Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From GooGoos to Game Boy

When my boys were little guys they would rather wear a costume than any piece of regular clothing. Will, my youngest, would wake up and slip into his Power Ranger suit one day, alternated by Captain Hook and Buzz Lightyear on the other days. By the time they turned five and seven I had bought every Star Wars costume on the market. So when October 31st rolled around, we were fully prepared.

Halloween is big in Franklin, Tennessee. On West Main Street, lined with blocks of antebellum houses, the residents transform their homes to resemble anything from Amityville Horror to a Charlie Brown Halloween. I’ve heard they have to spend close to $500.00 on candy to keep up with the vast number of children who prefer to Trick or Treat in their prestigious corner of town.

After filling their pillowcases full of every kind of chocolate and hard candy ever made we’d head home to count. The boys would head straight to the bedroom they shared together and dump out their candy onto the floor. Michael and Will would take great pride in meticulously sorting through their stashes and lining up each piece to create their own master candy collage. While my children were delighting in piling their GooGoo Clusters, Butterfingers, Kit Kat’s and taffy together, all I could see was my soon to be escalated dental bill and silver fillings dotting their candid expressions.

That’s when I got the idea to offer up a barter.

The deal I struck was this: Eat all the candy you want tonight, brush your teeth really well, and then trade it all in for a brand new video game tomorrow. To me, the $85.00 for the newest video game was well worth the cavity prevention! And to them, the hottest new video game was worth any trade, Halloween candy and all! So at the end of the night, the boys handed me what was left of their candy, with the understanding that we’d head directly to Best Buy for the video game of their choice. The best part of the trade is by the time they beat all the levels of the new video game, they had forgotten all about the candy!


Jillian Cantor said...

What a great idea! I might have to steal this one, when my kids get old enough to know what Game Boy is!!

Maureen Lipinski said...

Nice one! I've never heard of this idea. I'll have to remember it!

Of course, I've got a few years to go on it--see my post on my son being still young enough to swap his candy for the television remote!

Lesley Livingston said...

Clever strategy, Lisa!

Tracy Madison said...

Okay, that's an AWESOME idea and one I might actually use next year on my two little ones.