October 31st was Halloween – a day that is often associated with dressing in a costume and going door to door saying “Trick or Treat” in order to fill up a pillow case with candy.
My daughter is a pro. She and her friends devoted the better part of a month designing their costume ideas, exploring their characters, and organizing how all the hair and make-up sessions would happen between the mothers. Next was the theme development: cupcakes with gummy spiders, stuffed ghosts hanging from the trees, and jack-o-watermelons. Yes – I was the mother who did not make it to the pumpkin patch in time to get a pumpkin. We carved watermelons and had fun eating the insides! We put our hands into mystery bowls and guessed what creepy crawling things were before us. By Halloween evening, the girls were off in full gear, with their fathers trailing behind. Later came the categorization of all the candy into groups: chips, chocolate, gum, and “no thank you” (a.k.a. too healthy for a kid to eat). From a speech-language pathologist point of view, I love all the pretend play, creativity, and project development these girls achieved.
Meanwhile, my two year old son dressed as a proud lady bug. I am so thrilled with all the experiences that Halloween brought to him. First, he loved all the sensory fun with digging out and eating watermelons. Stuffing ghosts with fluff and stuff encouraged him to make a lot of requests for MORE PLEASE! He really seemed to ‘get in character’ when he put on his costume. Then we joined up his little buddies and set off to learn about greetings, big steps up and down, and other treasures along the way, such as ‘real’ pumpkins. By the end of the night, Aiden was independently saying TICK TEET and TANT-TOO for trick or treat and thank you. As his pumpkin pail filled up, he loved showing me his newest treat. He really learned the ‘script’ for what to do while trick or treating. Beyond that, he was crunching on leaves and enjoying the company of his friends. Now, it is me who is crunching on candy… in the pantry.
As parents, we tell our children to “be yourself – you are the best at being you”. Once in a while, on a dark spooky night, it is absolutely amazing to transform into a captivating character and meander around with ghosts, witches and other ladybugs.
All the best to you,
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)
Growing smiles, mending spirits, engaging children in their lives