For Halloween this year, my wife came up with the idea to “reverse Trick-or-Treat” our neighbors, so we dressed up tiny liquor bottles as ghosts and carried them around to share. I decided I also wanted to take a Bluetooth speaker and a travel mug full of mulled cider with me, which meant I was going to be literally short-handed.

So, to make sure I could carry everything with us, I pulled out the stroller and started pushing it along, sans kids. Of course, it didn’t take long before the children decided they didn’t need to walk anywhere, because there was a perfectly good stroller just not being used for anything. The first time they climbed aboard, I let it slide (because I’m a pretty nice dad and uncle). But, the second time a child decided they didn’t want to walk, I figured I’d make sure they really wanted that ride (plus, I wanted them to be on their own feet as much as possible).

I told them they could only ride the bus if they paid the toll: the candy toll, that is. My nephews didn’t even hesitate. My youngest joined in as soon as he saw his cousins doing it. And I started stuffing my pockets full of goodies. Every time they got off the stroller, they paid me as soon as they got back. Multiple times they would get off for one house and pay me their just-earned goodies as they climbed back on.

As the night went on, the pocket of my hoodie was overflowing, so my wife said I should use the empty “ghost liquor” bucket.

All I’m saying is that I probably earned more Halloween candy than most parents ever have and all I had to do was something I was going to do for free anyway. Pro tip, parents: charge your kids to be lazy. It pays dividends.