Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Halloween Horror

Halloween is well and truly over. And I’m relieved. Not because it means the end of costume planning, trick or treating and overly excited children, hyped up on too much sugar. All that part of it was quite fun. I know it’s not really our tradition here in Australia but these days it’s hard to avoid especially with a school-age child. So my husband and I have adopted a ‘go with the flow’ type attitude to Halloween and all went well.

No, it was the lead-up to the big day that was scary. Three days before, I took the girls up to our local shopping centre to buy the Halloween lollies and I hit one of the many (very scratched) poles in the car park. Those yellow poles always look so bashed up, I used to think, who on earth hits them? Now I know. People like me. People with kids, chatting or fighting in the back. People with too many things on their mind. Or in my case a person with a brand new car that is slightly bigger than her last one.

Being our first ever new car, I could have wept. And I did. In fact I couldn’t stop. My daughters hugged and kissed me, not really sure why it was all so traumatic. It’s just a car. And that’s true. It is just a car. But it’s only three months old and now it’s damaged. When I got the quote to have it fixed, I had another little cry. Only in private this time rather than the lolly aisle in Woollies.

However the tragedy was put into perspective the next day when we found the small battery from a flashing witch nose in the mouth of our three-year-old. Nothing was ingested so no trip to emergency was required. But it was too close. We were nervous about buying the nose in the first place for exactly that reason. But we bought it anyway. Then we had it up high on a shelf out of danger all week. And then, somehow, it was in reach of little hands.

A car can be fixed but a swallowed battery can be fatal.

So for me, Halloween is now a time to beware cheap merchandising and yellow poles in car parks that are probably installed by some sort of panel beaters’ association.

Not that I can really blame Halloween for my lack of care but I’m going to anyway. Normally I wouldn’t have gone to buy lollies after school in the car and we would never have bought a flashing witch nose from the $2 Shop.

Maybe next year we won’t ‘go with the flow’ quite so readily…