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My Kids Don't Get to Choose Their Halloween Costumes

This holiday isn't for them — it's for me

Published on: September 18, 2018

Sad baby lion

I might be the dance mom of Halloween, y’all.

You know what I’m talking about, right? Those obnoxious mothers who are on stage left doing their child’s routine like it’s their shining moment. They’re the moms who spend inordinate amounts of money and time on little Carol Anne’s hair, makeup and ball gowns… but Carol Anne is 3 and really doesn’t understand fake eyelashes. 

I’m all that, but for Halloween — and I have no regrets. 

Here’s an example: Last year, I hunted my local thrift stores to find all the necessary pieces to turn my three oldest children into Migos. Who are Migos? Just Atlanta’s most famous “mumble” rappers. My kids barely know who they are but I love them and so a group Halloween costume was born. 

This year, as a result of my obsession with the Netflix show “Wild Wild Country,” I plan to dress my newborn as Osho Bhagwan, the Rajneesh cult leader. My 11-, 8- and 7-year-olds will be dressed in red as cult followers. I’ll be dressed as Sheela, the Bhagwan’s murderous assistant, and my wife will be dressed as the mayor. 

Is this completely obscure? You bet! 

Am I doing it anyway? Yep. 

Will it bring me deep joy? Absolutely. 

The author's children as Migos
The author's children as Migos

I know that Halloween is supposed to be a time of play, imagination and joy... for children. I get that the candy and costumes are for making childhood memories and such. So let me just confess that I’m one of those moms who prioritizes her own fun and joy on Halloween and I force my children to participate. 

I feel no shame. 

If you are one of these parents, too, come out of the shadows. Recently, I took a very scientific Facebook poll and, as it turns out, I’m not the only parent with this self-centered Halloween infliction. One fellow mom admitted to dressing her children as the characters of “Seinfeld” despite their protests.

Here’s the truth: Halloween is my favorite holiday and I refuse to share. I do not allow my kids’ vote or their input. I design their costumes for my amusement. I’m sure one day I’ll pay for their therapy bills so they can where they unpack the festive memories I stole from them, but that’s just how it’ll have to be.

Scary? You bet.

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