As in all events involving children and high expectations, early preparation is key. Halloween, fireworks night, Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and any celebrations of a spectacular kind requiring parents to wrap, sew, bake and prepare to the point of exhaustion should never involve less than 6 weeks planning â€“ note to self, Monday 28th October is not the time to write this blog.
So, the first step is to book yourself in with Jo or Siobhan for 3 weekly sessions of Acupuncture to ensure stress levels are at a manageable low before the fun begins. Any children with painful knees, feet, ankles or backs should be booked in for physiotherapy with Helen to ensure that any trick or treating is not marred by tears and complaints that they told you their feet, knees, backs had been hurting since the summer holidays and you had ignored them.
Party preparation â€“ ideally you have won the game of invitation chicken and are not having to actually hold the party. But if you broke cover too early and delivered the news that you were holding this yearâ€™s party before a fellow mum, you have lost that particular game of chicken and will now be finding parts of said chicken along with slime and marshmallows in your soft furnishings for the next few months. Which brings me to the next physiotherapy offering. All moveable furniture on the ground floor should be removed (block off upstairs with barbed wire and where possible an electric fence) Fit, able male relatives should be booked in with Kathryn for a one-to-one Pilates session to be shown how to lift properly, using their Glutes and engaging their core. Failure to do this will result in a pass on any gardening, DIY or lifting duties for several months â€“ golf cricket, tennis and obviously cycling will probably still be ok.
Costco and Amazon have now sold out of all costumes, spooky cakes, decorations and Pumpkins. The Pumpkin Patch at Redbourn had access issues this year and Facebook carried news desperate parents sat in traffic wondering whether they should grow their own enormous pumpkins next year â€“ see earlier â€“ only if the gardeners have been doing their Pilates. Hours hunched over computers, altering last years costumes, baking at midnight and driving around Hertfordshire will take its toll on your upper back, neck and shoulders. The week before you unleash the souls of the dead upon your children is a perfect time to book in with Charlotte for a sports massage to remove that build-up of toxins and lactic acid.
The key to surviving trick or treating is to use the grandparents â€“ who all thought that Halloween was a rather nasty American tradition and have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. Anyone reading this remember this extravaganza intruding on their childhood? Who else has nightmares of drowning in a vat of cold water as they bobbed for last years mouldy apples while the adults downed a bottle of sherry? For those of you whose parents are on a cruise, make sure that a family stretching regime is implemented a week before and the children have good fitting footwear. Advice on preventing sports injuries can be given by Andy or Matt â€“ our specialist sports physiotherapists.
Above all enjoy the fun and remember Fireworks night is just around the corner. Please be careful of the hedgehogs.
Disclaimer â€“ author is a physiotherapist but doesnâ€™t have children. All shameless sexism and advertising are her own.