I know our kids are like most kids: eager to get dressed into costumes to collect on the long overdue debt of nougat, nuts, milk chocolate, and sugar in brightly colored powdered form that awaits them at their friendly neighbors. (Whose flowers they tromped on yesterday.)
I can’t begrudge them this extremely satisfying event (hey, I loved it as much as they did!) I’ve come to the conclusion that there are four types of kids (in the 5 & over set) that contemplate costumes for Halloween:
1. The kid who wants to dress as the most popular character in current pop culture.
(I hear the parents of Anna’s & Elsa’s-to-be- groaning.)
2. The kid that wants to put in the least amount of thought and effort. (See rule #1 or #4)
3. The kid that will put in a ton of thought, effort, and become borderline demanding of parents in completion of his/her costume. Think Dollars. Capital “D”. (That parents actually do this is nuts to me but who am I to judge?)
4. The Ninja. Or RockStar. This kid is frequently over the age of 14 and may be on the borderline of
how old is too old to trick-or-treat but you’re gonna throw that snack size Crunch bar into his or her pillowcase because you once dressed as a mime.
On any given Halloween since 2006 (the year our Ballplayer was born) as parents we’ve fallen prey to all three. Actually, for the first few years we spent a combined total of $10! Three Halloween’s for $10! It was a steal! By 2009, we also had our Bean, and she wore a hand-me-down costume. Perfect.
I am sure that once our kids hit that certain age where “playing dress-up” isn’t cool anymore, they will also opt to be Ninja’s or Rock stars. Until then, we issued our three kids this little challenge to up the ante, so to speak, in the Halloween department:
- They’ve seen just how much money a single day can cost them. They’ve added up the cost on their “dream costumes” to see that big price tag.
- Learning how to budget. Our big guy wanted to use some of his savings. That was an awesome teachable moment.
- If there’s a will, there’s a way. If they want to be a character badly enough, they will figure it out. This hasn’t backfired…..yet. They have both become more determined.
- Inspired side-ways, out-of-the-box, creative thinking and problem solving. What, exactly, can be constructed out of cardboard? Will it be comfortable enough?
- We’re not saying “No”….we’re saying, the sky’s the limit but on a budget. Saying “no” makes parents the bad guy. In this scenario we aren’t saying no. The choice is theirs completely.
- Win-Win. We’d rather be out $60 and have most of it going back into the kids bank accounts.