Now that Halloween is over, the Halloween candy finagling begins. As I mentioned in a blog I posted at the beginning of the month, I have all kinds of tricks to make sure my kids don’t consume enough Halloween candy to fall into a sugar coma that lasts until after New Year’s Eve. The most popular of which is to buy back all the Halloween candy my kids collect.
Halloween Candy and Kid #1
This year my 17-year-old decided, for the first time, not to go trick-or-treating. (He watched his friends’ band play at a local restaurant instead.) Being that he now towers around 6’2” I thought foregoing trick-or-treating was a smart idea. He’s reached that maturity level where he looks more adult than child. I certainly didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea if he showed up on someone’s doorstep begging for Halloween candy while wearing a Michael Myers mask and carrying a bloody pumpkin.
So Kid #1 did not collect Halloween candy this year. I mistakenly assumed that this milestone would save me money. But as it usually turns out in parenting, I was delusional.
Halloween Candy and Kid #2
Kid #2 DID go trick-or-treating with his friends, even though he’s a freshman in high school and also tops out at over 6’ tall. He dressed up as a nerd, which for him is more typecasting than fantasy. Along with five other 9th graders Kid #2 marauded the neighborhood after sundown in search of fun size Snickers and Skittles. Right before they left, I thoughtfully got out his monogrammed Lillian Vernon fabric pumpkin Halloween candy tote that I bought for him when he was in preschool. (Oh gawd, Mom! What are you trying to do? Embarrass me to death?) Even though he hadn’t outgrown trick-or-treating, apparently he had graduated from this mortifying little Halloween accessory, opting now instead for the hipster flannel pillowcase. Plus, the pillowcase holds more.
As a result, Kid #2 came back with at least 10 lbs. of candy, something his soft, cavity-prone teeth did not need. I let him eat some of it that night with his friends (they swapped their bounty with the intensity of floor traders on the NYSE), but the next day the real bargaining with me would begin. Now that he knows the value of a dollar, I knew I was in for some heavy-duty wheeling and dealing to get that Halloween candy away from him. So I decided to just cut to the chase.
“I’ll give you $50 for your entire bag of Halloween candy.” I offered when I picked him up from school the next day.
Quinn’s eyes widened, but then he started to do the math in his head. “That’s only about $5 per pound,” he concluded.
“Okay, $40 for the whole bag,” I countered.
“No, wait! You’re going the wrong way!”
“Offer is good only for today. After that there’s a good chance I’ll just throw out the whole mess on day three, anyway. You don’t honestly think I’m going to let you eat all that candy, do you?”
“Can’t I at least have some of it?” he pleaded. “I went to all that trouble collecting it!”
“Okay, 10 pieces and I buy the rest of the bag.”
“Twenty, I get to pick out the pieces of candy I want, and you buy the rest of the bag back for $50.”
I thought about this for a second. “Sold!” I said. (Now might be a good time to mention that this kid wants to be a lawyer when he grows up.)
When we got home Quinn sorted through his colossal bag of Halloween candy, selecting the grossest, teeth-rotting, sugary crap ever to grace the mouths modern civilization: Tootsie Pops, suckers, sour balls, anything chewy that lasts a long time. Clearly, I’d have to rethink my strategy for next year.
In the mean time, I bought him a new toothbrush.
You may believe it’s indulgent of me to buy back my son’s Halloween candy, just so he can keep his teeth and not turn into a type 2 diabetic. Maybe it is…indulgent, I mean. I used to be able to get away with paying $10 for an entire bag of Halloween candy, times two kids. However, in the big scheme of things I think giving my son $50 is a lot cheaper than paying my dentist hundreds of dollars to fix my son’s cavities.
But more importantly, I figure I have only three more Halloweens left with Quinn, a.k.a. Kid #2. And being that he’s my horrormeister, Halloween baby I have a feeling he’ll be trick-or-treating all three of those years, regardless of how tall he gets. And each year I’ll be right there trying to figure out new and creative ways to get rid of his Halloween candy before he can pound it down like a zombie feasting on fat brains at a Mensa meeting. So in my mind, what’s another $150 to sustain a family tradition?
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Stacy Dymalski is an award winning keynote speaker and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.