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Choosing Who to Be: Baby Halloween Costumes Will Always Be My Favorite


My girls love to dress up any day, so Halloween season is a favorite because it adds even more options to their already overfilled dress up corner. Oh, and the candy, my girls LOVE candy. (So does their mama!)

Growing up, my sister and I trick-or-treated with friends in my small town and dressed up for the annual school carnival. I like looking back at the funny 80s-style budget costumes: clowns, cheerleaders, ghosts. One year, I was Punky Brewster (whom I adored), and I was devastated to lose my bandana I’d tied around the knee of my jeans. Weirdly the loss still haunts me, although I could have a hundred bandanas now if I really wanted. One of the many times I was less than careful with my belongings, but perhaps the first time I was aware of that.

Mostly, my mom let my sister and me pick our costumes, within reason and ability. I’m doing the same for my girls, but of course I chose their baby costumes because Mama privilege. Although I love the way they dress up now, I think those were my favorites.

My first daughter was born in November, so she was nearly one her first Halloween (her due date was actually October 30). I dressed her as a jack-o-lantern pumpkin with a consignment sale costume and a crocheted pumpkin hat. Not very inspired, but precious as can be. We called her “Pumpkin” throughout the pregnancy, although that nickname had fallen away by a year later.

My second daughter was seven months old on her first Halloween, and she got to be a Cabbage Patch Kid, hands down my favorite homemade costume ever. She rode in her stroller augmented with a decorated box that I decorated, wore a dress and shoes from my babyhood (when Cabbage Patch dolls were so very popular) and had a crochet pigtail hat to complete the look.

Since those first years, however, the girls have become more opinionated. I could make suggestions, and of course I’m the one doing the creating and/or purchasing of costumes. But the decisions rest with them. We’ve had Minnie Mouse, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Moana, Ladybug Girl and a cowgirl puppy. (Our other dress up clothes include Elsa and many more princesses, other superheroes and doctor outfits. We stock up AFTER Halloween when the costumes go on clearance sale.)

This year, my girls are interested in being Ladybug from Miraculous, a show my seven-year-old daughter is obsessed with. It has fairly low production values, but it’s an animated series about a teenage girl who’s also a secret superhero and saves Paris every episode. Because we happen to have ladybug-esque costumes already, we’re going to use those. I did spring for the accessories, a yo-yo to be “lucky charm” and clip-on black and red earrings. (All important to the character’s powers apparently.) The girls won’t look exactly like Ladybug, who basically is in a skin tight red jumpsuit with spots, but I hope our rag tag version will suffice. 

What does Halloween costume selection look like in your house? Are you still blessed with more influence than I am or is it a free-for-all?

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14 Oct 2019


By Mari Walker

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