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Every year I re-learn important life lessons.
Like an old spaniel with a brain trauma, this old dog doesn’t learn new tricks, just gets reacquainted with knowledge that should really be stored.

A lil’ life reminder happened at Halloween, an occasion I find difficult to embrace.
I pondered on twitter what the equivalent to “Bah humbug!” would be, as a way of showing my disdain for the whole ghost and ghoul shebang, and the best suggestion was “Boo humbug!” which I thought was perfect.

However, unlike the McFly song, its not all about me, I’m the mother of 3 young children who happen to like Halloween, and that’s the problem;

Every year I see spooky sections pop up in supermarkets late September and tut tut to myself about how it’s way too early to be buying Halloween bit and bobs.

I think I’m subconsciously still holding out for an Indian summer – (“Ha! Look how hot and clammy they are in their vampire cloaks” I’d snigger, wiping solero drips off my tankini)

So September rolls into early October and still I stubbornly refuse to browse the rails for outfits the kids will want to wear for trick or treating. I put off the idea of decorating the outside of the house cos its JUST TOO SOON.
As is its want, mid-October follows and soon becomes late October and now I’m not taking action for different reasons; I know I’ve left it too late so I’m freaking out and almost daring myself to be even more useless.
I’m knocking on the door of my own mind and when it opens I’m shouting “Trick!” and lobbing flour at my failure to be a good mum and be organised for Halloween.

On the morning of the 31st I tell myself I’ll be spectacular at bonfire night and make Christmas the most magical ever.
Easter will be a smash, as will Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Eid.

Valentines I’ll paint the back lawn red and land a heart shaped air balloon on it containing candy pink bunnies and actual cherubs; if only I can be forgiven for being so rubbish at Halloween.

However, there is an eerie glow at the end of the tunnel: the pressure is relieved slightly by my eldest daughter going to her dad’s for the night which leaves just the 2 children to disappoint. My 4 year old soon, who, uninspired by his mothers failure to get him geared up for a spooktacular evening, begrudgingly agrees to go trick or treating but only if he can wear his fireman trousers (which have an undeniable hint of binman trew about them), a superman cape and minimal make-up.
My 2 year old daughter won’t wear make up or even go as a witch, opting for a very cute Minnie mouse outfit over her leggings and an illuminous lime green hoodie.
The effect is not so much scary as just puzzling; people open their doors to see the super-bin-man and the nu-rave Disney character, and behind them, their mum and dad, looking faintly embarrassed, and quite rightly so.