Monday, January 12, 2009

The Halloween fairy

My son came home from a party the other day, excited with a piece of news one of his friends had passed on:

"Did you know there's such a thing as the Halloween fairy?"

"No, can't say I did."

"Yeah. And if you leave out all your leftover Halloween candy, she'll bring you a dollar for each piece. My friend got, like, $100 for hers!"

Okay. Let's go at this in a calm manner before I go throttle the mother who thought to teach her child about this so-called Halloween fairy.

Owen is 9. He doesn't believe in the tooth fairy; she only brings you a buck a tooth. He doesn't believe in Santa; you get the presents regardless of whether you sit on his lap or not. He doesn't believe in the Easter Bunny. Again: you keep getting the jellybeans and Peeps long after you've given up on the idea of a giant rabbit bouncing into your home while you sleep and filling your basket with plastic grass and future dentist visits. (Although I welcome "Harvey"'s pookah anytime.)

But a Halloween fairy? You mean I get to go trick-or-treating, load up on more sugar than is decent or even morally right, eat until I keck, and then sell the leftovers for a buck a piece? I get all the crap I can literally stomach AND I get a $100 bonus at the end?

Perhaps this mother had a good reason for buying her kid's candy. It's January 12, and I still have several pounds of chocolate hidden in the cupboards, which I'll use for cookies at some point. I threw away the dwindled pile of lollipops weeks ago (again with the morality of this holiday!), and the other hard candy never even made it to daylight. (Who gives kids hard candy for Halloween. Stop that! First of all, kids don't like it that much. Second of all, I'm not a huge fan of seeing my kids choke. If all you can find is an old bag of Jolly Ranchers, then turn your lights out and don't answer the door.)

So she should have just bought it! She should have said, "Tell you what, child-without-a-name-so-no-one-reading-a-blog-about-you-will-judge-me, hand over the KitKats and the Reese's cups and I'll give you $100." Heck, the kid probably would have handed it over for $75 or $50.

But noooo... you had to create a fairy who does this, thereby putting the burden on all other parents of kids your kid knows to now either (a) allow the Halloween fairy into their house, (b) tell their child the Halloween fairy doesn't love them as much as she loves your child, or (c) tell their child this particular fairy doesn't exist . . . but Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy do.

Sure, like I said, Owen doesn't believe in this particular trinity anymore (don't get me started on the religious side of all of this, okay? I'm SO not in the mood and will beat you down with that bag of Hershey's bars I'm holding onto.), but he has two younger siblings who do.

And has this incident made me think about the morality of teaching my children to believe in SC, EB, and TF but rejecting the HF? A little. But at least SC is a fantasy that's all about hope and joy and anonymous do-gooding that makes us all believe in the unseen spirit of love.

But looking for a way to get the candy out of your kids' hands? When you're the one that let her go out for 5 hours of begging in the first place? (Yes, I said 5 hours. FIVE. That's how long our neighborhood has trick-or-treating.) Next time please PLEASE . . . just give her a sandwich bag instead of a pillowcase and be done with it.

And let me continue to choose which fantasies (not lies!) to perpetuate in my house.

Or be prepared for me to be verrrry generous with your daughter next Halloween, and to perhaps even allow my kids to give her their leftovers in return for a cut of the earnings.


Shankar said...

Hershey bars can hurt (rubbish American "chocolate"). If it were lovely soft Belgian or Swiss, I'd risk your wrath.

If you want a way out, tell your kids that their HF deposits directly into their checking accounts, and when they look for the money, tell them you've invested it with Bernie Madoff.

Bobbie said...

If it were Belgian or Swiss chocolate, I'd be too busy enjoying it to feel the need for wrath.

I love the checking account--and Bernie Madoff--solution. Ron will love that. Thanks for my morning laugh.