran over a rampaging preschooler dressed as Justin Bieber last year.
Some people say that Halloween is too American and shouldn’t be celebrated in Australia, but Halloween is a great day for single mothers. Our kids get spoilt with kilos of sugar and other people pay for it. On October 31, kids of single mothers are also being trained to beg in the streets. In the past week I’ve encouraged my youngest to stop brushing her hair so she’s perfected her poor urchin look.
I really wanted my teenager to have a happy costume for Halloween, so I dressed her in a white shift dress and painted a big red line down the middle of her face. Most people don’t guess that her costume is a negative pregnancy test.
Then I decided to scare my ex when he turned up to pick up the kids on Halloween evening so I’m wearing a t-shirt saying Real Men Pay Child Support.
Happy Halloween, bring on the treats.
Today is the Day of the Dead and All Saints’ Day.
4.15am. I am woken by a Halloween sugar hangover from hell, my tummy is about to explode and in my head I can hear the echo of my children whingeing like reality show contestants. I would run around our house screaming like a lunatic if only I had the energy. Yesterday afternoon I ate too many red ones, blue ones, green ones, pink ones, yellow ones, orange ones, brown ones, purple ones, striped, spotted, dappled, multi coloured, mottled, dusted and sugar coated ones. There is a beautiful tree-lined street one block from my house and every Halloween the residents hold a street party/sugar orgy, handing out kilos of chocolate and lollies to all the kids. Word has gotten out in my part of the world that the costumes and decorations are fabulous and the hard stuff is freely available. People come from everywhere and the local clocks switch over to beer o’clock at about 3pm. Because I am a fabulous cheapskate mother, I painted my children’s faces green and sent them out to forage for their dinner. Keeping children off the sweet stuff is hard when you are a sugar substance abuser from way back. In order to keep my kids from developing a major addiction, I selflessly rationed their sweeties before tucking them in bed, then proceeded to scoff their lolly bags like a junkie at 8.30pm. I looked in the mirror at about midnight and my face resembled a Green M+M. So very attractive. Lucky for me it is the Day of the Dead today because I look like death warmed up. Single mother commandment no: 78: Thou shalt not skip lunch and dinner for dessert just because the neighbours are paying for the meal.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.