I've been looking online for Halloween costumes since July. I learned my lesson the past two years when I waited until October and ended up having to go as whatever crap costume was left in our sizes. This year, time is on my side.
I found a lot of things online, but am wary of buying online because the sizes are wonky. I thought I would try the local Halloween shops to see what they had because we could all try them on and returning wasn't such a hassle.
We drove up to the Halloween shop that recently opened. I knew it didn't bode well when we got out and Calvin immediately buried his face in my thigh and said that he was scared. I assured him that it was going to be okay and the store wouldn't be that scary. Mom lie #1. We walk in and the entire place is a giant haunted house -- complete with swinging bats, two way mirrors and pop-out zombies. An emo goth's wet dream.
I had hauled the kids across town and gotten them out of the car to do this, I was going to finish it. Calvin put his blanket over his head and we forged on. Through the slutty adult costumes and the cheesy couple's costumes, I knew the children's costumes had to be near. It was then that I saw it, the shine of the cheap tiaras and the bright purple and gold pom-poms (for the slutty 2-year old LSU cheerleader in all of us!). I made a mad dash to the section. It was filled with kids and parents. I heard excited squeals from both as they picked the costume of their dreams.
It was then that I looked a little closer at the selection. Hrm...that is odd...a grim reaper in the children's section? Must be out of place. No, wait, it is a toddler size. Surely nobody would put their 18-month old in a grim reaper costume. Right? Wrong. Someone snatched it out of my hands and gave it to their toothless spawn. Fail. I suddenly felt very out of place. My kid was covering his eyes with a blanket to avoid seeing the animatronic zombie babies that decorated the children's section and other parents were racing to get the goriest, most terrifying costume of the bunch.
I assured Calvin that the happy, fat pumpkin costume that he requested was just around the corner. Mom lie #2 -- at least it wasn't as bad as the first. Around the corner was the girl's section, which was filled with half shirts and sheer fairy skirts. This section was just as busy as the first, which should have surprised me...but at this point, I was so disheartened by it all that it really didn't. Parents were busily trying to instill the "Halloween is a night to dress like a whore" mindset in their two year olds.
The sad thing? I didn't see a single cheery, fun costume in the entire store. Save for some adult "baby" costumes -- which are really just sad.
What happened to the days when Halloween was for fun? When the scary stuff was reserved for after the kids went to bed? When was it deemed appropriate for us to try to anesthetize our children's sensibilities? Since when was I the bad parent for trying to protect my kids from these horrors?