Rory went trick or treating on Wednesday night. This was one of the many things that my child was never ever going to do. There was a list of at least 100 of these things, mentally compiled before I had him, the vast majority of which have been mentally scribbled out with the words "fuck it" scrawled across the page over the last 3 years (coincidentally, this is roughly the amount of time that has passed since he was born). The first thing to go was "My child will not watch television" which lasted until he was 2 months old and I discovered the soothing powers of Saint Justin of Fletcher on babies. It was swiftly amended to "my child will only watch CBeebies", which doesn't entirely explain why he now seems to have an intricate knowledge of the characters on something called Fleabag Monkeyface, the plot lines of which revolve entirely around farts and toilets.
My brother and I were allowed to go Trick or Treating twice when we were very small. I remember it being The Best Fun Ever. After that, my parents decided that we weren't allowed to, although the reasons for this were rather vague with something about devil worship being muttered occasionally and frightening old people (which I never understood as we only went to our friends houses). My suspicion is that not letting your children do it was simply the middle class thing to be seen to be doing of the 80s.
It's all very civilised around here anyway - teenagers don't do it, children are always accompanied by a parent and incredibly polite (as they turn up on your doorstep dressed as the Grim Reaper and a severed head) and the unwritten rule is that you don't knock on the door of any house which doesn't have decorations up. I'm trying very hard to justify myself here aren't I? The truth is, actually, that it looked like fun and I want Rory to have fun. So off he went in his crappy home-made bat costume (cobbled together from 2 old black t-shirts and a hat that neither of us has any recollection of owning) and returned grinning and clutching a modest bag of sweeties. And, yes, I let him eat a few sweets before he went to bed too. That's another thing off the list.
The next day, Halloween paled into insignificance. I found myself a) in McDonalds ("I will never feed my child McDonalds"), Rory eating the chips from a Happy meal and ignoring everything else ("I will never allow my child to eat only chips for a meal"), having got him there in the pushchair ("Tut. Children over the age of 2.5 shouldn't still be in pushchairs. Lazy."). Also, I was not only singing along to the music playing while we were eating, but performing a duet of Tina Turner's Simply the Best between a french fry and Finn McMissile ("I will never buy Disney merchandise") for my son's entertainment. "What are you Mr Chip? You're simply the best...". This was followed by a rousing version of Scott Walker's Jackie performed by a Chicken McNugget on which I had drawn a face (come on - he was hardly going to eat it was he?). Eclectic play list in McDonalds these days. Making junk food sing and dance wasn't ever on the list but I'm thinking now that it should have been. Where are my standards? Where is my dignity? 'Cute cute in a stupid ass way' indeed.
PS Have just realised that I did at least stick to one item on my list: "My child will never have a dummy." I loathe dummies. No offence to those of you who use them - hey - you've got to do what you've got to do, and I'm a Nugget dancing, McDonalds dwelling, tv babysitting, pushchair toting mother who lets her 3 year old knock on doors and ask for sweets dressed in rags. I'm hardly in a position to judge).