Call Her Crazy, But This Mom is Letting Her Kids Eat Halloween Candy

Look! It's a boy who eats his candy!
Look! It's a boy who eats his candy!

Ahhh . . . it’s fall. Leaves are crunchy. Rain is tapping on my roof and apple crisp is baking in my oven. As a human being with a pulse, I notice the onslaught of pumpkin themed products. As a mother, I notice the annual barrage of articles about how to give away your kid’s Halloween candy.

You can give it to a dentist who will weigh it, divide that by a third and give your kid an equal number of toothbrushes. You can send it to the troops. You can puree it with kale and make smoothies. You can ship it to a third world country if you want but I am here to push back.

Call me old fashioned, but I am going to let my kids eat it. Look, they worked hard for that haul! They freeze as they slog around in the dark and the rain. They constantly readjust their masks so they can talk and breathe. They have to juggle light sabers while balancing a candy bucket. This isn’t exactly child’s play! Well, I guess it actually is child’s play. But still . . .

I feel like our generation of parents is sucking the fun out of a lot of our kids’ lives. It’s not just a collective sugar terror. We throw birthday parties with no presents. We won’t let them walk more than a block unattended. Sadly, I recently learned there is a new danger to my kids’ lives and I was shocked!

Many of my friends attended a seminar about safety and came back with tons of helpful information about how we can shield our kids from potential dangers. But they also came back saying that this seminar advises against sleepovers.

What!?!?! First of all, I think that parents deserve the privilege of schluffing their kids off on other people for the night. Second, how else are my kids going to learn the fine art of smiling as they swallow some disgusting mouthful of food that they would normally avoid at all costs?

Sure, trouble happens at sleepovers. Kids learn about sex. New and exotic swear words are added to their vocabulary. Scary and/or inappropriate movies may be watched. I remember the illicit glory of waiting up to watch Saturday Night Live. I tried to understand the dirty jokes and innuendos that Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy were smiling about. How on earth can I deprive my kids of those same joys?

Keeping these things away from our children is very well intentioned, I know. We are all trying to raise safe, healthy and well-behaved kids. But where is the fun?

Nuts to that! I say let ‘em eat candy corn!

So don’t bother to forward me a link to your dentist office candy exchange this year. It will go in my delete box faster than you can say tooth decay.

My kids are going to eat every last piece. Well, every piece except the ones that I eat. Maybe they will be a candy hoarder like my brother. He would save his every year and wait until the post-Christmas/pre-Easter candy drought and pull it back out to taunt me since mine was long gone. Maybe they’ll go old school and blow through it like I did. Maybe they’ll bring some to their next sleepover. I’m not sure.

But I am sure that I will let them have this joy. I will allow these glories of childhood that I remember so fondly to continue for my kids.

Later on, when cavities have ravaged their teeth, they can tell their little ones about it. They will smile and display their brown, ragged stumps while their beautiful children (who were conceived, no doubt, using some method they learned about at a sleepover) smile.

But . . . that’s a worry for another post. Until then, eat away boys! Enjoy.

stephanieolson1Stephanie Olson is a mother of two boys who lives and writes in Seattle. She believes her golden rule in parenting “Just wipe it off on your pants!” will be her epitaph someday. It has gotten us through pretty well thus far! Read more of Stephanie's work on her blog, Ma Swell Vie.

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