There we stood, in the costume aisle of the party supply store, with an entire wall in front of us filled with pictures of costumes. As soon as I saw my 3-year-old son’s little eyes grow bigger and bigger as they darted from picture to picture, I knew this was a mistake.
Months ago he decided to be Spiderman for Halloween. Both of my boys have been obsessed with super heroes this year and as every good mother does, I totally manipulated their costume decision by gently suggesting a few different super hero options. I’m also a little obsessed with making sure our entire family dresses along the same theme for Halloween, even down to the dog. So super heroes seemed like a fantastic idea — at least it did until we arrived at the wall-of-costume-chaos.
I was also overwhelmed. So far, I haven’t had to buy any new Halloween costumes for my kids, except for a ridiculously overpriced (but stinking adorable) baby shark costume from Pottery Barn Kids when my oldest was a baby. That was when I was a new, naive mom and hadn’t discovered the world of consignment shops and Facebook Yard Sale sites full of perfectly good costumes at discounted prices. I have also made a few of their costumes over the years, getting creative with items from Goodwill, the craft store and my glue gun. But this wall, well, this was new uncharted territory for us.
Luke started pointing feverishly at all of the pictures. I could barely make out what he was saying as he started spouting off each costume he apparently thought he was going to get.
“Ooh Batman! Look Robin! SUPERMAN! I want Ironman … no, Captain America! THOR! Is that Wonder Woman?”
This was not going to be good. I put my hands on his shoulders and steered him over to the Spiderman costume pictures, hoping this would jog his memory as to why we were there in the first place. But even this became a challenge with about five different Spiderman costumes to choose from. After much deliberation, we came to a verdict and his “Amazing Spiderman 2” costume was purchased. It still took a lot of coaxing to get him out the door, as I had to pry various shields, toy hammers and swords out of his surprisingly strong little hands. Apparently the concept of only wearing one costume for Halloween was not something he had considered.
Luckily, he loves his costume. He wears it at least once every day. And Halloween is still more than a week away. Now if only I can find some purple pants for my older son’s Hulk costume, because there’s no way I’m spending over $30 on a costume when I have perfectly good pant-ripping skills and green face-paint on hand.
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, 4-year-old James and 3-year-old Luke.