It's almost that time! If you celebrate Halloween, you know how excited and out of control the kiddos can get. You have to rein them in a little, or Bad Things could happen, and I'm not talking about ghosts and ghouls. Here are some Mean Mommy tips for a safe Halloween:
Be safe. Wear something light-colored or reflective, even if the kiddos don't think it's cool. Their costumes won't look so great with tread marks on them. Have them wear layers under their costumes to stay warm. They will complain, but unless they are going as Eskimos, it's better than wearing coats over their costumes. Take a flashlight. The front door may have a light over it, but the rest of the porch or the yard might be dark. You might step in something, um, scary.
Choose a safe costume. You know those old masks that used to come with costumes? The ones where the eyes, nose and mouth never lined up right and it was impossible to see and breathe easily at the same time? Thankfully, those aren't standard anymore, but an ill-fitting costume can still be problematic. Like if you bought one that is two or three sizes too big, just because it was on the clearance rack last year. If the costume is so long that your child has to hold it up in order to walk, you might want to shorten it. (Try using a fabric tape) If it has a hat that falls down over your kid's face, pin it up (otherwise, you'll end up carrying it all night. Or wearing it yourself). Could it get stuck in someone's shrubbery? That could end up being an unexpected trick...
Insist on good manners. Have your kids say "trick or treat" and "thank you". Don't let them push other kids aside in a frenzy to get more candy. Be sure that they don't trample someone's yard or knock over decorations.
Say "no". This has happened to the kiddo am me several times: we go to a house for trick-or-treating only to find out (the hard way--gag, cough) that the person who lives there is a smoker. Do you really want candy that has been permeated with cigarette smoke? Toss the candy, or better yet, skip the house if you know it's a smoker's house. Of course, that's not the only bad scenario; if you encounter anything that looks sketchy, by all means cut your losses and leave.
Know when to go home. The official hours for trick-or-treating are 6 to 8 in most places, but if your child is getting tired or has so much candy it's getting too heavy to carry, it's time to call it a night.