While I would like to think of myself as a rung up from guppy on
the evolutionary ladder, Halloween has once again shined an
unforgiving light on my dismal failures as a human being. I have no
self-control when chocolate is in my house.
The Almond Joys.
The Milky Ways.
The Kit Kats.
I will eat them until I explode.
Since Halloween, I have devoured nothing but snack-size
chocolate candy bars. Our supply of candy is overwhelming given
that Chicago homes are six feet apart and my three boys covered 200
houses in about 14 minutes. The consequences are now apparent: the
sugar tremors, the edginess, the three pounds I've gained in three
days. I knew this would happen. But I had sworn to myself that
this year, I'd be strong. This year, I wouldn't
even take that first bite. This year, I'd be all "The
Biggest Loser" and "Dr. Oz" put together.
That hope died the second Daniel offered up one of his Reece's
Peanut Butter Cups.
I hide my problem from the children. They must never know that I
am actually a Snickers junkie ready to sell my wedding
ring for my next fix. I conceal the evidence of wrappers underneath
mounds of dryer lint in the garbage can. I insist I had a salad for
I am so ashamed.
This disorder, humiliating as it is, pales in comparison to the
shockingly horrible costume selection I made for the kids on
Monday. After last year's eleventh hour throwing together of a life
preserver and violin for Daniel to dress as a "Titanic Musician,"
the pressure was back on to produce another award-winner.
With a new book out on Steve Jobs and his legendary black mock
turtleneck all over the news, I decided to take the inappropriate
plunge. I figured the man was an icon. Was it too soon?
Probably. Yet I couldn't help myself any more than when I
try to eat just one Twix. I am a mom without grace or
self-control. My neighbors carry off modern femininity
effortlessly. I am Peg Bundy living in a world of Jackie
So I ordered up a bunch of black mock turtlenecks and bought
some reading glasses at the dollar store along with face paint to
add Jobs' famous goatee. I gave each of the boys an apple to hold.
I quizzed them endlessly on who Steve Jobs was and his impact on
We were so ready.
Sadly, Daniel lost out to kids who wore boxes. The student
council judges were dazzled by the box-as-costume concept this
year. Box washing machines. Box robots. Box gifts. If a
kid's parents just happened to have ordered a new refrigerator last
month, it improved his or her odds of winning exponentially so long
as the box was still intact. Daniel told me that there were also
several iPod box costumes marching around at the school parade as
well. Oh the irony.
Middle son Jack balked at being Steve Jobs and tried to convince
me to find him a Superman costume instead. I promised him that
after school, I would give him some of the M&M's I had bought
for the Trick or Treaters if he would just put on the turtleneck.
He moped off only half-convinced there would be any M&M's left
Jack may be on to me.
Joey refused to wear his Steve Jobs' glasses and advised me that
he only wanted to dress up "as Joey." I'm sure his preschool
teachers took one look at his black mock turtleneck and figured
Mrs. Walsh had once again forgotten Halloween. I sort of have a
reputation over there.
It was all a bust. When the boys arrived home from school, I
obliged their requests to add "scary face paint" for Trick or
Treating. This meant scars and blood drawn across their cheeks and
foreheads. My husband took one look at his children now dressed as
Steve-Jobs-Meets-Frankenstein and indicated that moving forward, he
will be helming Halloween. He also muttered something about
resurrecting our family name.
Way too late for that, honey.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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