From HELLoween to HalloWEAN!

notohalloween

Halloween time has become hell for my family so I’m weaning us off of celebrating. Here are 12 reasons from previous years to justify why I’m doing this. Note: They’re listed in the order they always occur on the calendar.

September 23 —  While shopping in Costco, an innocent little voice whispers in my ear, “Be organized this year and buy this economy, ginormous fun-sized variety bag of candy!” And then (because Costco doesn’t sell matching sized bags of discipline or willpower) I pull in the driveway and a much louder voice shouts, “Kids, get downstairs this instant and hide this bag of candy from your mother until Oct. 31. And don’t cave, no matter what!”

September 28 — My period begins = The Four C’s begin. (Coercing, Coaxing, Convincing, and Cajoling) But the children stay strong and refuse to tell me where the bag of sugar is stashed. Courageous kids I’ve raised.

September 29 — I ransack the house.”Listen,” I say. “I’m a grown-up. I don’t have to take this nonsense from you brats. I can just get in my car and buy more cancer, err candy.” When I return from Walmart, my sister waits with outstretched arms. I shamefully hand the sweet package over to her and cry, “Put this where you know I won’t come across it.” I also hint that she should hide all my children as well.

Oct. 1 — The annual masquerade party invitation arrives from my well-meaning sister-in-law. Immediately the “S or S” dilemma begins. “Spooky 0r Sexy?” Should I be something frightening that either grosses people out and scares them off?  Or something seductive that (let’s face it) will be even more terrifying! The costume companies have solved this issue by sexualizing everything creepy anyhow. Witches, ghosts, devils, skeletons, mummies, brides of frankenstein are all sold with garter belts and black fishnet stockings.

Oct. 15 — My kids begin to pester me for unusual items to construct creative (and by creative I mean elaborate and expensive) homemade costumes so they can win their school’s contest. Why don’t I have plastic butterflies, metal rivets, black pearls, gold spray paint, white feathers, a sarape, and a pirate hat in our garage? What was I thinking tossing out the cardboard box the new refrigerator came in?  Am I the meanest mom EVER?  Yes, I think I’ll own up to that. It’s a great costume idea, actually!

Oct. 16 — I start tossing out suggestions for no fuss, no muss (cheap!) costumes. Note: they all hinge heavily on wordplay. 1. Wear a fancy dress and draw whiskers on your face. You’re a “Party Animal!” 2. Don’t shave and carry around bowls you threw on the wheel in ceramics class (You’re “Hairy Potter!”)  3. Glue a bunch of sponges and rolls of paper towels on your body. You’re “Self-Absorbed!” 4. Write, “Yay Ceiling!” on a tee-shirt and carry pom-poms. You’re a “Ceiling-Fan!” 5. Wear really dark pants and shirt and stick postage stamps all over your clothes, threaten people a lot. You’re “Blackmail!”

Oct. 24 — We only have one week left. Why isn’t our house decorated like the rest of the neighborhood?

Eldest Daughter: Can we at least stick pumpkin decals on our door and hang spiderwebs in our trees?

Me: Sorry kids, we’re Jewish remember? And Halloween was originally a Paganistic holiday and we’re against Pagans.

Youngest Son: But they’re so cute waddling their black and white bodies.

Youngest Daughter:  Are we against Madagascar and Happy Feet too? Those movies are also about penguins.

Oct. 29 — While doing a once-a-year, heavy-duty, deep housecleaning, I find BOTH large packages of candy inside the vacuum in place of its usual bag. As I flush the last empty wrapper down the toilet, I realize I have an unbelievable bellyache — but if I recover in time, I’m thinking I can just go to my sister-in-law’s party dressed as an Insulin Shot.

Oct. 31 — Replenish candy at supermarket at 5 pm. The doorbell rings incessantly, triggering my dog’s ADHD.

Oct. 31, 5:15 pm.  — Place sign on door, “Sorry, out of Candy. Please don’t egg house while I’m at a 12-step meeting finding a sponsor.”

Nov. 1 — Hide kid’s pillowcases of Trick-or-Treat loot from them so they can’t eat it without asking me for permission. Think this over. Request they hide it from me instead, but this time somewhere I’ll really NEVER find it!

Nov. 2 — Get a strong urge to finally fold the 8 baskets of clean clothes that have been cluttering laundry room since last Halloween. And BINGO! Now I have to Google, “Dentists who weigh your trick-or-treat candy and buy it back from you for five bucks a pound.”

3 weeks before next year’s Halloween — Decide that it’s really a pretty good holiday after finding what my children made:

candy-bar-poster

Leave me a comment about this and if you can’t think of anything to say, tell me your favorite costume!!

 

 

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Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”

Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent.  Listen . . .

Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?

Me: Why certainly.

Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.

Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.

Me:  Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration.  We’re not into Pagans.

Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.

Huh??

And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.

Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.

Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.

Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.

Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!

As for me?  My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel.  Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme.  But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags.  Watch out Hansel!

Happy Halloween.  What’s been your most creative costume?

The Haunted House of Hormone Hell!

Enter at your own

Enter at your own risk!

In honor of October and upcoming Halloween, here’s a scary thought – – I have a teenage daughter.  PUBERTY.  That coexisting with MENOPAUSE is all I need say for you to envision the daily terror in my household.

When we mess up, we blame our own personal hormones. And when we’re angry, we get to scream and curse at each other’s hormones. I never realized how much hormones took their toll until a note sent from my 9-year-old son’s teacher read, “Desmond says he can’t finish homework because there’s too many “Hoarse-Moans” in his house?” Sounds like a good name if we formed a band, right?  Or we could simply have a decal on our drum ala “Josie & the Pussy Cats.”  Ours would say, “The Harmonious Hormone Hussies.”

Having a daughter’s puberty coinciding with your Menopause is bad enough, but with more of us putting off childbirth for careers, the collision of Mothering babies and toddlers with Menopause is as deafening as a train wreck. And not nearly as pretty. I call this category of women:

“The Stressed Breed Who Breast-Feed”

Is this mother Angry at her teen daughter or embarrassed she cannot remember her name?

Is this mother Angry at her teen daughter or just embarrassed she cannot remember her name?

So here’s some tips on how menopause and motherhood can actually work together in tandem, doing Double Duty in your life. But before you read on, make sure when greeting those darling Trick-or-Treaters, you hide your broomstick. Trust me, we’re frightening enough just as we are!

1.  Simultaneously read your child a book as you fan yourself with it.

2.  Snatch frozen teething rings from your baby’s mouth to wear as bracelets on the pulse points of your wrists during hot flashes.

3.  Rocking chairs and lullabies sooth temper tantrums…Yours!

4.  Two hot guys come into your family room every morning, never noticing your weight gain or gray hairs. Ernie & Burt! They’ll even serenade you their new song, “M is for Muffin Top.”

5.  Skip the park – – kids have more fun getting pushed around by your mood swings.

6.  Substitute Gerber’s jarred vanilla custard for cream in coffee.  Pureed peaches lighten facial hair, while diaper rash ointment will vanish cellulite.  Maybe that’s reversed?  Experiment!

7.  You now have something in common with your teens. They want to acquire your car to Drive and you want to acquire their Sex Drive.

8.  Empty containers of Nutella and Duncan Hines Butter Cream frosting make great sand toys. Empty containers of sardines or brussel sprouts – not so much.

9.  Earn brownie points and favors from husband when camouflaging your unshakable insomnia as “diligent motherly concern” by staying up till 2 am for daughter on prom night.

10.  Your mind is set free from all the clutter.  Relax in the evening as Brain Fog helps you blissfully unwind and forget how to help with 7th grade algebra homework. And who can remember that tomorrow you’re supposed to serve on jury duty followed by carpooling and dry-cleaning pick-up? Best of all, you’ll never recollect that this afternoon little Timmy broke the crystal vase your husband gave you for your anniversary. What vase? Do you even have a husband?? Ahh, life is good.

11.  Having both dependent young kids AND needy elderly parents, you can march into the nearest Subway restaurant demanding that oh so clever “Sandwich Generation” discount!

12.  At your kid’s school, create fundraisers for a new PTA — “Progesterone,Testosterone Activation.” Or start a Neighborhood Watch program where nearby households report all hormonally crazed mothers suspiciously roaming the streets.

13.  Your kids absolutely cannot accompany you on “Serenity Retreats” because they’re the ones you are retreating from!

14.  Keep plenty of oxygen masks around the house and always secure yours first before assisting younger children. If you don’t have real oxygen masks, teach your kids to recite this important airline metaphor like the Pledge of Allegiance.

15.  Head for a support group where they serve lots of wine and socialize with other menopausal moms who wander their own “Hall of Hormone Hell,” only to realize their “hall” is literally littered with Hot Wheels, Barbies, and Legos.  Watch those bare (wrinkled) feet!

You can't egg my house just cuz I ran out of candy.  Haven't you heard of binge-eating disorder???

You can’t egg my house just cuz I ran out of Snickers bars. Haven’t you heard of binge-eating disorder???

The Holidays: Let ’em Come to You!

holidaysHave you heard?  You can now talk to Santa Claus from your own living room.  He’ll visit live via the Internet and you’ll never have to leave the privacy of your home!  Listen to my family’s sneak preview of this new service.

