Last night was Halloween and my 14 year old wanted to go out. I asked him what he was dressing as and he said nothing. I then had to give him the speech I had given my oldest a few years back: I don't like when teenagers come to our house for FREE candy and they aren't wearing a costume of some-sort. The very least they can do is throw a sheet over their head and cut holes for eyes. Halloween is about dressing up to get candy. If you DON'T dress up, you WON'T go out for candy. It's the principle.
Later in the day I called home and my husband told me that our son decided to just "hang out" at his friend's house. I said, "Oh yeah, right. I'll bet anything he's going to go trick or treating."
"Well, I wouldn't let him take a pillow case," my husband's tone told me he was oh so proud of himself over that decision.
Kids are sly and not having a pillow case from home wouldn't stop him if he's determined to get candy without a costume. But I didn't want to burst my husband's bubble, so instead I said, "Well, he knows our rule, let's see what happens."
My son texted me to let me know it was time to pick him up from his friend's house. Trick or Treating was over, which told me volumes. Lo and behold he had a BAG FULL OF CANDY as he got in the vehicle!
"What did you dress as for that candy?" I asked once he was buckled in the front seat.
Nonchalantly he answered, "Nothing. They decided at the last minute to go out and they had masks. I didn't have one."
"Oh. So, you didn't THINK of just walking around with them and NOT getting candy? Or maybe ask if their mom or sister had some old make up you could've slapped on your face?"
"Ah, no." His tone changed a bit as he was probably remembering that his father and I told him NOT to get candy without a costume.
I clicked my tongue on my teeth and said, "That's too bad because you disobeyed your father and me."
Quickly he supplied his own punishment, "I won't eat any of the candy."
"You don't really care about candy so you're grounded from Xbox and the computer." I knew THAT would get a rise out him. Candy and snacks just weren't a big deal at our house because they've never been denied. Plus my boys eat healthy most of the time preferring yogurt and fruit over potato chips and cookies.
"That sucks!" Now he was upset and realized that this whole free-candy-without-a-costume-routine wasn't what he imagined it would be!
"It does, doesn't it." I agreed and saw he was texting...really fast. "I guess you're telling your friends that I'm a bitch."
"No I'm not." He didn't sound like he was lying, and I can normally tell.
"I don't get why it's such a big deal."
The battle began...
"I told you, because I don't like when teenagers don't take the time to dress for the holiday and get free candy for doing nothing. The least they can do is make an attempt to dress up. It's the principle. You went and got free candy for wearing every day clothes. That's NOT what Halloween is about."
He grumbled some more and we went round and round until he went to bed, but I didn't give in. He knows I won't either.
Today I picked him up from school for a doctor's appointment and we continued the conversation. He also told me that his friends think I'm really strict. Well, THAT is a compliment in MY book! Too bad more parents aren't strict. Too bad more parents don't pay attention to what the hell their children are doing. Too bad more parents don't say what they mean and mean what they say. Too bad more parents don't take away things the kids LIKE as punishment to send the message home. It's just too damn bad.