Parents have for ages forged onward in the quest to embarrass their children in ever more novel, awe-inspiring ways. As a child, I never fully understood the reason for this. As a parent, I now fully understand that it is a small attempt at repayment for the tediousness of nearly ten months of pregnancy, the agonies of labor, the subsequent sleepless delirium, the parade of soiled laundry, the towering mountains of fuming diapers, the habitual blowing of loud raspberries during the quiet moments at church, etc., etc., etc. And etc. Did I mention etc.? Now having entered the never-ending rite of passage and trial by fire that is parenthood, we too have begun the quest to thoroughly embarrass our child, though she has existed outside the womb for but half a year. And what better, more enduring, more traditional manner of embarrassment is there but that of the humiliating childhood Halloween costume? Yet, as we are carefully considering our parental rights and options, we are finding that there are some standards to which even we will not stoop. As for those parents that do foray into the darkest, furthest reaches of children’s Halloween costumedom, I can only wish you god speed on your subsequent avoidance of Child Protective Services. The greatest offenses of Halloween costumery can be categorized, much like wildlife, by their genus and species. Herein for parental posterity, we have attempted to catalogue the most notable of genera and corresponding species:
Genus: Sci-fi (Geekus Extremus)
Because, young Padawan, nothing quite like really early indoctrination in the ways of the Force there is. Although someone should really consider removing those cinnamon buns from the sides of puny Princess Leia’s head.
Genus: Generically Branded (Shurus Finus)
Toddler “Little Orphan Costume” (not Annie, mind you)
Copyright is a b$%^#. Fittingly enough, the product description asserts that “no shoes are included” – this apparently being a portrayal of the era pre-Daddy Warbucks…I mean Papa Pillagepenny. Although the “little orphan” has no identity, we here at Rampage Productions have our suspicions. For father, we suspect Bozo. For mother, Carrot Top.
Genus: Cruel and Unusual (Caligulus Costumus)
Because your baby wants nothing more than to use Halloween as an occasion to challenge societally assigned norms of gender roles. Alternatively, it’s a great way to screw with some of the less sober parents being chaperoned house to house by their costumed offspring.
Genus: Bizarre Combination (Mixius Metaphorious)
Not able to decide upon a genre, this one was the result of tequila and a hat drawing at the costume company brainstorming party. Blend right in on Halloweeen AND at the daycare’s first annual rave! Yo ho ho and a sippy cup o’ rum!
Genus: Spawn of..? (Littlest Luciferius)
Ever thought your little one might be the Dark One himself…or herself, one supposes – we’ve all seen Bedazzled. Well, fear not because there are not one, not three, but five different choices for the parent who wants to garb their little one in the guise of the destroyer of souls. Though, with that said, the tip of the hat in this case goes to the company that dubbed their particular costume “devilicious.”
Genus: Edible (Yummus in my Cannibalistic Tummus)
A costume for one with wee knees.
With so many choices, one might wonder what we ultimately decided on. Well fear not, here is your answer: a pumpkin. Because nothing quite speaks to parental affection like dressing a seven-month-old as a bloated member of the squash family. There will be pictures, which will mysteriously disappear until such point when said daughter desires a Facebook account. That ought to nip it in the bud. No pun intended.