The Kids You Meet While Trick-or-Treating
Parent or not, we all know that there are several distinct categories of kids who come a-calling on Halloween night. We've been those kids. But now that we are, ideally (see No. 8), past the age of going door to door in search of free candy, it's perhaps more important to accurately identify the costumed kiddos who'll be ringing our doorbells this year. Because all trick-or-treaters are not created equal (and because we've already sized up the moms you meet that night), read on to get to know the nine types of tots you'll be dealing with on Monday.
1. The Painfully Shy Kid
Traditions just aren't for everyone. And the act of tasking kids to go up to the homes of complete strangers — in the dark of night, no less — is in direct contradiction with most of the lessons we try to instill in them about safety. So, we really shouldn't be that impatient ("listen, kid, you rang my doorbell") when it takes 47 minutes to get a toddler to mumble "trick or treat" between shrieks and while clutching their own mask with white knuckles.
2. The Kid Who Isn't Even Wearing a Costume
We appreciate a last-minute attempt as much as the next scattered, overworked parent, but showing up with nary a wig or a shoddily constructed cardboard sign is just not cool. Often executed by unsupervised teens, at best this trick-or-treater will arrive with a dirty sheet over his head (ghost) or some toilet paper wrapped around her torso (mummy), but sometimes you just have to assume their costume of whatever clothes they happened to be wearing that day is "lazy high schooler."
3. The Kid Who Doesn't Obey the Honesty Policy
You really only see the blur of this grubby kid running away if you're going house-to-house with your own kid. You walk up the driveway of a home only to notice kids scrambling from the front door in every direction. When you get there, you see an empty bowl with a sign left by some oblivious, overly optimistic absentee homeowner, saying, "Halloween Candy! One piece per trick-or-treater!"
4. The Kid Who Just Grabbed All the Candy
Perhaps worse than the kid who unloads an entire basket of individually wrapped Twizzlers into their pillowcase sack from an unattended front porch is the one who does it in plain sight. After your first year handing out candy, you'll learn not to offer up the bowl (rookie mistake) but to instead place your predetermined allotment of candy directly into their bags.
5. The Elitist Kid
Halloween is the annual exception to the whole "beggars can't be choosers" adage. It's the one day that some ungrateful kid can bother you at home, ask for candy, and then have the gall to complain that those aren't full-size chocolate bars or that "Smarties taste like chalk!" But, really, it's our own fault for letting kids know that every Oct. 31 they are entitled to free handouts and then expecting them to be satisfied with bargain-bin freebies.
6. The Kid Who Makes You Think You Want More Kids
After a slew of rapid mass-produced Spider-Men come barreling up and down your front porch, you hear your doorbell ring and open it to find the sweetest, most darling little child in the sweetest, most darling Etsy-caliber costume. With a toothless "twiiiick oh tweeeeat," your ovaries do a little shimmy, and you forget that the parents of said little child probably dealt with 179 temper tantrums in the time between when they started stitching that handmade garment and when they arrived at your door.
7. The Kid With That Mom
You thought you had your bases covered with your teal pumpkin and your non-candy alternatives for those kids with allergies, but then they arrive at your door. There's the kid, clearly embarrassed, alongside his mom, who is passive-aggressively staring at your candy bowl, whispering things like, "Remember what Mommy told you about trans fats?" whenever her kid grazes his hand over a bag of nonorganic Skittles. You try to sneak him some Starbursts, but you know this poor sap's bag will be confiscated before he even makes it home.
8. The "Kid" Who's Too Old to Be Doing This
Does that child have a mustache . . . that isn't painted on? Didn't that girl serve you a cocktail at your moms' night out last weekend? Free candy is something that never gets old, sure, but there comes an age when you stop going door to door for it and start swiping it from your younger sibling's stash at the end of the night. And that age is definitely when you're on Fall break from college.
9. The Kid Who Was Literally Just Here
"Wow, there are a lot of kids dressed up as Ariel this year," you might think to yourself before you realize that's the same little mermaid that just approached your door a few minutes earlier. Either that kid is lost or they are effectively pulling one over on you.