Monday, November 7, 2011

Trick-or-Treating with a Toddler

One of the saddest moments in a person’s life is the year they realize they can no longer go trick-or-treating. This occurs at different times for different people. Many children realize around age twelve that since their superman costume no longer fits, it’s probably time to give up tramping through the neighborhood with a pillow case begging for candy.

Other children take a bit longer. It is not uncommon to see groups of high school students roaming about on Halloween, some of them at least pretending to honor the traditions of this venerated holiday by claiming to be wearing a costume, even if it is their baseball uniform or a set of mismatched socks.

Eventually though, the dream of knocking on people’s doors and having them freely dispense candy ends for all of us. That is, until you have a toddler. I took my son trick-or-treating when he was 17 months old, deciding he was ready based on several acute observations:

1) He could walk
2) He could mumble three syllables that sounded like trick-or-treat
3) He was cute

Walking is important; if your trick-or-treater can’t walk, it might look like you are just carrying a baby around the neighborhood stumping for candy.

Coherent speech is important as well. In fact, I assert that baby-making should be planned so that the ability to walk and talk converge at the earliest possible Halloween. (Others would argue that procreation should be planned around the tax calendar, a theory that does have its own merits.)

Cuteness can not be overrated either. Let’s face it. Who’s getting more candy: the acne-speckled teenager with his hat on backward, or the toddler dressed as a skeleton saying, “Twick-uh-Tweet”?

So for now at least, I can skip staying home to pass out candy and take my own child out for a Halloween adventure. But what to do with all this candy that his pediatrician probably would not want him eating?