Every Thursday, we bring our True Tales from the Pink & Blue Series- which focuses on the ups and downs, the hilarious and the not-so funny moments, surrounding parenthood inspired by our own toddlers and preschoolers.
Another project we hold near and dear to our heart is our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, which is currently in development and features some fantastic brands and giveaways. It truly is a labor of love, so any time you enter or share a giveaway- it means SO much.
This post courtesy of the always fabulous tech mom, Melissa from Home on Deranged.
This week, it’s my turn here at Home on Deranged, and I feel like pondering Halloween and Fall Festivals. Instead of going door-to-door trick-or-treating, it’s become popular in many parts of America to attend fall festivals, which are a little less scary and allow families a safe haven to enjoy the holiday, getting dressed up and gathering candy. Plus, there’s frequently bounce houses and lots of games for the little ones, so they can feel like they had a good time without overloading on the scary side of Halloween. But, then…. I discovered something odd, and asked myself, When did taking a cake walk become a competitive sport?
It’s that time of year – the Halloween free-for-all. As I get older, I think knocking on strangers’ doors and asking for free candy is a bit weird/surreal/confusing, but it’s what we Americans do best: take the opportunity to behave in a way that any other night of the year might get us in trouble. And so it is that this year, my new obsession is fall festivals. You know, those events that are family friendly, usually hosted by churches, where you can play silly games and get some candy or little toys. And walk a cake walk.
I admit freely that I’m not a patient person, a trait I inherited from my mother. I’m also an uber-competitive person, no doubt from being the first born. So I freely acknowledge in writing this that I’m not properly equipped to judge how a cake walk is run, since, if I were running one, I’d be a bit of a hardass about it. Nonetheless…
So we go to a fall festival at a local church. Great setup, with free hot dogs and chips for everyone, a wide variety of bounce house sizes, and lots of fun little games that toddlers can do and feel successful, while loading up on tiny pieces of candy.
But then there’s the cake walk.
With 12 numbers on the floor, they play the music as we all do the zombie dance around. After probably six turns around the floor, I still have nothing to show for my efforts. But then I start to notice. We don’t always have 12 in our group. But when the music stops, 2 or 3 people randomly jump on a number that’s available. Sometimes, they win. A little annoying, but hey, it’s free and the goodies aren’t exactly gourmet level treats.
But then I notice that event volunteers are some of the winners. And teenage boys, who’ve been scooping up candy, are also winning. Continually. And then this one nice soul wins, but offers his cake to someone who’s been trying to win unsuccessfully, and he gets griped out for trying to give his cupcake to a “non-winner.” Um….
I go collect Thomas and the girls, thinking that with four of us on the floor, we can increase our chances of winning. Thomas gets a piece of cake. Leelou gets a cookie, after about 5 tries. I’m exhausted, a little fed up, and ready to go. But Annie….oh, sweet Annie. She wants to win. To just have her number called and get a cookie like her sister. And still, volunteers jump in (including the cake walk monitor!), and song-is-over-joiners win.
At this point, my Mama Bear awakens, walks over to the number callers and says, “I will give you money to just call her number and let her have a cookie.”
Probably not my best moment. But you know what? It worked. First they call her number, but she bolts to be near me at the last minute, so loses her chance. Next twirl, I plant her firmly on #2, and she gets chosen. With a gleeful, “I WIN!”, she grabs her cookie and we go.
As I feel agitated and ridiculous.
When did a cake walk become a competitive sport? Have I gotten too greedy in my old age? Should I even be concerned that the person in control of the music was a grumpy gus who acted like the cakes should be protected at all costs?
Door to door candy begging is sounding better all the time.
How about you? Does your family do fall festivals or do you stick to tradition and only go trick or treating? Should there be rules on the cake walk, or is it silly to even worry about? Share your thoughts in the comments, so I can decide if I should just go make my own damn cookies.