My oldest child has been a dedicated trick-or-treater since her very first Halloween. She was only 6 months old and had just started eating mashed-up bananas, so it's not like candy was the draw. Still, as I pushed her around in her stroller, I could tell she was loving every second, smiling as she showed off her adorable fuzzy bunny costume, staring wide-eyed as she watched older kids race around our new suburban neighborhood, and giggling as she held onto the brightly colored candy I wouldn't allow her to eat. While I had never been a big fan of Halloween, she obviously was, and I figured every kid was the same.
Enter my son, who's been every inch as apathetic about the holiday as I am since his first Halloween at 10 months old. I squeezed him into that same fuzzy bunny costume for a photo op. He didn't cry but instead looked at me with an expression that was somewhere between "you've gotta be kidding me" and "you have about two minutes, lady, so hurry up and get that shot." The next couple of Halloweens, I didn't even bother with a costume, instead offering up dress-up capes and superhero tees that he still refused to wear. The kid was simply not having Halloween.
It wasn't until last year, when he was almost 5, that he finally agreed to wear a real costume, choosing an awesome Frankenstein get-up his grandma bought him (no way was I spending any money on a costume there was only a tiny sliver of hope he'd actually wear), then walking around our yard for an hour pretending to be a zombie. The kid likes scary stuff in general, and if Halloween meant he could fully embrace his love of ghosts, demons, and ghouls, then sure, he'd go along with it.
I figured that since he'd finally agreed to wear a costume, he'd also be down for the real highlight of the holiday: the great candy grab. I mean, I've found this kid climbing chairs and counters to get to my hidden candy stash dozens of time. Surely he'd be all about going house to house to collect an insane amount of free sugar. I was wrong.
While I manned our annual front-yard hot-chocolate and spiked-cider stand (I inherited it from our house's previous owners and figured a little booze could only help my Halloween appreciation), I sent him with his big sister to the house next door to start the trick-or-treating. She found some neighborhood friends and their parents to continue on with and returned three hours later with more candy than any child should consume in a lifetime. My son was back in 30 seconds.
"Don't you want to go to more houses to get candy?" I asked him. "Daddy can go with you." "No. I'm done," he replied. And he was. For a while, he helped me hand out candy to the dozens of trick-or-treaters who stopped by our house and showed off our new puppy, whom we'd tortured by dressing up like a taco, but after about an hour, he retired inside to put on his pajamas and watch PAW Patrol.
I thought he'd regret his decision when he saw his sister's enormous candy stash, but no meltdown came. Maybe he figured he knew where I'd hide it all anyway. And, to him, climbing up into the cabinets is a lot more fun than collecting candy from strangers. It's one Halloween position I can totally understand.