The first three Halloween’s of Edie’s life we had total control of her costume and dietary choices. This is the sweet spot for a couple of control freak type-A gays who like things “just so”. The first year she was an owl, because owls were super on trend and Papa (me) can sometimes really want to appear cool. The second Halloween we started pushing our liberal gay agenda a little harder and Edie was the cutest suffragette ever. At the time, we still had a little hope for our democracy before the Orange Guy became the president. Last year, we pretend to give her a choice and not so subtly guided her to be Frida Kahlo. She WAS super into Frida Kahlo books at the time and still has a cute little Frida doll.
We knew that our control would eventually slip away and this year she turned 3.5 right before Halloween. For those of you that haven’t experienced being a parent to a 3-year-old, or for those that might have blocked that portion of life out of their memory for the benefit of survival, let me tell you that you often times feel that you do not have control of much, at all, including when you shower or sleep. Our Edith Daring is very opinionated (wherever did that come from?) and fiercely independent. These are traits that we want our strong girl to have, particularly as she grows to face this crazy-ass world, but it can be tricky at times to parent.
This year Edie realized about August that she would have a say in what she would dress up as. At this age memory is a little fuzzy (hers, not mine, although…) around things from a year ago. Of course she is the most photographed child in the history of the universe so she had seen some pics of her Frida picture from last year. She had assumed though that she had to be Frida every single year. I should have probably just let her think that in perpetuity. Of course we also live in Salem, Massachusetts where we have 50,000 show up for Halloween night so folks start thinking about it early. We also have a weekly Target habit/problem, so we started seeing costumes there quite early. She wanted to be a slice of pizza (gross), a plastic donut thing, and countless other characters from tv or movies that none of us knew anything about. What the hell IS a shopkin anyway?
One thing resonated and that was a strawberry. She eats strawberries by the bushel. We grow strawberries in our little yard and she tends to them and harvests them daily. We went strawberry picking several times (in an adorable little frock from Hanna Anderson) and have the framed picture on our mantle to prove it. This was cute and sort of crunchy and earthy and good. I steered her away from several really gross plastic ones at several of those pop-up Halloween stores that come and go in a month and found a super awesome one on Etsy. If you don’t waste half of your income and life on Etsy, then you really should start thinking about it. You can find things that you never even knew you needed, like the assorted vintage Halloween decorations, the mens vintage weejuns, and the tablecloth that I ordered last week. I love doing as much Christmas shopping on Etsy as possible and day-dream about what my next purchase will be. It also makes you feel superior, er I mean good, because it supports small businesses and makers of handmade items. Here is where we finally got her strawberry costume. It was a hit. She was obviously the cutest strawberry ever in the history of Halloween. She had a choice and we had nothing to say about it, really, but that’s ok. We should probably get used to it.
She went to 15 houses! That means she got over twenty pieces of candy which brings us to the tricky part. We are a little strict when it comes to food. We want her to be healthy and strong. She is the best eater ever. I don’t think we did anything special I think some kids are just great and adventurous eaters and others are super not. Some kids are even super tasters and that makes things even more challenging. We don’t want to be totally regimented about anything and most rules are made to be broken, but we mostly think processed food and corn syrup are pretty gross for the most part. Except for Doritos. Doritos are awesome, but only after Edie’s bedtime. We decided to let her have a few pieces and then a piece per day for a week after. Even after a few years sometimes we can be so naive. You see, candy for most kids, including Edie, is a drug. Today, she had dark circle under her eyes and I am pretty sure she would have traded her favorite baby doll, named Baby, for one more package of Skittles. I was not prepared for the intensity that is the day after Halloween.
Currently, the rest of the candy is on top of the refrigerator. This is where things go when they are taken away or “given a break”. She is currently sleeping it off after murmuring “please Skittles” as she dozed off for the night and tomorrow will be better and candy free. Tomorrow we are rounding up the rest of the candy and it is being traded in for a new toy. ( Oh, maybe on Etsy…no probably Target.) A very special witch will come and take the candy away and leave money for Daddy and Papa to buy the toy. I am sure there is some future ramification we have not thought through for this deal but, when you are helping someone get off the Skittles, you do what you have to do. For now, I will eat my Doritos ( I mean apple), trying to concoct a way to convince Edie to be a strong black feminist icon for next Halloween. Or perhaps, I can just let her choose and watch her grow up as one in real life.