Growing up, Halloween was a miserable affair. The front door was locked and the doorbell unanswered. Halloween was banned: witchcraft was not to be celebrated. So while friends got hyperactive on the spoils of trick or treating, we sat at home sulking.
And so you might imagine in my own home I would have a supply of sweets ready for the stream of children pursuing an autumn sugar rush. Not so. I confess I have never bought sweets for trick or treaters. I am whole-heartedly the Boring Adult: I turn the lights off and pretend not to be in. I tut at parents who let their children out on the streets to terrorise neighbours and demand sweets from strangers. (Have they all forgotten the stranger danger campaign?)
But this year I have sensed change as I transition to the parenting era. My hard line is softening. For the first time I got Boring Adult guilt: with no hiding options available, I resorted to my Emergency Biscuit Supply to avoid facing up to the harsh reality of having nothing for the little witch boy who trick or treated me on my drive. In reality, I wouldn’t yet go so far as to say this softening is for the sake of the fun of the nation’s children (transition clearly not yet complete), but more in pursuit of my own sugar needs. As cake currently has the standing of dietary requirement in my life, a maternity leave addiction, there is little I won’t do in the name of cake. (I am a firm believer that if the day comes that I no longer feel the need for a daily dose, then it’s time to go back to work). And so for the sake of not missing out on a cake opportunity, I readily abandoned my anti-witchcraft principles for a Halloween afternoon tea party.
For the very first time I joined in the Halloween fun. I abused my position of trust and wrestled the Little One into an amusing £6 pumpkin babygrow from Sainsbury’s before duly attending various Halloween-themed baby groups and afternoon tea parties. In case you’re wondering the cake was great. And with the precedent for the next 10 years set, you have my word that in the name of not being totally hypocritical I will stock up the cupboards full of sweets for next year’s tribe of trick or treaters.