The Wisdom of Linus


“I’ve learned there are three things you never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”

So says Linus at the beginning of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” which we watched tonight (twice) with the kids.  Since I’ve pretty much beaten the first two to death this month I might as well go for the triple.

We’ve decided to make the Great Pumpkin the whole point of Halloween.  At our most recent Prader-Willi support group I asked for suggestions on how to deal with Halloween, and all the food-holidays for that matter.  The suggestion we liked the most was to go ahead with trick-or-treating as usual, let the kids pick a couple of candies they want to keep for themselves, but offer the rest to the “Great Pumpkin.”  In the morning, the candy will be gone and the Great Pumpkin will have left a present behind.

Obviously Hope is not trick-or-treating this year, but Grace is — her first time — so we’re going to start the tradition now so that it will always be the way things are done in our house and won’t be something new in a few years when circumstances make it more necessary.  Truthfully, I think I’d like that idea even if we weren’t dealing with Prader-Willi, who needs all that candy around?  Plus, I’m just not that sold on the idea of trick-or-treating anymore.  Putting aside the fact that I’m pretty disgusted by my neighborhood at the moment, Halloween just doesn’t seem as “cute” as it was when I was a kid.  We don’t even hand out candy anymore.  The last time we did I think we had two kids in legitimate costumes and the rest were just teenagers with bags, I think they’re called beggars.

So we’ve already told Grace that tomorrow is trick-or-treating and that we’re going to give the candy to the Great Pumpkin and that he’ll give her a present, maybe a PRINCESS present (a source tells me the Great Pumpkin picked up Sleeping Beauty at Target this week).  She’s very excited (so am I).  I’ll have photos of her first trick-or-treating excursion in a couple of days.  I’m toying with the idea of baking cookies with Grace tomorrow, pumpkin cookies to decorate, but I’m a little hesitant to start that tradition. 

I know that a lot of PWS families say that their kids don’t really seek the food, that it hasn’t “kicked in” yet (and their kids are 8, 9, or more.)  So far, we haven’t met any of those people in person.  Every family in our support group has food issues, I mean, they wouldn’t have Prader-Willi if they didn’t, right?  Our geneticist and dietician have always been straight-forward with us in saying that food will be an issue, but I guess that there is just a tendency to cling to the one person who says, “hasn’t happened to me!” for dear life and ignore everything else.  Of course, I am nowhere near that optimistic so I can’t say I’ve taken any comfort in those possibilities.  Still, everybody says that it’s manageable, if you’re willing to take the time to manage it — consistently and strictly.  It’s hard to know where to start on food rules at this point, especially since I’m still more concerned that Hope isn’t eating enough.  But clearly, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all going to be challenges so we might as well get a head start on those.

Aside from planning for the Great Pumpkin, special-needs mom has pretty much taken the month of October off…crowded off the beat by homo-momocrat (who will, thankfully, be going back in her cage in a few more days).  There’s a Prader-Willi “conference” next weekend but we’ve decided to skip it too, things are going well enough and if we’re going to take a mini-vacation, it sure as pie ain’t going to be to Sacramento.  We did have an appointment with Hope’s endocrinologist this week and he thought she looked great, but he ordered a blood-draw…sh*t!…those aren’t easy with Hope–or any kid with PWS for that matter, too much subcutaneous fat, not enough muscle, tiny veins, and you’ve got yourself a tough stick.  She’s got a cold right now though so I’m going to use that as an excuse to take my sweet time getting to the lab.  I guess special-needs mom’s work is never really done.

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