Terror to my preschooler: The Gingerman's Buttons

This was the year I had anticipated the nightmares to begin. This was the year I was sure my kids might be scared of Halloween and all its gruesomeness. But my kids seem to be almost delighted at a scare or two. As soon as we pull up to Target, Anna insists that we go to the back section with the Halloween stuff (Ok, today it’s Christmas stuff) and “see the ‘cary guy.” (The scary guy is a moving man that plays peek-a-boo out of a cardboard haunted house.) She loves it and will just stand there forever pretending to be afraid and then wanting to see it all over again. She’s going to be the child who loves the rollercoaster rides.

At Cox Farms, she was so excited about the “whaa ha ha” noise that welcomed you to its version of a haunted barn—with just enough scariness and fun music. Both my kids thought the prospect of a little haunting was fun.

So here it is Halloween. We have endured six weeks of orange and black, tempting candy in the grocery stores, haunting masks at the mall, and creepy neighbors’ decorations. What terrified my kids most? Shrek and the Gingerbread man’s buttons.

That’s right. On Monday night we attended Reston’s Halloween walk through the nearby nature trail. It was geared totally for preschoolers, complete with bean bag toss, cake walk, tubs full of corn kernels and showings of old Scooby Doo. The Halloween walk, while very, very dark, was lively and fun. There were various skits by volunteers including a troll, an owl, fairies, talking tree, a litterbug, a bat and yes, Shrek. I wasn’t able to see the Shrek skit but there must have been some discussion about the Gingerbread Man losing his buttons. I recall this was part of one of the movies. Both my kids were most upset by this, Alex more than Anna. He wanted me to hold his hand after that and declared the Nature Walk a bust because this scene upset him. Please tell me what I'm missing here?

Afraid of witches, goblins and ghosts? No, my kid is afraid of the Gingerbread Man!

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