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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I didn't want to post about this until others had a chance to talk about last night, their haunts, experiences, etc.

This is bugging me. It probably shouldn't.

The overwhelming majority of houses we called on while ToTing were amazingly nice to my kids. Or, not amazingly. In my neighborhood, our neighbors are nice every year. :) Most people remember my kids as we have lived here for 10 years. My kids are VERY polite ToTers. A good, hearty "trick or treat," "thank you" and "Happy Halloween" and they even sometimes say "See you next year." They're incredibly sweet young men.

BUT they get excited, especially my youngest (age 9). So we went up to this one house and a little old lady came out with her bucket and she said, "Take what you want." So my littlest dipped his hand in. I think by "take what you want" he thought she meant grab a few. He saw that he wanted more than one, LOL. He is NOT a greedy little boy by any means and loves the act of ToTing probably much more than the candy. I mean we can get candy any time. The other thing is that many people in the n'hood were giving out handfuls of candy, I guess to get rid of it as maybe they didn't get as many ToTers as they were expecting and they didn't want it lying around their house (that's pretty common, I think).

Well, she yelled at him to take JUST ONE. Fair enough, her bucket, her house, her candy, one piece is totally fine, he just didn't KNOW that was what she meant...but she yanked the bucket back...then she sighed really loudly and looked over at me while she said to my older son, "I guess you'd better take two...since the other one got at LEAST two" or something like that in this angry/"I give up" voice. So my older son takes a second one and they're both in the middle of standing there politely saying "Thank you" when she yells over at me, "That little one sure can grab!" I thought maybe she was just a loud person and maybe was saying it as a "kids will be kids" thing so I started to say, "Oh, he is just so excited tonight" or something and in the middle of my sentence she slams the door in my kids' faces.

They didn't think anything of it and I probably shouldn't either, why is this bugging me? It could be anything. Maybe she had a bad day. Maybe her husband just died. I mean I don't know but it hurts that my polite, sweet children basically were accused of being greedy little ****es and had the door slammed in their faces.

Why would that old lady do that...?

I felt like a horrible mom too when that happened, like it must seem like I encourage my kids to be greedy brats or something. He just didn't understand what she meant, she said take what you want. :cry:
 

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Especially when it comes to parenting, remember the saying "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter".

She was probably just cranky and didn't stop to think how her own words confused the situation. There was nothing you or your kiddos could have done differently - with the exception of reading her mind - so it's best just to try & put it out of your mind. If you can't put it out of your mind, then decide that you won't go to her house next year as a big ole "so there!" from you! ;)
 

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My take on it is, she was having a hard day/week/year, and tried to do the Halloween thing to be cheerful, but allowed her temper to get the better of her. I know it was upsetting for you and your family, but I would feel a little sorry for her and her unhappiness. i hope she has a better day.
 
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Trying to recover from having been part of the town's chamber of commence event last night, came across this topic and well I'll come at it from a different angle. I am reminded of the older folks we went TOT at and once the bag or so of candy was gone their lights were turned out.... and HOW mad I was they shorted me my piece of candy, try as she might mom could not make us understand. Now reaching that OLDER threshold I get it. We purchased over 500 pieces of candy and over 70 glo bracelets. Did you know there are only about 25 pieces of candy in the average Hersey, Mars or Nestle's sack? they cost about $3 to $4 a sack... that adds up FAST. We ran out within 2 hours of the 3 hour town event... how many of those kids took a second or third piece... a number of them... how many thank yous, maybe half - and about half of those were only because a parent prompted them. How many parents grabbed a candy or two for themselves... more then a few. Now what happens to the kids who came after we ran out... they got an I'm sorry we ran out, nothing more.

Now keep in mind 500 pieces of candy is no small sum of money spent. Now think of an older person on a fixed income who might be barely scrapping by, they just can't afford endless bags of candy so everyone can "take what they want". I know my mom while she would have loved to pass out candy she just could not afford it. All her medication, doctor bills sucked up nearly all he income. If not for me giving her free rent and purchasing most of her food she never would have been able to make ends met. Giving out candy to some child she never met, who might or might not live in her neighborhood to "take what they want" might have meant going without paying a doc bill or getting her diabetes, heart or kidney medications.

While this lady might have handled this poorly you have no idea what she might have given up to purchase what candy she had, what was going on in her world that might have set her mood for the evening, how TOT treated her before your little ones came to her door. While it is easy to complain about the cranky old biddy who YELLED at my child for taking more then one piece it takes extra to try to walk in their shoes.. maybe she is just a cranky old biddy, maybe her cat is very ill, maybe she got a nasty diagnoses that morning, maybe she's going without dinner all week to pay for that bags of candy she's handing out... who can say...But even old cranky biddies to got off without someone or something pushing their buttons. The fact that after 10 years in her/ your neighborhood this is your only interaction with her makes me ponder why you let your children TOT at a stranger's house. Maybe it's time to mark this home off the TOT list,
 

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Sounds like a real nice lady there :/

People are just horrible sometimes. If you only want each kid to have a specific amount, make treat bags.

When my bags are gone I put the backup candy in the bowl and they can take as much as they like.
 

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I think you're getting yourself worked up over something you had no control over, it was an b older lady and maybe her faculties are deteriorating, your kids prolly have forgotten about it anyway, at least she was handing out candy
I agree... just a grumpy ol lady. People get grumpy as they get old. My next door neighbor hates me. Everything I do he complains from me going to the gym
and losing weight, to me walking my dogs and then Halloween. He is just an old grumpy person. Never happy in life. Dont sweat it. Your kids im sure
wont remember that grumpy old turd lo.
 

