Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

I hope The Grinch Who Stole Halloween is still washing her house down

DebraDeAngeloW

By
From page A6 | November 03, 2013 | 4 Comments

There was a lot of commentary this Halloween about older teenagers going trick-or-treating, and sure, it’s mildly annoying when they don’t bother with a costume and shove a pillowcase at you, and grumble “trick or treat” in their gravelly almost-men voices, but I indulge them anyway. Giving out treats is insurance against tricks.

Here’s your Skittles. Go forth and egg no more.

It’s not the “too old” crowd but the “too young” crowd that really bugs me. Forget the teenagers wearing their football jerseys for costumes. It’s the parents who dress their infants up and push them around in strollers, and hold out their plastic jack-o’-lantern buckets and say “Trick or Treat” because their kids can’t even say “Mama” yet, let alone hold a bucket.

Two things: If your kids aren’t old enough to walk the neighborhood on their own two feet, they’re too young to go trick-or-treating. That goes double for kids who can’t yet say “Trick or Treat.” I’m onto this scam: Those parents are using their kids as decoys to get a stash of mini-Snickers. Seems to me that if they can afford a costume, they can afford to go buy their own dang candy. And if they’re actually allowing their infants and toddlers to eat that candy, well, they’ll get what they deserve. Good luck peeling them off the ceiling before their suddenly over-filled diapers start squirting at the seams.

When my kids were too little to go trick-or-treating, they got the same treatment I did as a child: a cute little costume to wear while helping Mom pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters. And you know what? They loved it. They never complained. Why would they get upset about staying home when they have no frame of reference about Halloween? For all they know, Halloween means passing out candy to the parade of little monsters and princesses that come calling. Cool beans!

You see, parents, your kids only know what you tell them. If you don’t tell them how much fun they’re missing, they won’t whine and cry about it. Don’t give them a heads-up on unknown pleasures. This strategy will serve you well when it comes to sex and beer. Don’t tell them. They’ll find out soon enough in middle school.

As for Halloween candy, once my kids were old enough, oh heck yes — this food Nazi let them trick-or-treat for as long as their little feet would carry them. I’d let them spill it out all over the floor, and eat what they wanted (and also pilfer the Smarties when they weren’t looking). I didn’t have any angst over it because my kids rarely got candy. Halloween was their big chance to indulge, and they didn’t really burn through their stash that fast. They knew Easter was still a long way off.

Yes, trick-or-treating means candy gluttony. But .. it’s one night out of 365. It’s part of average American childhood. It’s fun. Lighten up. Fun is its own reward, and the older you get, the less there is. So, let your kids enjoy it while it lasts or they’ll be dressing up your grandkids like little tigers and princesses on Halloween, and pushing them around in strollers and begging for candy.

Trick-or-treating. In the larger arena of stuff parents need to worry about, it’s no biggie. Some would disagree. Like “Cheryl,” who contacted her local radio station in North Dakota about her intention to give letters instead of candy to those trick-or-treaters she felt were too fat to indulge in candy. The letter says, “You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? I am disappointed in ‘the village’ of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo. Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”

Judgment is the ugliest monster of all. Cheryl declared herself worthy to judge others, and authorized herself to punish those who don’t measure up to her high standards. As for those of you who insist on healthy snacks only for children, I hear ya, but that isn’t what this letter is really about. If Ms. Healthier Than Thou really intended to make a point about healthy snacks, she could have passed out dried fruit or popcorn. But that wasn’t her intention. Her intention was to hurt and to shame. She took it upon herself to scold the children who (she assumes) aren’t being scolded by their parents about their tubby little tummies.

And so, a lifetime of eating disorders and low self-esteem begins. Fill up your bags on that, kids, just in case life doesn’t dish enough out to you on its own.

Let’s clarify. There are some things that could kill you if did them just once a year: Not wearing your seatbelt. Having unprotected sex. Playing with a gun. Helping a stranger find his lost puppy. Not on that list? Gorging on candy.

