Halloween Costume Guide

Halloween is breathing down our necks… just four days away.  I bought six crows online that got four stars instead of five for being “too real.”  I guess some rural resident had their faux crows eaten the first night they were out.  That totally sold me and so I bought a few to test them out.  I’m envisioning over the years becoming “The Birds” house.  Spooky, right?

Our new crows drove the neighborhood raven flock completely ballistic.  Now, our local crow friends generally outweigh the counterfeit ones by at least thirty pounds and give off a distinct “I’ll peck your eyes out” look.  In any case, they immediately appear up on our power line cawing in alarm at the baby crows posed realistically around our front yard.  (Shhhh.  There’s one outside right now… I’m poised to protect my decorations at any cost.  Somebody hand me that toddler to chase it away.  That thing looks seriously dangerous.)

The best thing was that I put the crows out while the boys were at school.  Jake noticed them right away as we got out of the car.  He kept asking, “Mama, are those real crows?”

“I don’t know, are they?”

He gave them a wide arc and got down low, eying them suspiciously.  He waffled several times between real and pretend.  “No, they’re not moving…”

“Are you sure?”

“Rooooooar!”  Arm waving.  “They’re pretend!”  His relief was palpable.  Today we’ve seen a lot of neighborhood dogs and pedestrians giving them more than one long look…

Anyway, the real reason I’m writing this blog is to actually document a short guide on picking out early childhood Halloween costumes.  There is a real science to it so pay close attention:

YEAR 1: Your baby’s first Halloween.  This is a great time as you can zip them into anything head to toe, with a giant face on the hood, and they’re none the wiser.  Usually their arms are too short to reach up and tug at their costume and even if they are long enough, their fingers are essentially useless.  So if this is your baby’s first Halloween, I recommend you go crazy and pick out the cutest most impractical costume you can find, buy, or sew.  If you’re going for originality, steer clear of bugs, wild animals and superheroes.

YEAR 2: This is the year of limbo.  It’s not all out dressing-up your little defenseless doll baby, but you do still get to pick-out their costume.  Rule of thumb for Halloween #2?  No hoods.  I remember looking around Jacob’s entire toddler class and every single Mickey, donkey and duck was headless.  Costume suggestions might include professions without headgear such as dentist, lawyer, tortured artist?  I’ve been pre-selling Nate’s sock monkey hat for weeks (it’s the last year I get to decide on a costume… ever).  I may be able to wheedle one completely costumed picture.  We’ll see.

YEAR 3: Your reign of power and influence is waning… rapidly.  Your child now has a distinct opinion about their costume.  The good news?  They may have warmed back up to wearing something on their head.  They may also feel obliged to change their mind… repeatedly.  I’d recommend waiting until mid-October before committing to a costume.  And then if you’re buying the costume, recycle all of the Halloween costume catalogs flooding your mailbox and make sure you socialize the chosen costume for a couple of weeks before the big day (you know, get it out, put it on, oooh and awww to cement the decision as final).

YEAR 4: Forget about it.  You’re just a means to an end.  If you’re lucky, they may want to be the same thing they were last year.  This year Jake wanted to be “a fireman with an axe.”  Then he wanted to be a lion again.  Now he wants to be a lion with an axe.


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