SANTA:  Ho-Ho, Santa knows everything.  Have you been good boys and girls?

ME:  You tell me, Mr. Know-It-All Santa.  Have a look at my ten year old’s brand new jeans after he decided to go Knee Sledding.

SANTA:  Ho!  Those ARE some Holy pants!

ME:   And do you see my teenager, who merrily decided to dye her hair purple without my permission? And my eldest son who just crashed our Toyota sleigh? Can you hear my 14 year-old upstairs cranking up Rihanna? No Silent Night here.

KIDS:  Mom!  We thought we were Jewish?! 

SANTA:  Hmm, I’ll tell you what Santa’s little eye DOES spy, Mom.   Tsk, Tsk.   Someone could use a new vacuum, a dust mop, sponges, scrub brushes, Windex, and wow, are those a couple of dead rabbits Santa spots under your dining table?

ME:  Those are Bunny Slippers.  But tell you what Santa – – throw in a weekly maid service, and I’ll Jolly well convert the entire family by tomorrow.  Joy to the World.

BUT WHY STOP THERE?  OTHER HOLIDAY MAKE HOUSECALLS TOO!

VALENTINE’S DAY:  Romance & Intrigue!  To set the mood the day before, a mysterious invitation comes into your inbox from “Guess Who?” with a single rose image and a first clue that says, “To find the desire of your Heart – –  Check out the sale at Walmart!”  On Feb 14th, you follow all the rest of the hundred clues across the entire internet to websites for Hallmark, Lady Godiva Chocolate, Florists, Hair Salons, Spas, Jewelry, Shoe, and Dress shops, your excitement mounting.  By evening, when you are still being instructed (with clever little rhymes) to visit Verizon, the local realtor, supermarket, dry-cleaner, bank, pool and office supplies as well as numerous bowling alleys, you are starting to suspect that you’ve been part of an advertising scam.  But at least you’re too brain dead to care that your real-life sweetheart only sent you a stale Hershey bar leftover from Halloween (see below).  Happy Love Day!

HALLOWEEN:  Peace & Quiet!  A doorbell sounds melodically on your computer so you’re alerted to move closer to the keyboard.  Sweet little “Trick or Treat” exclamations come thru the speaker as two darling 5 year-old twins dressed as Ketchup & Mustard stand before you.  You click on the “Ooh and Ahh” icon and within 3-5 days, a Hershey’s gift card will be delivered from you to their home with a “How adorable you look!” sticker.  No more buying the bag of fun-size Snickers a week ahead of time and having to sheepishly replenish it the night before. . . because you ate them all.  Rest assured, if a large group of overgrown, sullen teenagers (not in costume) should appear, you can dim the monitor light and a 40 pt. font text will appear stating, “Sorry, out of candy.”  A newer addition of this Holiday will include mini-windshield wipers that will cleanse away the egg yolk mess without smearing your homepage.  Boo!

Yeah, it's cute but Whatever.  When you've seen one condiment, you've seen 'em all.

Yeah, it’s cute but Whatever. When you’ve seen one condiment, you’ve seen ’em all.

THANKSGIVING:  No Muss, No Fuss! Your Personal Chef from Butterball, Inc. streams live into your home around 8 a.m. to lecture on Hens vs. Toms, Brining vs. Basting and stuffing the bird vs. stuffing your mouth.  Pop-ups are a new, cool feature of this App – – From pop-up thermometers in the turkey to frequent pop-up windows onscreen, showcasing kids whining to make cornucopias and pilgrim crafts that you can proudly display as centerpieces. Around 2 pm, the screen clouds over and slowly, one-by-one, photos of your entire extended family crystallize – – yes even Great Uncle Milton who smokes cigars has come.  Your sister-in-law announces the entire family is now vegetarian and your cyber experience completes itself with Grandma quoting the exorbitant calories and fat grams in just a tiny sliver of Pecan or Pumpkin Pie.  Happy Gobble Day!

NEW YEAR’S EVE:  Forget Times Square and the ball Drop!   Instead Drop the charges on your Ex, and then Drop the bomb on your kids when you proclaim your New Year’s Resolution is to go to an expensive ski-lodge as an intact happy family.  Suddenly you smile and shout, “April Fools!” as elaborate fireworks explode in the background on the monitor.   That’s right! This Bonus 3 in 1 Holiday App saves you time by integrating New Years with April 1st & The 4th of July.  Happy Combination Day!

I welcome ANY of your comments – – Or if you like, default to voting, Do you look forward to the holidays?  Or dread them?