Three Into Four: Halloween With A Toddler

10/10/2014 15:57 | Updated 22 May 2015

Three Into Four: Halloween With A ToddlerD befriends a creepy character decorating a town house in New York.

I love Halloween.

I didn't actually realise this until last week, when I was frantically running through ASDA searching for Fun Size Mars bars and accessories for Diana (who was totally disinterested and was busy snuggling a Moshi Monsters lunchbox she'd managed to grab off the shelf).

Or maybe I realised it when I wandered into my bedroom to find a medieval knight's costume – complete with sword – that my husband had purchased for himself, to attend a Halloween party without his wife or daughter, and I felt a surge of panic (mixed with rage. Surely you buy your two-year-old a Halloween costume before getting yourself one?)

Also, isn't the best time to celebrate Halloween in style – and flaunt your pregnant wife - the year she conveniently looks like a pumpkin already?

Having visited New York this month, where Halloween is practically an art form (if you don't consider unlimited candy corn in every drugstore and shops that sell 'muscle' biker costumes for bulldogs a travesty, which I obviously don't), it's hard not to get excited about this holiday, which celebrates so many of the things that children love – sweets, costumes, characters – especially since Diana actually knows what's going on this year. More or less.

In New York, D got her first taste of Halloween as we wandered the streets in search of an open museum on a Monday. Note: there are none on the Upper East Side, and when I tried to take her to the Museum of Modern Art the following day, we arrived too early and D got restless so our holiday was a culturally barren wasteland with absolutely no art and lots of toy store-visiting instead. On our first failed museum expedition, we happened to pass an amazingly decorated spooky house where D befriended a creepy vampire baby thing (see pic).

Since then, I've continued her Halloween education by getting her a book about a haunted house, buying two pumpkins (which we have yet to carve or colour), expanding her envy-inducing handbag collection with a skeleton-adorned candy-holder bag and purchasing copious amounts of chocolate (for trick-or-treaters, in theory). The candy supply is looking dangerously low and it's only Sunday. And I work from home.

This weekend, we also tried to take her to a local Halloween pumpkin parade event, which backfired massively because Diana fell asleep en route, woke up on arrival in a foul mood and refused to leave her buggy for the whole time we were there, which slightly defeated the purpose of having her interact with the other kids and their carved pumpkins.

This basically sums up our Halloween activity itinerary for D, and I have no other tricks (only smuggled treats) up my sleeve. Since she's still too young for actual trick-or-treating, all I can hope is that she'll enjoy greeting revellers who are coming to our door instead.

But perhaps not all hope is lost. Upon arriving home, D pulled her Tinkerbell costume out of my bag (a gift from a friend's daughter) and insisted on changing into it, complete with a necklace, tiara and slippers on her feet. After her bath, she begged me to let her wear Tinkerbell over her pyjamas for the night, and kept repeating gleefully: 'I'm a princess! I'm a princess!'

So, maybe the Halloween spirit is rubbing off on D. And with a reigning costume queen in the house, hopefully we can celebrate for longer than just one night.


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