I was feeling a little proud of myself this evening. After an eventful day taking the kids to Underwater World I actually remembered it was Halloween. Now, I've been very anti-Halloween since basically the beginning of time and having kids hasn't changed that. The day I send them out to ask strangers for lollies is the day the memory of all those stranger danger talks I sat through when I was little is completely wiped. I've never given out any treats before, I'm too stubborn. a) it's primarily an American tradition they're trying to introduce here so we will buy more crappy witches hats that were made in China and we'll be lulled into the sense that a freakin' pumpkin is suddenly worth ten times what it was last week b) no kid I've ever asked (and I do) understands the meaning of it c) I don't find scaring people funny. Call me humourless d) it's extortion, plain and simple. Give me the goods or I'll do something horrible to you. Way to train the youngsters for a life of criminal activity.
But then earlier today I decided I would adopt a new attitude to Halloween. I am published by a company named after the Gaelic festival of Samhain, which is believed to be responsible for starting this whole business. And as for adopting American traditions, well, why not? That's pretty much what the country's all about. We're so laid back and accepting we're happy to meld the cultures of many into our own. Lord knows we'd have no decent Italian restaurants if it weren't for our inclusive attitude toward immigrants and the luuverly food they've brought us over the years. I'm fully addicted to my local kebab shop, I adore a good curry, and I can hardly walk by one of those takeaway sushi joints without stopping for just one (I do know there's more to multi-culturalism than food, but I can't help where my interests lie).
So I decided I could be more cheerful about handing out sweets to little Godfathers in the making. I had a whole bunch of sugary stuff leftover from all the birthday parties Princess has been to, because I don't let her eat from her own party bags (I'm the cruelest mum in the world). I put on some classic Prince, tossed a dash of Wild Turkey into my Pepsi Max (I'm nothing if not classy) and prepared myself for battle. My first trick or treaters arrived, I went to the kitchen for the goods... and Cherub ran to answer the front door before I could stop her.
So a scream really can curdle the blood.
Poor baby was probably expecting someone nice, like Daddy or her grandmother. Perhaps a nice door-to-door salesperson--she always enjoys watching Mummy gleefully dispatch of them. But no. She was contronted by Halloween masks and glow sticks, three kids going 'Booooooo' in the dark because I'd forgotten to turn on the outside light. Things only got worse when the geriatric sausage dog started barking. Bear in mind he's deaf as a post, with arthritis too. He probably wouldn't get off his donna for an earthquake these days, so it was probably the first time Cherub had heard him bark. The terrified squeals and exclamations of 'scary me! at door! at door! SCARY ME!' made the kids terribly apologetic, so hubby gave them some lollypops anyway.
Cherub, however, took a while to get over it. This after a day spent with her face buried in my leg or my neck because sharks and stingrays look a lot bigger in real life than they to on TV.
Scarred. For. Life.