Explaining October

At the beginning of the month, our neighbor’s oak tree was tpeed, likely because they have a daughter on the high school volleyball team and October seems to be the peak month for teenage pranks. When we came outside Charlotte looked up confused and asked why there was toilet paper in the tree and then added, “Toilet paper is only for wiping your bottom.”

You are not wrong, my dear. And this is what kicked off explaining October.

1). An Autumn Education

Instead of listening to our typical Disney songs in the car, our rides are now exclusively for explaining why houses are sprinkled with pumpkins and 6-foot spiders dangling from driveways. Sometimes I take it one step too far during their autumn education and realize too late that I probably shouldn’t tell a 3-year-old everyone has a skeleton underneath their skin.

2). Strangers with Candy

I am ridiculously excited to watch my daughters finally be old enough to partake in the full trick-or-treat experience--the only time in the year we encourage them to ring doorbells and receive candy from strangers.

3). Emo-free Costumes

If your child is between the ages of 2 and teenager then chances are they have strong opinions about what their Halloween costume will be and planning will begin as early as November 1st. Recently my friend told me her 4-year-old wanted to be Jane Goodall (um adorable) and her 18-month-old was going to be a monkey. Spoiler alert; the kids have moved on—their mom, not so much.

As a parent:       

a. Never get emotionally attached or show any affinity for a particular costume—especially a family costume. If you get too enthusiastic over an idea, your kid will smell it on you, and suddenly Ruth Bader Ginsburg can turn into Queen Elsa faster than you can say, “I dissent”.


b. Wait until the last possible second to purchase the costume as it is going to change at least three dozen times, with the last dozen occurring in the final week.

c. Stay off Pinterest. A white sheet has the ability to make a scary ghost or accidentally get your child suspended.

4). Pumpkin Patch Pleasures

Why buy a pumpkin at the store for $1, when you could spend $28 to dress your entire family in flannel only to lose your child in a maze and ride a tractor going 3mph? Or better yet swim in a pit of corn kernels, sensory dreams, and lost band-aids.


5). Jack-o’-Lantern Joy-Ride to Emergency

My kids are not really old enough yet for the carving of the pumpkin tradition, since they don’t have the dexterity to use sharp knives and aren’t allowed access to candles. But, we still have a week, as well as a low co-pay and a fire insurance clause in our property insurance.


Don’t get me wrong, I love October; from the weather to the smell of apple spice lingering in the air. When your kids are all about the why, as parents, it can be exhausting explaining everything. But it sure is fun convincing them I know why pumpkins are orange and that “Jack” from the jack-o’-lantern requires all Reeses’ as a toll for answering any more of their adorable questions.

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