Hayley Matthews: Sugar-free Hallowe’en was a bit scary – for my five-year-old

A sugar-free Hallowe'en isn't easy for a five-year-old to understand. Picture: Getty
A sugar-free Hallowe'en isn't easy for a five-year-old to understand. Picture: Getty
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I did two rather scary things during the week, neither through choice, more through my inability to turn down a challenge.

The first scary thing I did was accepting a challenge to go sugar-free for Hallowe’en from BBC Radio Scotland’s Kaye Adams. Not for myself you understand, but for my five-year-old.

I know, what was I thinking? No sweets on Hallowe’en!? The words “you’re the worst parents ever” rang loud in our ears.

However, after some research into the amount of sugar that’s in these ­little green edible jelly treats, I started to take it all quite seriously.

I tried to educate my son on the subject, but needless to say a five-year-old has no interest in the sugar ­content of Haribo, and only cares about how good they taste.

I was especially shocked to learn that some sweets have a 93 per cent sugar count. No wonder I was seeing mini-Grim Reapers running about the streets, sugared out of their nuts!

Now I don’t mean to be a spoilsport but for the purpose of the challenge and raising my awareness of child obesity, I was taking this very seriously.

We did the rounds and delivered jokes to all the parents’ houses and I have to say special thanks to Emma, Caroline and Kevin who all offered sugar-free.

The £4 from Kevin was incredibly generous and because my son did so well I did allow him to have some sweeties at the end of the night. However, he only ate one.

I put the rest of the sweeties in the cupboard, where they sat whispering to me “Eat us Hayley, eat us!”

Now, we come to the ­second scary thing I’ve done – I joined a gym!

The old saying that you should practise what you preach was ringing like a huge – and sugar-coated – bell in my head.

I couldn’t ask my son to eat less sugar while I rocked about in leggings because of the expandable waist which just never seems to get tight. My friends encouraged me to run round Arthur’s Seat but I won’t do this for two reasons.

Reason one: I’d be exposed to the boy racers, who’ve shouted “fat” and various other things at me in the past (I often wonder, where are the parents?).

Reason two: I’ve also had to expose my bare bum in the bushes because my bladder is so weak. I panic pee when I know there is no loo about. I remember one day when I had a ­particularly bad episode of PP (panic peeing) while running round Arthur’s Seat and had to sneak into the bushes three times. And this was before I’d even gotten to the swans.

I’m really sad to see Meadowbank Stadium closing in a few weeks because Ryan in the gym always had great chat to motivate me. I do struggle with motivation.

However, I discovered that the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel has a gym/spa that is practically on my door step and, hallelujah, they have loos. Gone are the days peeing at the side of Arthur’s Seat. I can now wobble safely on a treadmill without the fear of being shouted at by hormone-pumped boy racers and panic pee to my heart’s content.

I now have no excuses so I’m hoping to be a hot mama by Christmas, although I’ll need to cancel that Netflix and wine subscription. But I suppose it’s the least I can do since my son managed a sugar-free Hallowe’en.