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9to5to9: Happy Halloween — can I delay a few days?

Submitted by on Friday, 31 October 2008 No Comment

BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Halloween is Oct. 31

Dang. Why didn’t someone tell me earlier?

OK, here we go again. Implement emergency special-events drill I know so well. Give me credit for at least remembering that Halloween is a Big Thing in kid world.

Big Guy’s costume: Check. I’ll be surprised if he actually wears it — he’s been complaining for a week that the Batman muscle chest “looks like he has boobies.”

Little Guy’s costume: Where the heck is last year’s engineer’s hat?Buried in the coat closet, along with Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart.

My costume: Pirate Chick getup is way too thin and short for the forecast. Now leaning toward digging out long johns and dressing as a lumberjack. Note to California: If I had wanted to trick or treat on a rainy 50-degree night I would have stayed in West Virginia.

Film for camera for Big Guy’s first field trip: Ha! You thought you had me on that one, but I’ve gone digital Good thing, too.

Trick-or-treat candy: Uh … Oops.

Procrastination, my old friend, we meet again.

And the candy’s a big problem in our house because, not only do I have to distribute to the hordes who invade our neighborhood — honest to God, we have groups roll through on flat-bed trucks — but I also have to replace what I confiscate from Big Guy.

Between his egg, peanut and tree nut allergies, plus dye avoidance, that’s usually a lot. More than three-quarters of his haul. While it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for that much junk to go bye-bye, I can’t stand to see his heart break at losing the goodies he “worked” so hard for.

So we trade. For every piece I seize, he gets a safe piece from our stash. He still complains some, mainly on the disgusting-looking dye-laden eyeballs and such, because complaining’s what he does. But he doesn’t gripe much.

Last year, I noticed an uptick in allergy- and tooth-friendly treats. There were stampers, stickers and pencils. I tried giving out pretzels, which still wouldn’t be safe for the wheat- or gluten-allergic, but it was the best I could do on deadline. And holidays always are on deadline for me.

I think awareness will be even higher this year, in part because the study about the growing number of food-allergic children was released so recently. A neighborhood in Wisconsin, for example, is offering allergy- and Celiac-safe trick or treating. There’s been a ton of attention everywhere else to allergy-safe alternatives — popcorn, raisins or bubble-gum machine type toys.

We don’t expect everyone to do that, and we’re not trying to play the Grinch Who Stole the Snickers and Reese’s Cups. But it’s nice that some folks help make life a bit more normal for Big Guy.

Especially since he’s handicapped by such an abnormal mom who’s going to run out Oct. 31 to buy trick-or-treat candy.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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