There’s Halloween before you have kids and when life is all about you, you, you. There’s Halloween when you have a baby and life is all about cute, cute, cute. Then, of course, there’s Halloween with a toddler. It's a whole different sort of animal, because as you may have already guessed, toddlers are evil incarnate. Alright, maybe they’re not so bad (I love my toddler, after all). However, the spookiest time of the year just isn’t the same once your little one starts to walk and (sort of) talk. Having a toddler completely changes Halloween.
I know you were probably excited to finally walk with your little one rather than push them along in a wagon or stroller for Halloween (or forego the Halloween festivities altogether because they're too little and it's too cold and, well, it's just not worth it). You might’ve thought All Hallows Eve would suddenly be easier now that they could (more or less) mutter the magic words, 'Trick-or-Treat!" Maybe you assumed that because your child now had that pincer grasp down, they’d know exactly how to pull one piece of candy out of a bucket. In the words of Leslie Knope, "Oh, you beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby."
Did you forget that while your kid can walk and somewhat talk, they’re still a toddler? Did you forget that, if there's a way your kid can embarrass you into 50 shades of red or completely drive you batty, they're going to figure out how to capitalize on it? Well, I'm here to remind you, because toddlers completely change the Halloween game.
Your Sole Focus Is On Making Sure Your Kid’s Costume Is Awesome...
You’ve waited for this your whole life; to have a tiny little person that you can dress up into the coolest toddler ever. Now they might actually be old enough to appreciate it.
...But Trying To Convince Your Toddler That A Ziggy Stardust Costume Is The Way To Go Can Be Tough
Of course, now your toddler can speak up about what they’d like to wear for Halloween, and you’ll undoubtedly have some creative differences when it comes to picking out the best look. How about we all dress up like the cast from Stranger Things and just call it even?
Putting The Costume On Your Kid Requires Copious Amounts Of Brains And Brawn
Have you ever tried to dress a toddler? You’re successful about 60 percent of the time, right? Now imagine trying to dress a toddler in a (potentially hot, potentially itchy) costume. Exactly.
You End Up Having To Switch Costumes Because Your Toddler Is Convinced The First One Is Broken Or Whatever...
The blue crayon is too blue. The cheese is on the wrong side of the plate. Toddlers have all kinds of ridiculous reasons for throwing tantrums and chances are they’ll throw a tantrum about their costume, too.
...Or Because They Spill Milk On It, Or Have An Accident In It
Toddlers are messy little beasts. They’re still learning how to feed themselves and still learning how to not pee themselves and, well, you get the point.
You Deal With At Least One Halloween Store Meltdown...
Dealing with a crying, screaming toddler while you try to decide on a costume is no one's idea of fun. Dealing with a crying, screaming toddler while you try on said costume is definitely no one's idea of fun. Toddler tantrums are just no fun, period.
...And Multiple Halloween Day Meltdowns
Rest assured, the meltdowns won’t end at the store. You’ll need to harness some major inner peace to get through this holiday. (If you need help, read about how to deal with toddler tantrums, so you’re prepared.)
You Envy The Parents With Their Calm, Quiet Infant In That Simple Bumble Bee Costume
Aw. Look at those cute, quiet little babies dress liked pumpkins (or burritos, or Cabbage Patch Kids). So cute. Those parents have no idea what they’re in for.
You Can’t Get Any Good Pics Of Your Kid Because Toddlers Never Stop Moving
Here’s a thought: dress your toddler like the Flash. That way they have a good excuse for their inability to sit still long enough to snap that coveted Halloween picture.
Your Decorations Are Simple Because Your Toddler Is Sure To Destroy Them Somehow
There are no ceramic pumpkins out. No statues of witches. No elaborate skull garlands. There’s maybe one paper cutout of a pumpkin on your door and that’s it because, well, toddlers destroy things.
You Put On 'The Rugrats' Halloween Special But Your Kid Ain’t Into It
Us '80s and '90s kids remember the great Halloween specials of old Nickelodeon. I mean, who doesn't sit through marathons of The Simpsons’ Treehouse Of Horror? Sadly, your kids will probably want to watch a Halloween special hosted by Paw Patrol instead. When will they learn?
Your Toddler Wants To Walk From House To House, Until They Decide They’d Rather Be Carried
Your toddler swears up and down that they are ready to trick-or-treat. They don’t want to go in the stroller. They want to walk. Until you get about three blocks down the street and suddenly it’s, “Pick me up?” Master manipulators, I'm telling you.
They Don’t Seem To Understand Halloween Etiquette
Don't jump in front of kids already waiting for candy just so you can get yours. Do take only one piece of candy if a bucket is left out. Don't ring the doorbell fifty-one times. Yes, toddlers could certainly use a few lessons about Halloween etiquette.
You Worry About Your Toddlers Eating Too Much Damn Candy...
Maybe you’re extra lucky (like I am) and your toddler doesn’t even like candy (yet). However, many folks will be scared their kid is going to fly off the handle thanks to that inevitable sugar rush and that’s completely justified. If you’re smart, you’ll limit how much candy your toddler eats on Halloween.
...Or Worse, Choking On A Piece
Toddlers are still learning how to bite, chew, and swallow properly. Sometimes they want to talk or even laugh with their mouths full (or jump or bounce or do a many other movements that make every parent freakin' nervous). Other times they run around while inhaling their candy. Basically you’ll be on edge, terrified of your kid choking, most of the night.
Even Worse, Maybe Your Parents Were Right About Those Apple Razor Blades
You know how your parents used to freak you out about horrible things being found in Halloween candy? Pins and razor blades and drugs all that? Turns out it’s true, though extremely rare. Best thing to do? Check your kids candy prior to them eating it. While probably unnecessary, it’ll help you sleep better at night.
In The End, You Still Manage To Have The Best Time Ever
While you might think that a toddler will change your Halloween for the worst, they really are some of the greatest people to share the holiday with. Despite the worries and the tantrums, once they fall asleep and look like little angels (even if they’re dressed like devils), you’ll know you’ve both had the best Halloween ever.