It's a time of year your children look forward to for months on end. You imagine how your Halloween prep might go; how cute your kids look impressed up in their spooky outfits; how you all laugh as you make pumpkin lanterns together. Sadly, the reality is less idyllic, more expensive and with fewer laughs.
1) Black magic
Apparently dressing your child as the witch from The Room on the Broom (again) has been vetoed by your darling child and you need to think up a new costume.
2) Dress code
Spend £25 on a wizard/cat/witch outfit. You may have spent every Halloween in homemade creations made from black tights and a bin bag but these days, your little treasures demand a higher standard of costume.
3) Baby pumpkin
Dressing your baby up as a pumpkin is basically the law. Do it while you can. No child over the age of 1 will ever allow this to happen again.
4) Kids and grown ups love it so
You will eat more Haribo than you should to protect your darlings agaisnt the evils of sugar (at least that's your story)
5) Bare your fangs
You may have invested in a vampire outfit but standby for a meltdown when your precious litte one decides that, actually, she'd rather be a witch...
6) Going green
It will take weeks to get the green face paint off your child's skin and cobweb effects out of their hair.
7) Knife skills
Watch out for severing an atery as you carve a pumpkin. This will also take far longer than you anticipated, and all children will lose interest and go back to their toys while you persevere.
8) Shopping maths
You will either buy too many trick or treat goodies or not enough. There is no middle ground.
9) Wine required
You contemplate joining the children in their Halloween face painting and fancy dress. But you are sober.
10) House of horrors
Everyone is excited to festoon your front door with webs and skulls. But on November 1st, you are de-spooking your house alone.
11) Doorbell of doom
By 7pm on 31st October you will consider disconnecting your doorbell.
12) Easily scared
You have been physically frightened by a very convincing eight-year-old mummy.
13) Lollipop lady
You stealthily remove all the sweets from the kids' trick-or-treat goodies that may obstruct their airways.
14) Witches brew
You planned to make a delicious pumpkin soup from the innards of your carved pumpkin. One week later and you bin a tub of strange, seedy slime.
15) Ghost stories
Standby for nightmares about ghosts. And questions about ghosts.
16) Haunting cries
There will be tears over lost fangs, crooked witches' hats and broken cats' ears.
17) It's over
And now the excitement for firework night builds...
As a freelance writer, Jo covers parenting, health and lifestyle with the odd opinion-based rant and celebrity interview thrown in.
Before freelancing (and juggling journalism with two young sons), Jo was on staff at Good Housekeeping, Bella, Woman and The Mail on Sunday. When not typing furiously or refereeing the kids, Jo can be found pulling on her trainers for a gentle run or baking up a storm in her quest to produce the perfect brownie batch.