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October 21, 2020



I would set things up with the assumption that you're doing what he said. And then if he makes any moves that run counter to it, to ask him why he's doing those things.

I can tell you for sure that we aren't taking my kid out at all. The plan is to wear costumes and do a candy hunt inside the house. We love Halloween, but this is not the year for a traditional Halloween. Our outdoor lights will be off this year, we aren't putting up decorations, and anyone who comes to the door isn't getting an answer.

I'm quietly angry at the people who are planning on doing trick or treats, trunk or treats or anything that heightens contact numbers at this point.


I worry that shaming people out of trick or treating just means those same people will plan indoor parties that are much higher risk for transmission than outdoor trick or treating. But I live in a place where numbers are much different than they are in the US.


We traditionally go for generic-brand nutrigrain bars, which is hand because the food bank happily accepts the leftovers. It is slightly bizarre, perhaps, that the kids are so excited about generic-brand nutrigrain bars, but so it is? They're "large" I guess?

Anyway. This year we're planning to put them in a receptacle on the porch with a "one per kid - enjoy!" sign as we did one prior year when we were just not available to hand them out. If there are trick-or-treaters, they get them; otherwise the food bank does. I'm in accordance with the "we'd rather they be trick-or-treating outside than collecting somewhere inside" view, although it's obviously not an either-or and we don't have much of an influence anyway. But if a nutrigrain bar can be a little bit of weight in their candy bag that makes them satisfied with their celebrations instead of wanting to do more or clump more, then great.

(also: I am familiar with the "at the last minute, spouse changes mind in an extremely predictable pattern" thing, and it is hard to know how to mitigate the negative effects of that. But if it'd work to have a few boxes of nutrigrain bars and a pole with a clothespin on it (or a piece of gutter so he can drop them down the chute?) so he can give them things but keep distance.... maybe it might be worth having that in stock. Or not, and he can just Deal With His Choices. Either way.)


Alice - I don’t have children to take out, but I know how insistent they can be. I can’t even hold up to the wheedling of one Gary. I would be helpless to the wheedling on two or three small Garys. Perhaps it can be done safely? I do like the idea of an in-house family hunt; it reminds me of my mother’s Easter candy scavenger hunts.
AH - imagine being the Mom who hosted the party where all the kids got coronavirus. That would be awful.
KC - wait, what, stop. Kids like nutrition bars? Really?


Either that or all the kids here are really very polite in addition to being convincing in responding to them with glee?

I also think it's weird. That said, nutrigrain bars are fruity-gooey stuff on the inside and basically fig newton cookie on the outside, with a tiny sprinkling of wheat germ or something on the top for appearances' sake, so they're probably about the same nutrition level as a pop-tart (we would probably hand out pop tarts, but 1. nutrigrain bars survive squashing better, and 2. pop tarts usually come in two-pop-tart sleeves and would be way more expensive, bizarrely).

Anyway: nutrigrain bars: works fine for the dairy & nut allergy kids (I mean, check ingredients, but ours have?), no child-slave chocolate, and the food bank will (again, very happily) take the leftovers. If you can find good no-nut-contamination granola bars, then you even cover the poor gluten-free kids!

Obviously, though, if you hand out nutrigrain bars and then your house gets egged, pick something different for the next year. The kids' love of them here might somehow be specifically local? We did granola bars, at a pinch, in NJ to similar acclaim, so I think it may just be that there's something about getting a Large Treat instead of a Tiny Treat (we've tended to live in lower-income neighborhoods, so full-size candy bars are not going to be a thing), or getting something that's basically sugar but that your parents will allow you to eat at "no eating candy" times (like breakfast). *Or* it could just be that kids are weird. Really not sure, but: enthusiasm. So.


KC - Gary had a friend who preferred chicken livers to candy because his parents had trained him that way. I guess it’s possible.


When I was a kid, I loved veggies, and my mom always brought a veggie tray to potlucks, so there is a story about how, when I was a toddler at a work potluck, I threw an absolute fit (like, tantrum-on-the-floor) because we had hit the end of the line and *I didn't get any broccoli* and one of my dad's co-workers asked what the deal was, and was told the reason for my tantrum that was occurring right next to the dessert end of the table, and... was surprised. Also entertained.

I did not prefer chicken livers to candy within my recollection, but I did like chicken livers. Weird kid. Weird, weird kid.

But the nutrigrain bars are more sugary than fig newtons, so that probably helps. (not that fig newtons are the Favorite Kid Treat, but: they are a cookie, they are sweet, and these nutrigrain generic "cereal bars" are sweeter than they are.)


KC - I would do a preference test. Get a small 25-piece bag of candy, and ask your first 25 kids if the would rather have a big nutrigrain bar or a small piece of candy. I am truly curious.(also tell them they can have two pieces of candy if they come back later!)


Maybe some year we're actually interacting with the kids...

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