The Morning After

Sally Laudner

It’s the morning after and the hangovers are palpable. Twitchy, tired and headachey, mung-mouthy kids wandering around in a daze, snapping at me while not-so-subtlety squirrelling away their next fix.

It’s November 1st. The morning after the night before and my house, always untidy (see previous post) is liberally sprinkled in candy wrappers, chip bags, half-chewed toffees, and semi-sucked lollies. It’s the day after Hallowe’en–the day I turn into a full-blown witch of MacBethian proportions.

I used to love Hallowe’en (and mostly I still do–mostly). When I was a kid, and even when my kids were young. I loved dressing up and dressing them up. I loved carving a pumpkin, creating elaborate decorations for the house and yard, and passing out candy after encouraging the little princesses, clowns, and pirates to sing a song or perform a cute dance.

I used to hand-make all my kids costumes, planning sometimes months in advance. And I would make elaborate costumes for myself and my mostly unwilling husband–we were Fred and Wilma, Bugs and Elmer Fudd, and my best favorite, Elvis and Priscilla.

These days? I’m lucky if I can make it to Wal-Mart by the 30th of October to scrabble through the last of the costumes scattered on the floor to find something that might fit if we grease one of the kids with butter and wedge them into it. Most of the candy gets eaten before it ever makes it to a trick-or-treater’s bag, and I never dress up anymore. In fact, it’s a close thing if I get dressed at all (you’d be surprised how many people think my slippers and ratty old bathrobe are a costume–especially when I don’t comb my hair).

But really, it’s the post-Hallowe’ening that sprouts warts on my nose. It’s the age old battle of the candy. They want it and are willing to resort to any means possible to get it (in fact, the CIA could take lessons on covert operations from my kids). I want some semblance of sanity (and moderately healthy kids who get at least one green piece of food per week) in our house, and am willing to do almost anything to get it, so a heavy battle with occasional casualties ensues.

My resolve to remain strong this year (like every other) will, most likely, be eroded away by heavy and persistent whining, crying, stomping, sneaking, whaling, and door-slamming. My will to live and desire for healthy well-balanced children will be completely subsumed by candy-madness.

I know I need to be a strong parent who sets a solid example of healthy living and moderation for my children. I know I need to be the hand that guides. I know I need to set the boundaries my children are looking for. I know. I know!

Chances are though, I won’t. Chances are pretty good that they’ll eat candy ’til they’re ill, be too full of crap to eat supper, go to bed sticky and stomach-achey, and wake up cranky. But in the hours they toss and turn, with their teeth stuck together with jelly beans, I will practice my own lack of moderation while I sip several Brandy and sodas while saving them from themselves by eating the candy myself.

I’ll share with my husband, of course. I mean, I’m not that much of a witch!


One thought on “The Morning After

  1. hey, thanks SO much for that last comment you left on my blog. You really know your shit, so hearing from you that this whole “forever” parenthood thing that I'm jumping into is sometimes (VERY) rewarding and worthwhile means a lot. And even saying the fact that it's NOT always so does too.
    Thank you again!

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