Like most moms I don’t buy candy on a regular basis, so Halloween is a big deal for my kiddos. It’s funny because they actually don’t gorge themselves. It’s all about numbers. They love counting their candy, sorting it, and hording it, much like Smaug the Dragon in The Hobbit.
And I can’t complain because for me Halloween has always meant an excuse to eat Snickers, Peanut M&Ms, Reese's, Butterfingers—anything with peanuts! With Kory and our youngest son both allergic to peanuts, it’s always been my job to purge dangerous goodies from Chunky’s stash.
But this year, Chunky wised up.
Dressed as a fire ninja (red costume with black wrappings I kept calling ribbons much to his chagrin), Chunky bolted from door to door like a tiny streak of lightning. When the door opened, he'd holler, “Trick-or-treat-I-can’t-have-peanuts!”
He said it so fast that most people didn’t understand, so Monkey (dressed as Bobba Fett) stepped in to explain. Naturally, this baffled the average person who just wanted to get back to their dinner or Castle episode as quickly as possible.
House after house, we heard some variation of the following:
Unsuspecting neighbor: What?
Monkey: My brother can’t have peanuts.
Neighbor: You can’t have peanuts?
Monkey: No, I CAN have peanuts, but he’s allergic to them.
Chunky: I’m also allergic to eggs and grass.
Neighbor *confused silence, awkwardly rifles through candy bowl*: Do Butterfingers have peanuts?
Monkey and Chunky: YES!
At this point they'd take matters into their own hands, pointing to acceptable candy and sometimes just relieving the person of the candy bowl and pawing through it themselves while Kory and I winced from the driveway and called out vague reminders to be polite.
It probably took us twice as long to trick-or-treat. At first Kory and I chuckled at the boys’ routine, but it got old fast, especially when I realized there’d be no stash of peanut-y goodness for me.
Recognizing my growing alarm, Kory swiped a Reese's for me at a neighbor's house that had games, a bonfire and other distractions to cover adult candy pilfering. I jammed it in my pocket, but it must’ve fallen out at some point because it wasn’t there when we got home.
The boys counted their candy. (Monkey=126, Chunky=116) I whined about my lost Reese's but tried to be grown-up about missing out on my usual haul. Then Monkey disappeared to the other room where he’d stowed his pile and returned to present one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a package of Reese's Pieces to me.
So it looks like our Halloween tradition has changed a bit. We may have left confused neighbors in our wake, but Chunky learned to be proactive in his candy quest. Monkey not only looked out for the brother he usually tortures but also shared some of his bounty with his deprived mother. And next year, I'll know to buy my own bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.