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Handling the kids when Halloween is over: it's more trick than treat!

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Gross pumpkin

I don’t know about you, but last week was a rough one in the Lyons Den and I attribute a lot of it to what I’m coining the “Halloween Hangover.”  It’s not pretty.  It can be scary.  It is the aftermath of the sugar-induced carnage we call Halloween… ironically enough, the Catholic Church recognizes November 1st as All Saints Day but inside our humble abode, our offspring have turned to demons.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween.  I definitely liked it as a kid… except for the year that my Mom decided I should be a “Jar of Jellybeans.”  How?  By putting one of those plastic dry-cleaning bags over my head and filling it up with balloons.  Today, she’d probably end up in jail for such a thing; back then, the greatest offense was that I literally popped on the way to school, had to walk home full of deflated balloons and then was sent back as Miss New Jersey – a title that was never exactly aspirational and was next to impossible to pull off as a fifth grader with glasses and a retainer.  But I digress…

Halloween is a big deal in our town.  A very big deal.  There are jack-o-lanterns aplenty and a big parade; it almost feels like Christmas except that the lights are orange and Santa has been replaced with the fire department handing out treats.  There’s a lot of pressure – pressure to create your own personal haunted house, to turn out tasty Halloween treats and to come up with crafty, creative costume ideas.  None of these are my strong points.  In fact, given that our family has four birthdays (five if you count the dog!) and our wedding anniversary between October 5th and 12th, I really don’t have the mental energy to consider Halloween until the week before.

That’s why this year, the kids wore musty old costumes from the basement and once again, our amazing neighbors came to the rescue and affixed an eight foot spider to our roof.  This is true; we came home from grocery shopping last Saturday and there it was.  And there is still is.  And there it forever may be.  Because much like the weeks before Halloween, the weeks after don’t provide much of a respite from the treadmill we call life and I have to prioritize…. Plan Liam’s 7th birthday party or remove that spider? Do another load of laundry or remove that spider?  You see where I’m going right?  That spider just might be wearing a wreath, some holly and twinkly white lights before long.

As for the kids, Halloween reckoned them unrecognizable.  And not just because it was hard to tell the triplets apart when they abandoned our color-coding scheme and went all Spiderman, Blues Clues, and Fuzzy Lion on us but, because they literally went so coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs -- or, more accurately stated, for Reese’s, Hershey’s, M&Ms and Starburst -- there wasn’t a trace of the sweet children I know and love.  The sweets they consumed turned them sour and their sugar-fueled antics turned me into the Wicked Witch of the West.  No costume required. 

In the past few days, it’s been impossible to drag them out of bed; they have one track, candy-focused minds; they have opted out of all our family rules and let’s just say that I’m the one left cleaning up the mess that all that sugar has wreaked on their delicate little digestive systems.

I really think they have Halloween Hangovers and sadly, they still haven’t had the time to sleep it off. I was hoping that the weekend would provide the ample rest and sugar detox they all need but even with the extra hour of sleep, well, the demons still seem to reign supreme.   Until this passes, I will do my best to channel my inner Glenda the Good Witch… and I know that the kids will be as happy to sing “ding dong the witch is dead” as I am! 

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