a cautionary Halloween tale

Waiting for her cousin to arrive for trick-or-treating, telling me she's not going to wear a costume
Waiting for her cousin to arrive for trick-or-treating, telling me she’s not going to wear a costume

We continued our tradition of trick-or-treating with my sister and niece. This year we planned a slumber party afterward, which my niece was super excited about. The girls had tons of fun trick-or-treating and picking out pieces of candy to eat when they got back.

After watching a movie, the girls made their way to bed (with some help from us). M has never had a problem sleeping soundly at someone else’s house, as long as I was there, but this time? Nope. She didn’t fall asleep until 11pm and was up again at 4 am! Not just up but bouncing off the wall, torturing the dog, and shrieking. We ended up leaving my sister’s at 5am when it became apparent she was unable to settle down again.

Things have continued to go downhill from there. M is a basket case and literally cannot fall asleep. At normal “nap time”, she tried to lie down, her eyes looked heavy, but the poor thing’s arms and legs won’t stop moving. She can’t quiet her mind. She is miserable, and I’m even more miserable, knowing that I let my poor little girl eat so much candy that she is literally completely altered today.

I transitioned us to a more natural diet with very limited sugar (even in the form of simple carbs like white bread and rice) and chemically-unaltered dairy and vegetables. M was given organic, 100% fruit fruit snacks for a “treat” once a day, and sometimes allowed one bite of chocolate from her grandma, but never after dinner or before bed. I guess going “free range” for a night of Halloween fun can now be penned as my worst parenting decision to date. I had no hard evidence that candy and chemicals would affect my child so strongly, but now I know without a doubt that it’s NO GOOD.

For the record, I never had this issue as a kid. I wasn’t raised in a household that emphasized natural food, and on Halloween and other holidays I gorged on candy and junk, and my behavior didn’t change. So that is my point of reference. My niece had a ton of candy, too (which she is not allowed normally) and fell asleep no problem, and no ill effects today. So I’m totally new to sugar-free, chemical-free parenting. I need all the help I can get!

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

2 thoughts on “a cautionary Halloween tale”

  1. I am regretting the candy this week for both Wallace and I. It hasn’t effected his sleep much but he is so emotional and freaking out over everything. Not to mention screaming and crying for candy. I am so sore and fatigued. I hurt all over and actually let myself take a nap today.

  2. We’ve gone sugar free around here too, and my husband is making dark chocolate candy with stevia today… It will be interesting to see what the kids think, but he and I have really been liking the stevia we’ve used.

    I’m sorry you and M had such a rough Halloween experience! Two of my kids really struggle with their behavior on any sugar as well, and like you, I never had that problem. We had a similar day where, after behaving with our choices for some time, we figured a few treats wouldn’t matter. So. Wrong. We all suffered for that choice. But now we know!

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