Assuming your kids don’t have food allergies and aren’t diabetic, they could wolf down their entire Halloween stash, and the worst it’ll do is put them in the spin cycle for a couple hours and give them a tummy ache and the runs, which will teach them that eating too much candy is a bad choice.

“Remember when you barfed Butterfingers for an hour?”

Of course she does. And she’ll have an apple instead, thank you.

Logical and natural consequences are the best teachers on Earth. Nasty, judgmental letters intended to leave children in tears are not.

Cheryl, I hope someone egged your house.

— Email Debra DeAngelo at debra@wintersexpress.com; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com

Debra DeAngelo

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Tiffany VerstraeteNovember 03, 2013 - 10:49 am

    My family likes dressing up together. I don't agree that parents shouldn't take their little ones out trick or treating. Candy is $3.50 a bag, there aren't too many people that can't spare that or go when it is on clearance. The fun is in showing off your little one. My family (mom dad Husband and I) have or treated for UNICEF for the past 2 years. I brought Kaylin home from the hospital this Halloween and my parents (as an AT AT) trick or treated for St. Judes (star wars themed). I started this mainly because I love to dress up but there is a stigma that after 12 you shouldn't go door to door. Next year, if the weather isn't too chilly you can bet all 6 of us will be out trick or treating as back to the future characters for some cause, but don't worry I dont expect candy, geez!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • November 03, 2013 - 11:21 am

    First Debra says "Two things: If your kids aren’t old enough to walk the neighborhood on their own two feet, they’re too young to go trick-or-treating. That goes double for kids who can’t yet say “Trick or Treat.” Then later she states "Judgment is the ugliest monster of all." I suggest that Debra take her own advice.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LaureenNovember 03, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    To any Teenagers or young children's parents for that matter any senior citizens: I am extremely happy to see you out trick or treating whether it is beside our family or to our door please know you are welcome at my home costume or not, able to walk or not. It is great to see the Davis community come to life with all ages welcome!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • sarahNovember 04, 2013 - 11:04 pm

    I do not agree. My family this year was the wizard of oz, my husband (scarecrow) me (Dorothy) my 2 &1/2 year old (tin man) & my 14 month old (lion).. yes my kids walk and carry there own bucket. No they can't say trick or treat. Oh well let them enjoy time with family, because there 4 year old cousin came that night with them. They had so much fun. Debra take your own advice, judgement is the ugliest.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Benefit set for local bike legend

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A1

 
Downtown post office set to reopen

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3

Run or walk to prevent child abuse in Yolo County

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Nominations sought for charity paint giveaway

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Scholar will discuss human trafficking in Friday talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

 
Birch Lane hosts 50th anniversary party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Hannah Stein reads poetry at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Food Co-op to offer free bags on Earth Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Get in the picture with school board candidate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
KDVS hosts on-air fundraiser April 21-27

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tickets on sale for Pence Garden Tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fundraiser planned for Allen’s campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Food Co-op board plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Downtown hosts candidate forum

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

Learn more about Google Glass at talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Barbecue celebrates winter shelter program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Sign of things to come

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A8

 
Davis Soroptimists celebrate 60 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Fancy meeting you here …

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Don’t miss a Trokanski dance

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Frank Bruni: The oldest hatred, forever young

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

 
Expert: Free parking is a myth

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Have they really learned?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A great community effort

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Public Health Heroes honored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Huge inning propels Pleasant Grove past DHS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Giants edge Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Foster steps down as Lady Blue Devil basketball coach

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats’ streak reaches six wins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Landry evolves into UCD women’s lacrosse leader

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Youth roundup: Martinez, Chan come up big at gymnastics regional

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Kings drop season finale to Suns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Angels get past A’s in extras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Wineaux: Good deals off the beaten path

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

 
Rockabilly phenom to play at The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

HellaCappella showcases a cappella singing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
‘One’ singular sensation to open at DMTC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

25th annual state clay competition exhibit at The Artery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Tapan Munroe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6