Halloween has always been a bit of a taboo subject in our house. I don’t dislike it and love the idea of having a bit of fun, but I have never particularly joined in with much of the merriment over the years. I have attended to odd party pre-children but other than that I was never a huge spooky Halloween fan. I think this probably stems from my childhood. As a child I can remember dressing up constantly. So Halloween in our house was just another chance to role play. Except instead of the ‘bride’ character of my preferred preference, I would usually go for the white sheet with cut out eyes look. Definitely a child of the 90’s!!! Back in the days of DIY bedsheets!!! Additionally, I can recall getting together on Halloween night with the some of the other villagers and going around the village to sell cakes, raising money for our primary school. This was the main tradition of my Halloween memories. It was great fun and the excitement of going out in the dark at a young age still stays with me. There is something about putting two pairs of socks on to keep your feet warm, while you wear wellie out at night that makes me smile. You can tell I grew up in a village in the country!
Nonetheless, Halloween wasn’t much of a big deal and only really was celebrated in that one outing. As I grew older I can remember talking to my parents about going trick or treating and them having the moral conversation of if it was appropriate to go begging at stranger’s doors at night. A conversation which pops up in my head every year at Halloween, with even more relevance now my little ones are getting older. Tommy is now four and last night was Halloween. As usual a group of children came knocking all dressed in various television characters, ranging from PJ masks to unknown scary, dark forms of the lingering teenagers at the back of the group! .. and just like that the conversation began. “Mummy what is trick or treating?”. Being only four we went for the innocent easy option, that I know won’t work forever. We explained that it’s when some of the children dress up and go and knock at the door to get sweets. Luckily it didn’t occur to him to ask if he could do it. Phew survived another year.
However, realistically going into the years ahead how are we going to go forth. Halloween to me is more than just one spooky night of door knocking. It’s a sequence of activities such as pumpkin carving, craft making and generally celebrating the changing of season. It’s just a coincidence that this year we also experienced our first half-term break from school at that exact same time. Which made the merriment even more exciting. Maybe in our family Halloween could be a celebration of Autumn instead, where we spend time together as a family?
This half term we crammed in so many fun activities to make the most of our time just the three of us, while Daddy was at work. Starting off with a trip to Cotswold Farm Park on the Monday with my parents. We went armed with our winter accessories, water proofs and wellies with the anticipation of mud being the inevitable. This year this particular farm had added a pumpkin patch and Halloween land which we were all very excited to explore. Tommy in particular was excited to get to pick his own pumpkin, and I was excited because it posed the perfect bloggers paradise to take that all important ‘pumpkin patch photo’.
The day was lovely, starting with the carving of ‘Bob’ the pumpkin, completed by my dad who carved his first ever pumpkin. How he has survived 29 years of being a father to only just having carved a pumpkin is beyond me! It was great fun, and we all got suitably muddy, sticky and generally covered in glitter. To be honest Emme was more than covered… thank god for water proofs!!! After this we explored the farm and had a lovely day feeding the animals, playing on toy tractors and exploring the surroundings. It was one of those ‘out all day’ days where you enjoy each other’s company to the max. There is a vlog on my You Tube channel showing you all the fun we had if you would like to watch.
The pumpkin picking set a Halloween theme for the rest of the half term. Tommy was excited to join in with the merriment and asked if we could carve more pumpkins the next day. Which we did and they dressed up in their skeleton outfits for the grand ‘putting outside’ ceremony. We decided to declare this our Halloween. I know it was a week early, but as discussed before we don’t do trick or treating so we were all happy to go with the flow and eat cholate buttons as skeletons while I took those Instagram worthy snaps.
Furthermore, I need to take a moment to mention my littlest skeleton. Swept up in the excitement of pumpkin carving and dressing up Emme surprised us all. Usually he key interest is climbing, crawling or generally moving in any direction, but only standing or walking when she decides, which is rare. Emme decided the bribe of the chocolate buttons was something she deemed worthy of a stand. We laughed so much watching my little skeleton baby stand up on cue with the biggest cheeky smile on her face in the hope of a chocolate button. She knew exactly what she was doing and continued to demonstrate a ‘drunk skeleton’ stumble for a few more. It was one of those eureka moments when I realise chocolate buttons are the key to my blogger/ vlogger problems.
The rest of the half term we enjoyed various craft activities and autumnal walks in the new cooler weather. We threw leaves and crunched them under foot. We went Gruffalo hunting with some dear friends and bribed our small ones with snacks to distract them from an epic stick battle. We went to soft play, just us three, which made me realise there was no point in reserving a table, when I will never be sat there. As both my baby and child insist on going up and down the huge slide over and over. We did mundane things like an Aldi shop, Next shopping trips and tidying the house. All little things that needed doing, but all slightly different with two little ones at home… It made me feel nastrgic for times gone past, where I took it for granted having him home 24/7. We had long afternoons watching films and late lunches discussing who the best dragon would be. All small things that make me smile and miss my little man who is now back at school while I write this. Don’t get me wrong he had his melt down moments and I had my too stressed to function thoughts but that’s life and we carried on.
Finally, on the last day of the holidays I decided to arrange for Emme to go to Grannies so I could spend some one-on-one time with my little man. Something we very rarely do since Emme came along. However, something we both so very much need. We went to the cinema, to see Lego Ningago, his fist big boy movie. Before this he has only ever been to see Peppa Pig at the cinema, and I have to be honest I was worried that it would be too scary for him. But I told myself he is at school now and Paw Patrol just isn’t going to cut it. He was so incredibly excited to have me all to himself. We chatted and held hands just us two. The film was good, I only maybe drifted off once, and Tommy was engrossed and loved the green dragon. We ended our trip with a pizza hut visit, where he had his first ice cream factory. What an experience when your four!!!!! Mental note made. I must try and do this more often. It was so special and meant so much to us both.
So that’s it, our half term and ‘Halloween esque’ week is over. Tommy is back to school and we are back in our weekly routine. Reminiscing over it now makes me feel like we did so much, but we had some home days as well and most importantly we just enjoyed each other’s company, which is the main thing.
Is it too soon to move on to Christmas?