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 lunch.
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 Kennedys.
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 our world.
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 by then.
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.