We love Halloween at our house! And I love the idea of costumes…until my kids come up with crazy costume requests.
In years past, our family has always done themed Halloween costumes. My husband and I started this tradition years ago where the two of us would dress up as characters from movies or shows, and usually include our dog in it. One year, when we owned a goldfish, we dressed up as Thing One and Thing Two, had the dog as the Cat in the Hat, and of course, brought the goldfish along in his fish bowl. Yeah, I take my Halloween costumes seriously.
Then we had kids, so the dog got a reprieve. Our first family Halloween had our oldest son, almost a year old at the time, as a tiny “Pugsly”, I was “Morticia”, and my husband was “Gomez” from the Addams Family. Other themes have included The Village People, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, and The Avengers.
Mostly I’ve tried to make all our costumes over the years. It’s always been challenging though because frankly, I don’t sew. It’s quite amazing what you can do with a glue gun and a little imagination!
But this year we just couldn’t get our two boys to agree on a theme. I was starting to think about getting the dog back into it, to his dismay. But after weeks of intense Halloween costume discussion, it was finally decided that our oldest son would be “Jack Skellington” from Nightmare Before Christmas, and our youngest son would be Ant-Man. I was a little bummed we weren’t being a family ‘theme’ this year. My husband had pity on me and agreed to dress up as The Joker and I would be Harley Quinn, so at least the two of us will go together. I might dress the dog as Batman, we’ll see.
I also was a little sad that I wasn’t making their costumes this year. I probably could’ve created something for the Jack Skellington one, but my oldest son is very particular about the details and really wanted the ‘store-bought’ costume. Luckily it wasn’t too expensive, came with a cool mask so I don’t have to paint his face for every single Halloween event he wears it to, and he looks stinking adorable in it. I found white gloves that I painted to look like skeleton hands, and some snazzy black shoes for him. Voila!
Finding a child-size Ant-Man costume was another story. Apparently not many 4 year old children want to dress like Ant-Man, who knew?! The only costume I found was at Target where it was overly-priced and had a cheap plastic mask that was even too big for my face, let alone a child. I ended up returning it and had to deal with the wrath from my 4-year old. In his crazed sob-fest he started saying that he didn’t even want to be Ant-Man anymore, but instead he wanted to be “Zero” from Nightmare Before Christmas. Yup, the ghost dog. Seriously!? We totally could have all dressed up as Nightmare Before Christmas characters, just like I suggested weeks ago! Nobody listens to me.
So off I went to Joann Fabrics, where I very quickly realized I know absolutely nothing about making costumes from scratch. I sheepishly slipped out the door empty-handed, determined to return better equipped. I was expressing my lack of sewing-knowledge at my son’s preschool when another mom sweetly told me all I needed was a yard of stretchy white fabric and I’d be set. I ended up getting two yards because in the words of Charlie Brown, sometimes I have “a little trouble with the scissors”. A quick search on Pinterest gave me some ideas and off I went to create my first ever ghost-dog costume! I think it’s turning out well so far. Now just to figure out how to make the little pumpkin nose light-up. I might just let my husband figure that one out.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 5-year-old James and 3-year-old Luke.