There are a few words around this house that will get a surefire response. "Bath" is one. It creates smiling, stripping children hightailing it to our new claw-footed tub (which Mommy loves even if it does lack showering capabilities). "Caillou" and "Kipper" share a similar response, which is the kids scrambling to find their lost sippy cups so Mommy can make them some sweetmilk* and appo juice.
There is one word which has a response that is absolutely consistent and overwhelming, and that word is
Imagine Maine running towards you, screeching with an ear-to-ear grin with his arms in the air like he's on hill one of The Scream Machine. That's my pleasure every time I have occasion to utter that magical word. Jones, on the other hand, struggles through the rush of adreneline with staying pragmatic: "MOMWHATISIT?!?!"
The best part about it is that in my kids' eyes (as probably is the case with most toddlers), a sippy cup of hot chocolate is a treat. Reading a book in Mommy's bed? HEAVEN. Playing with the hose? So good it must be a sin. Their all-time ultimate best-ever favorite pastime, getting spun by the arms? I'm pretty sure they would choose that over candy.
We went to the first of two trunk-or-treating nights last night at my MIL's ward building. Jones had it down after two cars, saying "Trick or Treat" softly but firmly, and repeated until the candy hit the bag, then yelling "Thank you!" over his shoulder as he ran to the next car. Maine did his Maine meandering, flirting with every lady in sight by waving his long eyelashes with his head tilted (who's been showing this kid romantic black and white movies, anyway?), and getting a few pieces of candy along the way. It may have helped that the candy was free to the taking inside the building, and that for some reason we decided that frozen yogurt was a good way to end a candy-fest (because it's delicious!), but the kids were perfectly happy with their couple of Tootsie Roll Pops and a sippy cup.
My point is, trick or treating was fun and candy is yum, but there is nothing like knowing what your kid likes and being able to give it to warm a Mommy's heart.
*sweetmilk is something that I created which incidentally (and accidentally) created a monster in my house. My husband has a fondness for Nesquick powder which is shared by my older son. One night we were out of the chocolate stuff, and so I decided I might be able to put a little agave or maple syrup in Jones's milk and it'd suffice. He's probably only had 2 glasses of "white milk" since, but considering I only add one turn of maple syrup to a 10 oz sippy cup (vs the heaping tablespoons of Nesquick powder required to make the milk "CHOKWIT" enough aka brown enough to as to be seen through the dark blue plastic of a cup), I'm alright with that.
EDIT: I have actually started just adding a packet of stevia to the milk instead. Jones still loves it and no extra sugar!