The Great Wrapper Roundup

Halloween has come and gone. Thank goodness. I'd share pics of my kids' awesome and intricately detailed homemade costumes, except for one thing ...

... there were no awesome and intricately detailed homemade costumes. I didn't even remember to take a picture.

It's because they chose the crappiest of the Walmart selection. Like, the ones made of that stretchy material that rips if you look at it wrong. Colin's costume was a black ninja, but he refused to wear the hood and mask. Oh, and the red tie belt. So he pretty much walked around in a nondescript black bodysuit. For all anybody knew, he could have been a seal or a burglar. Or Catwoman.

Cameron was Sonic the Hedgehog, and his costume looked like this:

... Well, sort of. It was supposed to look like this, but it had three huge holes where the seams were: the result of him trying it on for like half an hour. (Cameron is as unintentionally destructive as a bull in a china closet, and when you combine that with cheap fabric, unfortunate things happen.) Plus, see that spiky-looking hood? Cameron's spikes were limp. Flaccid. They just kind of flopped around, resulting in "Sonic" looking perpetually disappointed.

Coby was also a ninja, but a white one. He actually wore the embellishments that went with his costume, so you could tell what he was supposed to be, but the hood got soaking wet and flopped over his face so much that he could barely see and fell a few times.

Why was his hood soaking wet, you ask? Because it rained. Not only rained, but poured - the entire time we were trick-or-treating. And between us, we had one piddly little umbrella.

When it rains while you're trick-or-treating, your candy buckets fill up with rainwater. And you know what happens when your candy buckets fill up with rainwater? Everything that isn't in a perfectly waterproof wrapper - which is practically, well, everything - starts to dissolve. So by the time we got home, the bottoms of the kids' buckets were filled with at least an inch of sticky, reddish-greenish-tinted water. And ALL the candy was disgusting. Even the pieces unaffected by the water were sticky on the wrappers from the ten bazillion dissolved suckers and jawbreakers and Smarties and stuff.

Of course we salvaged as much as we could. And because we had three very enthusiastic trick-or-treaters this year, that still ended up being quite a haul of candy. I should have done something that conscientious parents do, like trading them a toy for it or telling them that the Candy Fairy took it to the less-fortunate children of the world. But the thing is ... I rather enjoy having a large stash of candy available.*

*The calorie-counting side of me disapproves, but I usually just tell her to shut the hell up.

Sometimes I straight-up suck at parenting (like during parades or when I laugh as my son makes obscene gestures or the time my kid had a potentially life-threatening illness and I didn't even notice). But for every hundred ten terrible-mom fails, there's a flash of parenting genius - and I had one over the weekend regarding the Halloween candy (and disposal of resulting wrappers).

I don't know about your kids, but mine seem to think the floor doubles as a trash can. No matter how many times I have a shrieking fit gently remind them to throw their wrappers/paper scraps/random messes away, it doesn't seem to sink in. This year, however, I made a new rule: for every single wrapper I find on the floor, I get to confiscate five pieces of candy from their collective bucket.

I've only found four wrappers so far. AND I have twenty pieces of the choicest candy from their stash - without them complaining that I'm stealing it. Total win-win.


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