Santa filled his stocking with socks, underwear and Pokemon cards.
The Easter Bunny left Lego around the house instead of chocolate.
Sugar Free Jell-O has become his staple dessert at birthday parties.
But what do you do with your diabetic child on Halloween? A holiday that revolves around candy?
My boy is excited to go Trick or Treating in his new Storm Trooper costume. He’s pumped to run around in the dark with his brother, sister and friends. But he keeps asking me what we’re going to do about the candy and my only answer so far has been “we’ll worry about it on Halloween”.
BUT HALLOWEEN IS TOMORROW AND I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.
Clearly I need some help…and fast!
Sam’s one year diabetes anniversary is on November twenty-fourth. This will be our first rodeo having a diabetic child on Halloween. Because he’s on injections of both slow and fast acting insulin twice daily, he needs to eat a regimented amount of carbohydrates at certain times throughout the day. So what does that have to do with Halloween?
Halloween is all about running wildly from door to door while pigging out on candy. It’s about staying up late and bending the rules when it comes to bedtimes and proper nutrition.
BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH A DIABETIC CHILD.
Maybe I could go around to all of the houses in my neighbourhood and ask them to offer carb free, diabetic friendly foods like veggies, meat or cheese to the Trick or Treaters instead of candy? And while I’m at it, I’ll ask all of the kids to say “Trick or Carrot Stick” instead of Trick or Treat?
Clearly I’m delirious.
As I sit here and stress about ways to include my son in all of the Halloween fun, my husband comes up with a plan.
“Sam, how about Mom and Dad buy your Halloween candy from you and then you can use the money to get yourself something special? Like a new Lego set?”
“Really? So I can still Trick or Treat?”
“Of course,” my husband replies with a smile.
What just happened here? Did my husband just solve our Halloween dilemma?
“Sam, you’re sure you’re okay with not eating candy with your brother and sister?” I ask to make sure he fully understands.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Oh and maybe I could donate the money to the JDRF instead of getting Lego?”
What? Who is this kid?
“That’s a terrific idea” I say as my heart swells with pride.
As a parent of a diabetic child, all I want for my son is to be included. Whether it be soccer, hockey, class potlucks or Trick or Treating, I simply want him to know that having diabetes won’t stop him from doing anything that he did before his diagnosis. Sure, we might have to get a little creative, but nothing is impossible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that my son is ridiculously resilient.
I’m still relatively new to the complex world of parenting a diabetic child and I would gladly welcome Halloween tips from any Type 1 parents out there! I’d love to know how you make holidays and other special events inclusive for your kids. Feel free to let your suggestions fly in the comments! I think that my “Trick or Carrot Stick” idea is a pretty clear indication that I need all of the help that I can get!
Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!