Christina M. Currie: Halloween's nightmare

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Sure, small children dressed as cartoon characters, racecar drivers and cuddly animals are cute and all, but even a high rating on the adorable scale doesn't make the ulcer I got on Halloween worth it.

It's definitely not my favorite holiday, though it does rank in the top three for my girls.

The morning chaos that naturally accompanies three girls trying to get out of the house -- even if two of them are only waist high -- was compounded by the need to be in costume before the school bells rang.

We kept it simple -- my princesses decided to dress as princesses. Easy, right?

Whatever.

Added to our morning routine was the need to have coifed hair and artful makeup. Five-year-old Katie wanted to fit her crown over an elegant chignon -- a challenge for her mother, who is the queen of ponytails. I managed some sort of hair twist that Katie deemed acceptable. Then we fought for a while as I tried to convince her that I wouldn't jab her in the eye with the mascara wand. Putting lipstick on 4- and 5-year-olds is also easier said than done. More minutes were wasted wiping it off the chins of little ones who just couldn't keep still.

It was pointless. The lipstick was gone in about 13 minutes, though it did last longer than my patience.

We nearly made it to school on time.

By the time work was done and it was time to hit the streets, there was no time to refresh lipstick or neaten hair.

And, it really didn't matter. It was too cold to show off. Katie valiantly attempted to walk the streets without a coat so that everyone could see her Cinderella pin. She caved before her first "trick-or-treat" and used her coat as a cape until she finally surrendered and put her arms in the sleeves.

She was so fixated on costumes that she ran smack into a "no parking" sign while checking out what all the other kids were wearing.

I laughed. I couldn't help it. She cried. I suppose she couldn't help that either. At the time, the sight of me fighting to hide a smile made her furious. Now, she does a terrific re-enactment.

Nikki didn't care about her costume. To her, it was a means to an end -- candy. She was neither cold nor tired. Nothing stood in the way of her quest for chocolate.

And they raked it in. We gave in at 7:30 p.m. and headed home -- me for dinner and the girls to examine their haul.

For the first time in memory, Nikki ate her entire dinner without complaints, prodding and threats. I'm not sure how; I've since found evidence in the back seat of the car that there was some secret gorging between stops.

Days later, I've got two girls who cry when I pick them up and tell them we're going home -- they're trying to convince me that Halloween is every night.

I also have a huge bowl of candy on the kitchen counter. We don't often have candy in the house, so the lure is nearly impossible for the girls to resist. I've already come across a rocking chair stacked on an overturned laundry basket in front of the counter. A trail of M&Ms led me to the culprits.

In no Disney movie did the princess have a ring of chocolate around her mouth as she tried to hide the evidence by sitting on it, which goes to prove the costume isn't the kid.

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