For The First Time In My Four Years As A Parent, Halloween Day Is Drama-Free
My first few Halloweens as a parent ranged from slightly disastrous to â€œI donâ€™t give a crap anymore this is going so badly.â€ Â When my son rages against Halloween, I tend to give in pretty easily since Iâ€™m not a big fan of the holiday myself. Â But we are in this weird in-between phase in his life where if I donâ€™t do something to prepare for Halloween and he wakes up on October 31 looking for a costume and canâ€™t want to celebrate with his friends, Iâ€™m royally screwed. Â So until heâ€™s old enough to understand the social consequences of opt-ing out (which Iâ€™m cool with), I have to fake it.
This usually starts in early October by looking at costumes online and asking what he might want kind of costume he might want to wear. Â For his first Halloween I chose the most adorable lion outfit which he kicked and screamed and yanked at his rayon-maned head until I took it off. Â Since we werenâ€™t doing more than going to our mommy & me music class, I didnâ€™t worry about it.
The next year when he was two, he was in school. Â They read Five Little Pumpkins all month long and talked about celebrating as a class. Â He told me the day before he wanted to be a dinosaur (not the hamburger costume I got him) and I scored one for 50% off at one of the Rickyâ€™s pop-up shops near my house. Â I almost had the feeling that year would go well.
Well, it didnâ€™t.
Halloween morning he refused to put on his T-Rex costume. Â I couldnâ€™t even get him to put on an orange shirt. Â I shoved the dinosaur in his backpack thinking he was going to regret it when he saw all his friends dressed up. And were they dressed up! Â A cowboy, fairy, firefighter, Thomas the Trainâ€™s conductor – it was impressive. Â Then there was my kid in his Gap sweatpants and old T-shirt. Â He came home from school later that day with his costume still folded in his backpack. Â This kid doesnâ€™t budge.
Last year all festivities were cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy, so I got a Halloween pass. Â This year I didnâ€™t even want to bother but I had to for my daughter who is finally old enough to care. Â And she is all into it. Â She has put on her costume dozens of times since it arrived and couldnâ€™t wait to put it on this morning for her parade. Â I looked at my son with trepidation as I removed his from the bag. Â But he was excited to see it and put every single stitch of it on without complaint. Â He made it to school and was showing it off to everyone at the door. Â I really didn’t think a drama free toddler Halloween was ever going to be in the cards for me, but today has been better than I could have ever imagined.
Iâ€™m trying really hard not to think of all the things that can go wrong between drop-off and his Halloween parade — will he keep the costume on? Â Will he march in the parade? Â Will he sit in protest? — and instead Iâ€™m relishing the progress. Â One step at a time we both may come to enjoy this crazy holiday.