Before I had kids, I remember always hearing about how crazy Halloween, and the weeks leading up to it, were. The costume indecision- or worse, inability to find THE costume. The balance of sugar-high and sugar-crash. The bargaining and threats and bribes (which I can only assume was designed as a warm-up to Christmas).
But then, when Amelia was born, Halloween didn’t seem that scary. *As with everything else “baby”, new parents are lulled into a false-sense of security before their kid turns 2 (or 4 or 12…) and karate kicks the hell out of their happy dreamworld* So, for Amelia’s first Halloween, we dressed her up as an adorable little cheerleader and paraded her around to all of our friends and neighbors. No drama. Years 2 & 3 were fairly similar, a little more effort to figure out where to go trick or treating, but no drama. Last year Amelia & Zaven’s mermaid & pirate costumes even managed to tie into a theme
This year, we started talking about costumes early because I knew that Amelia would want to think about it (warning: NEVER let your 4 year old think about the costume..it only leads to trouble). Amelia’s first suggestion was that brother would be Michael Jackson…and she would be a doctor. This was NOT suggested to her, she came up with it on her own. However, I knew that the fine people of Douglas County would look at them and assume that their parents had a really twisted sense of humor (well…). Amelia really wanted to be a doctor, so we decided that Z would be a pig….an homage to this year’s Swine Flu epidemic. Great. All set. Start researching toddler pig costumes.
But then, after a spin through a costume aisle, Amelia decided that she’d rather be Dorothy instead. By this time I’d found the best price for kid’s doctor costumes (after deciding NOT to attempt to sew my own child-size scrubs) and found a good do-it-yourself pig costume. I’d heard about this flip-flopping that occurs when a child is given too much time to think about their Halloween costume (see?), but I thought that I could steer her back on course. Nope, she was fully committed to the Wizard of Oz. Despite my disappointment at losing the chance to have my kids dressed in clever socially relevant costumes, I went with the Dorothy thing.
I came to the conclusion that we would skip the expected (Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow) and Z would be either a flying monkey or a member of the Lollipop Guild…depending the availability of a reasonably priced toddler size monkey costume. It was looking like I’d be crafting a giant lollipop when I found a monkey costume at Target for 30% off. I’d just found Z’s size and was making sure we didn’t need anything else when Amelia said, while looking at the costumes, ‘Mommy, I want to be something different. I want to be a princess.” NOOOOOOOO!!!
Now, the Dorothy costume had been a hand-me-down from a friend, and the Target costumes were on clearance…..but I HAD FINALLY FOUND A MONKEY COSTUME! I said ‘No’. Amelia’s lip started quivering. I tried to distract her but she was already gazing at the Disney princess dresses.
Many moms have told me that sometimes you just have to pick your battles…so that’s what I did. We came to a compromise- Amelia would be Snow White at her school Halloween party on Friday & she’d be Dorothy, accompanied by a flying monkey, on Halloween. Everybody’s happy, Amelia gets to wear two costumes and the whole deal only cost $10. (Added bonus: Jason got a much less complicated hairstyle to contend with while getting Amelia ready for school. I’m not sure how pigtails would have gone…).
So….another crisis averted. Now we’ll see how the whole candy thing goes tonight.
And just so I can start preparing now…it WILL get worse next year, right? I thought so….