Halloween horrors



The McGreals enjoy their first ‘normal’ Halloween since the Covid outbreak, though a severed arm threatens to upset proceedings

The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

Halloween is a big time of year in our house. The kids adore it and Aisling prefers it even to Christmas.
This year, she has taken it to a new level with decorations inside and outside the house. Most impressively of all is the witch which has crashed into the telephone pole outside, while a tall monster outside the gate has caused plenty of laughs and a few frights.
The windows are spooktacular, while the kids have whiled away hours trying on a wide variety of different costumes.
As I write it is Friday morning and the kids have gone in their costumes to school and naíonra. Frankie, after much deliberating, decided to go with the same as last year, Owlette from the cartoon PJ Masks.
Éamon, after a bit of convincing that the monster outfit he wanted to wear would only fit Séimí, went as Superman.
Top marks to the teachers too who welcomed them at the door with their own brilliant costumes.
Poor Séimí, stuck at home, was sad he was missing out but he will get plenty of fun over the weekend.
It’s a busy few days. By the time you read this, kids all over the land will be in some sort of sugar coma and parents will be hoping all the sweets they got for trick-or-treaters are all gone. Temptation is just too hard to resist!
The trick-or-treating was yesterday while there was a Halloween party for the school on Sunday. There’s a series of events in Ballycroy as well, which hopefully we will be popping down to. It is great to have normality back compared to the last two Halloweens.
One of the props we have at home is a severed arm that Frankie loves showing to visitors, pretending she has lost her limb.
But her joking came back to haunt her – quite literally – during the week. An episode of Grey’s Anatomy was on in the background and suddenly one of the medics beside a prone patient was holding his arm and let’s just say it was a bit more gory than our version.
Frankie, unbeknownst to us, was engrossed in it and got an awful fright.
Aisling nearly pulled a few muscles reaching for the remote control as quickly as she could to turn it off. It was her fault to begin with, having Grey’s on!
Frankie was spooked and it was close to bedtime. Uh oh.
She refused to brush her teeth because, through, sniffly cries, she said ‘I can’t get it out of my head!’
She ended up staying up longer than normal as we calmed her down and told her it was just like the arm we have, only with ‘extra ketchup’ and was ‘only pretend’.
Eventually she went down and we weren’t woken by the howls of a nightmare of having her arm cut off and going to hospital.

In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.