Mama Mayhem

Halloween - when things go so bumpy in the night

By Ivy Jensen

HALLOWEEN. More like Hell-oween!

Because it’s me who has to pay for the side effects of this so-called ‘celebration’ as the sugar high sends my girls into a hyperactive frenzy before they crash into an anger-filled meltdown.

I’m sure I’m not the only one here thinking the same thing?

Not that I want to be the Halloween grinch or anything — I mean I love to get dressed-up as much as the next drag queen — but you see, my children aren’t exactly the picture of placidity — without sugar.

To willingly hand them a bucketful of sour worms, lollipops and Mars bars is an open invitation for them to start bouncing off the walls.

It’s like watching Dr Jekyll transition into Mr Hyde or Bruce Banner morphing into The Incredible Hulk. 

Their pupils become enlarged, their eyes start to bulge, their cheeks flush red and their arm hairs stand on end.

That is promptly followed by a terrifying surge of hyper-excitability, during which the lounge is immediately converted to an impromptu wrestling ring, every piece of furniture becomes a launching pad, and walls are mistaken for a bouncy castle.

And if you think this sugar high is intense, it is nothing compared to the melancholic wrath that  inevitably follows. 

Fortunately (and I am using that word loosely) for me, this year Halloween falls on my week. 

And as much as I hate it, my girls live for it. Ayla starts thinking about it months before to ensure she has the scariest possible outfit whereas for Maya, it’s all about the lollies.

If she was left alone for the day, I’m pretty sure lollies would be on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hence why I don’t keep candy in the house.

Unless of course you call Dutch double-salted licorice confectionery.

So when trick or treaters knocked on my door one forgotten Halloween, I panicked.

I couldn’t give them my Dutch drops. If they could actually stomach them which 99 per cent of my friends can’t (and they say Aussies are tough), I’m pretty sure their blood pressure would have gone through the roof. 

So I raided my pantry desperately looking for something, anything, that resembled a lolly.

The only thing I could find was half a packet of sugar-free lollies from my dieting days. 

I quickly dumped the packet into this kid’s bucket, hoping he wouldn’t read the fine print until he was far from my door. 

Did I worry that he may have suffered a severe case of diarrhoea if he consumed the whole lot in one night?

No, not really.

Because all that sugar would have been flushed out too. I guess in that sense, I was really doing his parents a favour.

So Wednesday night as I begrudgingly walk the streets and knock on strangers’ doors, I must remember to cherish these moments. 

Because in five to 10 years, the girls won’t want to be seen in public with me. So I should probably enjoy these events while I can. 

However, if my munchkins do happen to knock on your door at any time on that night, don’t be afraid to chuck a couple of apples and toothbrushes in their buckets.

And maybe a packet of Panadol for me.