This year marked a milestone in my two-year-old's life. This Halloween marked her first time as a real-live, not in a stroller, she picked out her own costume, trick-or-treater. As we walked the dark streets of Los Angeles, I saw my sweet little Princess turn into a savvy grifter who quickly became skilled in the best tricks to get more treats. "Please" and "Thank you" go a long way, but won't get you extra candy. Waiting in line is good for an extra mini candy bar or two, but cutting the line won't get you less. Complimenting the host may earn you an extra lolli. But if you really want to maximize your candy winnings, don't go in a group. Wait til the bottleneck of kids has passed, then make your way to the door and charm the candy out of the host.
As I watched my little lady navigate the nuances of Halloween, I realized just how savvy kids are. My girl got so good at maximizing her house to candy ratio, I'm fairly certain she'll be running a hedge fund (or fleecing one) by the time she's 30. This got me thinking. There's a lot to be learned on Halloween. Here's what I learned this past Halloween.
1) Greed Is Good. Even my two year old was quick to figure out the best, and worst ways, to maximize her candy winnings. Please and thank you's were appreciated, but didn't get her more candy. Waiting until the line of kids died down and going in alone proved a good tactic not to be replaced by overall cute kids antics which charmed the candy out of our neighbors. And no, my kid didn't actually eat any of her candy. She just liked the hunt of getting it.
2) Men Like To Wear Women's Clothing. Without fail, anytime a guy gets the chance to put on a Katy Perry costume or to come as one of the "Orange Is The New Black" female cast members, he'll do it. Many women will end Halloween question their marriage. They'll also be left wondering who looks better in that sequin flapper dress. "Me, or the hubs?" Sigh.
3) Moms Are Sneaky. Most Moms limit the number of pieces of candy their children eat on Halloween, but not themselves. The minute our kids go to bed, most Moms will dig into their kid's treat bags in search of duplicates. If it weren't for that Hansel and Gretal-style trail of wrappers leading directly to Mom's mouth, the kids would have no idea the candy culprit is actually Mom.
4) Willpower Is Overrated. There are few things Mom more than diets. But give her a jolly rancher on Halloween or a mini Twix bar and she'll be ten minutes away from binge eating Laffy Taffy. That's cause candy is good. Why should the kids be the only ones to partake?
5) It's Okay To Talk To Strangers If They Are Wearing A Mask And Giving You Candy. Let's face it, every safety rule you've ever given your kids goes straight out the window on Halloween. There is no other day of the year when small children are encouraged to ask masked neighbors whose lawns are filled with creepy cemetery set=ups, for candy. That's because on Halloween, rules go out the window and the candy quest is all consuming.
So, what did you learn on Halloween?