Sarah Simpson column: The Halloween that almost didn’t happen

A lesson on adaptability

Halloween almost didn’t happen for my family this year and it’s my daycare provider’s fault.

OK, I lied, it’s mine, but it’s easier to blame somebody else, am I right?

I use a saying around the house in order to keep the kids on track and apprised of what’s coming next. It’s no miracle or anything, they are just as horrid as you’d expect a two- and a four-year-old to be on any given day, but it helps us get through the stuff that perhaps we don’t want to do and to know that the good stuff is coming down the pike.

The saying is “plan the work, work the plan.”

Usually how it goes is I’ll let them know what the schedule is for the week, the day, or the next couple hours then I’ll say “Plan the work!” and they’ll reply enthusiastically “Work the plan!” and we’ll get moving on whatever is first.

It’s very cute, albeit slightly militaristic and cultish sounding, but it works for us so we’ll run with it.

The kids have also become accustomed to asking “What day is it?” And Lord help us if we say a day of the week because that’s not what they’re asking. They want to know the type of day.

Due to our work schedules, we have Mommy days, Daddy days, mixed days and family days. We also have ninja camp days and swimming lesson days, daycare days and so on.

All this to say in the weeks leading up to Halloween everything was set. We planned the work and were working the plan.

Every time they asked when they could dress up and go trick or treating, we’d say something along the lines of, “Not yet. You’ve got a Daddy day, two family days, a Mommy day, daycare day, ninja camp day and a swimming lesson day first.”

The list got shorter as the big day approached.

It’s likely my fault because we took them with very little forewarning to the downtown Duncan Spooktacular and to the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre’s Halloween Train so they assumed from then on that Halloween night was only ever just moments away and would be sprung on them any second.

Anyway, on Oct. 28 we got the familiar questions.

“What day is it? Is it Halloween yet?”

“It’s a swimming day, then a Dad morning and Mom afternoon, then a daycare day, then it’s Halloween.”

On Oct. 29 we got a text from our wonderful daycare provider that she was too sick to work the following day. It’s the third time in four years she’s cancelled so we felt worse for her for being sick than worried about scrambling to figure out what to do with the kids.

Oct. 30 rolled around and we told the kids they wouldn’t be going to daycare that day.

Much like the idea of skipping school when you’re a school-aged kid, the idea of skipping daycare is always full of wonder and possibility and more often than not, it’s because of a special event or ferry ride. I thought they’d be happy or excited.

But their faces sank.

All week we’d been telling them trick-or-treating was the day after daycare day. Now that daycare was cancelled would Halloween not happen? Would they have to wait until after the next daycare day? It was all very concerning for them.

Plan the work and work the plan, right?


I guess our next mantra will be about adaptablility and rolling with the punches. They’re going to need it when they figure out it’s Mom and Dad that have been eating all their Halloween candy.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson column: Cowichan sure knows when to step up to help

Shortly after my birthday last year I wrote a column about gifts.… Continue reading

Cowichan United seeing positives despite results

U21 team falls to Lakehill, but coaches see improvement

T.W. Paterson column: The story behind the lost certificate, conclusion

In early March 1915 the 5th Bn. was near Estaire, France and several men had already been shot.

Cowichan Piggies pick up bonus point in close loss to James Bay

Rugby team optimistic about final games before break

Sara Goodman an All-Canadian, three other Valley players win title with UVic

Cowichan field hockey players continue success in post-secondary

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read