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What a scrooge. Maybe she was starting to run out of candy, but if you're low on candy, why bother telling kids to "take whatever you want"? To me, that's an invitation to well, take whatever you want, within reason at least.

I had plenty of candy this year because we had kind of a low turnout, so I started letting kids take candy themselves, especially the younger kids. Most of them actually took way less candy than I usually pass out - I try to give out a handful of 4-5 pieces or so, but most kids either took only 1 or usually 2 at the most when I let them pick. I even had to encourage some kids to take more than one. Except for my very last trick or treater, who was really young, didn't say trick or treat, and took about 6-7 pieces, one at a time. But I didn't really care at that point because it was raining and I was about to shut everything down anyway. Every now and then I have to tell a kid to only take one handful, if they grab the candy by the handful, or every now and then a crowd of kids will rush the porch and try to start just grabbing candy so I'll pull the bowl back and tell them to chill out a little and go one at a time. But I'm never rude.

This year a couple of teenage girls came to the door and I gave one girl a handful of candy, and she just stood there with her bag out, so I said "Did you want some more, or....?" and then I realized that she was getting candy for the both of them, because the other girl didn't have a bag (neither one of them mentioned it). But I guess I embarrassed them, because they looked at each other and then went "Oh, sorry, that's ok" and left, even though I told them they could have some more. Oh well.

At any rate, I'd mark that house off your list next year....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, you guys!

I don't think we'll be going there next year.

The input on possible reasons is helpful. It did cross my mind that maybe she was tired, hurting, or something, or that maybe kids before us had been super-greedy and she was over it and thinking "In my day we'd never do that..."

My kids would definitely NOT have gone for more than one piece if she hadn't said "Take what you want" (they're really just not greedy; as I said, they can get candy during the year, to them it's not the candy as much as the experience), but it's likely she meant take ONE of what you want and didn't realize how it would come off. Plus the fact that many people were giving out more than one piece, and that's definitely because they didn't want to wind up with extra around the house - I know because each year we've been told that, LOL. My kids were picking just from the top of the pail so it appeared quite full and it was almost the end of ToT time, a little after 8:00.

Someone asked why we've never been to that house before. We haven't been to it because it's at the edge of a condo complex that we have never gone into (the complex is right across the street from my house) because it just seems like nobody there is ever decorated. So we assume, no decorations/no lights on/few lights on means, not handing out candy. This year a few of the condos (including that one) were decorated and lit up so my kids asked to go there, again, because it's right across the street from my house, we couldn't have missed the decorations.:)

We never go to unlit/undecorated houses and we don't go to homes with one light on outside somewhere but no decor, because we figure people probably want a light on for safety but if there's just not anything Halloween-y going on at a certain house, they're probably not giving out.

I don't want to come off as the mom who thinks her kids are little angels and perfect. ;) I definitely don't. No kid is, if they were always angels I'd be worried. :D BUT on this one point I am always very careful about how the kids present themselves: they're getting something for free, they're going to be polite about it. And they by nature are just glad to be. One thing my kids are, is polite. People giggle in public places when they hear me say "Be gentlemen" to my kids, apparently that sounds very 18th century, LOL, but I very much believe in manners in kids (at least mine) and like I said, luckily, my kids are on-board with that. They're even polite to each other, "excuse me," "thank you," getting things for each other and so on, which blows most people away. Including me! They are just beautiful to watch that way. I love that.

Thanks again for the answers, I appreciate them so much. I do realize I'll "get there" someday and who knows whether I'll be in pain, alone/lonely and depressed or what-have-you (I hope not, but there are no guarantees).
 

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I would have been very upset about her behavior also. I know my kids wouldn't have understood it. I know the type of "lady" you encountered, and after she slammed the door on your kid's faces she likely went inside to bask in her self-righteousness. Although, what you said in your OP could have been a factor, maybe her husband just died or perhaps she was diagnosed with a bad disease or something which changed her demeanor.

Anyway, I always use these weird incidents as lessons for my kids. First, I would have made light of it and said "Wow, I guess she dressed up as a mean old witch but forgot to put her costume on!" and would have got a laugh out of my kids, so then they'd know not to just pine over these things since they will happen many times in life.

It is difficult when you know someone made your kids feel bad, but valuable lessons can be learned from it so if something really bad happens later in life, this little incident will help them handle it better.
 

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Im sorry that happened, I can only imagine how it must have dampened your spirits a bit. Even though my kids are young adults I am still a very protective mama.
I'm not excusing her behavior by any means, but I do know that some elderly people can get upset by little things that probably wouldn't have upset them when they were younger. I have seen this change as my parents aged. My mother who is a very nice woman has had somewhat of a personality change as she got older. She gets easily upset by small things that shouldn't really matter and has become rather particular about some of the most minute and absurd things. So while this lady definitely should not of reacted that way it might have been one of those kookie things she has become "particular" about.
Sadly even I snapped at one group of trick-or-treaters. They were young teenagers and two of the boys did not have costumes. I told them no costumes no treats. The kids were never rude, and one even showed me he had a mask in his bag. I also realized later that they were neighbors. Boy did I feel like a major piece of crap!!!!!!!
As for grabbing more than one piece of candy, they're kids that's what they do! LOL . In any event I hope your kids had a very Merry Halloween and that this didn't ruin such a wonderful night!!!!!!
 

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It is too bad that her behaviour seems to jave put a damper on your feelings, but if the kids are ok, I would try to let it slide. Short outbursts of anger can be common in older folks as a sign of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Often times those people need all the patience we have. I hope you had a good halloween otherwise though
 
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