Last year when the note came around I said to the lads and the mister, ‘No, no we will not be part of the Halloween trick or treating the Norte Americanos are organising in our apartment complex’. I was all American Imperialism this and culturally inappropriate that*, but in the end, they joined the rounds because it’s pretty hard not to let your kids be part of a candy-fest when they can see it all happening outside their window, and not to mention the other parents sort of insisted that our children joined in and I ended up feeling bad because we were all take-take-take and nothing to give.
So when the mister went off to the do the shopping on Friday, I said, ‘Can you get some boxes of sultanas and some muesli bars that we can give out for trick or treating?’ and the lads are like, ‘What? Sultanas?’ and I was like, ‘You’re always saying, “Why can’t we have the little boxes of sultanas, why do we always have to buy the big bags?”‘ and they were like, ‘Yeah, but it’s supposed to be candy,’ and I was like, ‘Last year, you came back with FIVE KILOGRAMS** of compressed sugar between you, so this year I am saying you can go trick or treating, but I am giving out sultanas,’ and they were like, ‘mutter, mutter, mutter,’ but what can they do because me and the mister were agreed and you don’t want to argue too much with Mum when she gets like this because who knows what she’ll say next and obvs they aren’t going to be spending their allowance on candy that they have to give away and anyway they aren’t allowed to spend their allowance on candy.
Then we’re sitting at tea last night, and I said, ‘Can’t wait til trick or treating tomorrow night when we give out all those boxes of sultanas,’ and the lads said, ‘Muuu-uuum’ (except youngest lad had a bit more of the Mom to it, and in that explanation I was going to write Moooo-ooom except it made it look like he was imitating a cow, which he wasn’t) and I said, ‘Do you know the best thing about giving out sultanas? The best thing is that everyone is going to say to you, “Your Mom is hopeless and she only gives out sultanas” and I am not going to care because I am 41 years old and no longer care what others think about me, whereas you are 8 and 9 years old so you still care a lot about what your friends think.’ I sounded a lot like my own mother when I said that.
There was a tiny moment of silence and they looked at me with the look I particularly love which is all ‘fark, she really knows her shit’, and then they laughed as much as the mister and I were laughing, and one of them (but I don’t remember who) said, ‘Mum, you’re hilarious.’
And sometimes, not often, but every now and then, I’m exactly the mother I wanted to be.
*I just want to qualify, that I’ve been to Halloween parties in Australia and even organised one myself when I was young, and I’m not really into the ‘we’ll all be rooned’ carry on about whether or not we should have it in Australia, because why not, it’s just that it felt a bit wrong doing it here…I know, consistency, I’m totally on top of it
**yes, I weighed it, which just goes to show that sometimes instead of being the mother I wanted to be I’m just the mother I was always destined to be.