Cinderella, Batman, Elsa, Superman, Elsa, Elsa, scary monster, Elsa.
I make a mental note of each costume passing by during my daughter’s pre-school Halloween parade. Halloween costumes that were very likely chosen by the three-year-olds who marched across the lawn in front of me.
Then came my daughter. She walked out in a costume that was so different from the rest. Unique and original, and in my possibly biased opinion, so very cute. In black-rimmed glasses, corduroy pants and converse sneakers, my daughter circled the playground dressed as… wait for it… Dr. Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory.
I can hear the mommy-shamers mumbling already. Yes, my three-year-old daughter liked watching The Big Bang Theory. And, yes, Leonard was one of her favorite fictional characters at the time, far above Elsa or Belle. Did she come up with this costume idea by herself? No, she did not. Was she happy and thrilled with the outcome and positive attention she received? Yes. Yes, she was.
You see, I have chosen my children’s Halloween costumes every year to date. While my son is only two years old, my daughter is going in seven. Each year when October comes around, I put my creative wheels into motion and come up with an idea that I think will make all of us happy. Not all my ideas have been as out-of-the-box as Leonard. Other costumes in the line-up for my kids have included a Beanie Baby, Raggedy Ann, and characters from Peanuts. If Halloween costumes were always left up to my children, this year my daughter would most likely be Elsa for the third year in a row and my toddler son would be a garbage truck, since that seems to be his latest love/obsession.
Some of you may be thinking that my authoritarian approach to Halloween is wrong.
“How dare you choose your child’s costume for them?!”
“You need to let them assert their independence!”
I hear you. I do. And I’m pretty sure this year will be the last year that my opinion will trump my daughter’s in her selection of Halloween fashion.
As my daughter matures, I know her opinions will strengthen and she will know what she needs to be for Halloween. For this year, though, I will continue to “sway” her decision into something that I ultimately choose. I enjoy the festivities of this holiday and getting to be creative in this way for my kids, and I will make the most of my costume planning skills while I still can. I know it won’t last forever.
I promise that next year I will let my daughter take the lead with choosing her costume, and I will only be a small voice of reason whispering in her ear. My son, on the other hand? Well, I’ve still got a few years left of costume-designing for him. Lucky guy.