Who makes the final call on Halloween costumes?
The Halloween post of Sherry's about the countdown to the holiday and shopping for costumes got me thinking about my yearly struggle. Do you pick your kids costume or let them choose? It seems like an easy question, but I've run into a few problems over the years when they want to choose. For one thing, little kids change their minds. A lot.
The year my son was 4 he liked my suggestion of being a pirate. So I started buying early (mistake No. 1) and had lots of pirate gear stockpiled. We had to make one last stop at the costume store for a pirate hat (mistake No. 2). I had been buying this stuff on my own.
This was his first entry into a costume shop, and as soon as he saw the Batman costume with the flowing cape he went nuts. "But you wanted to be a pirate remember?" We have all that stuff, I'm thinking. But dang, it was a cool cape. Smart cookie that he is, instead of having a tantrum, he just got a very sad look on his face and forlornly put the cape back on the shelf. Tantrums I can resist, no problem. Sad little boys, not so much. I figured the eye patch and pirate 'do rag will get used at a football game since my husband is a rabid East Carolina Pirates fan and the kids would soon be infected as well. It kind of looks like Bucs gear, too. (Work with me, people. I'm justifying the fact that I'm giving in here!)
From then on, I no longer shopped early or shopped alone. We talk for a few weeks about what they might want to be, bouncing off ideas, ignoring my suggestions for themed family costumes (Dressing the kids as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from "Cat in the Hat" was soundly rejected, the fun-suckers). Then we all go to the costume store about two or three weeks before Halloween (when there's still a selection to choose from) and decide.
There still is waffling sometimes, but that puts them in danger of having no costume at all, so that ends that. The next battle where parents reserve a veto is to anything inappropriate (In 2006, Target stores pulled some sexy teen costumes due to complaints that they showed too much skin). We also reserve the right for getups that are too expensive or too darn hot for Florida's October nights.
Happy negotiating, Mommas. It's a scary holiday.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne