Are your kids strategic or chaotic about Halloween candy?
In most things, Ruby is nothing like me. A natural extrovert, she loves parties, people, team sports, cheesy inspirational messages, sleep-away camp, and group hugs – all things that range from making me vaguely uneasy to making my skin crawl with anxiety. She is not a picky eater. She isn’t much of a reader, but she loves drama and debating. None of this came from me.
Georgia, on the other hand, is my mini-me. She hates parades, crowds, loud noises, and changes to her routine. She has never spent a night away from home. She is a social butterfly, but she needs a home base. She has stage fright and sports-based anxiety, and she – like me – absolutely has to sleep with her feet outside of the covers.
Of course, I love them both equally: They’re both smart and kind and funny, so the important attributes are shared, but their quirks differ. I love Ruby because she’s such a mystery to me, and I admire her courage. I love Georgia because I completely understand her, and I empathize with her deeply.
But at Halloween, the girls switch roles on me. Ruby suddenly is the one I identify with because she is my candy-sorter while Georgia is in full-on candy chaos mode, just shoving whatever candy is currently in her hand into her mouth with reckless abandon.
I have grown in many ways as a person since my childhood, and I am actually now capable of eating M&Ms and Skittles without first sorting them into color and then carefully eating them until I have the same number of each color. But watching Ruby dump out her Halloween haul several years ago and immediately start sorting and tallying how many Butterfingers, how many Twizzlers – well, it brought back memories I’d forgotten I had.
Ruby likes to take an inventory, mostly for what those in retail euphemistically call “loss prevention” (i.e., so she will know if her sister or I have been eating her candy) but also because she wants to eat the candy she has the most of first and save the rarer, more precious items for last. Georgia, meanwhile, does not care at all. All candy is good candy to Georgia (which is clearly insane because there is no way that Bottle Caps compare with Twix).
Ruby also hoards her candy stash whereas Georgia would eat it all in two days if we’d let her. In this, too, I am #TeamRuby.
Which one are/were you? What about your kids? And what’s your No. 1 Halloween candy score?