Costume Crazy

By Erin Spatz

Costume Crazy

Occasionally as a mom, I am given to bouts of brilliance: Giving a toddler a Popsicle in the bath tub, a great idea that struck me, and a tiny blow up pool for babies at the beach; all me!

More often though I have some pretty bad ideas as a mom.

Last Halloween I had one of my worst mom ideas. I have yet to remember it fondly. The pain is still fresh.

When my husband Eric was a pastor on staff at a local church we would attend the church’s Halloween event every year. It was self-contained, full of bounce houses and candy. I would get them all dressed up, take them to the church event, and then all I had to do was make sure they stayed in the fence. Easy! When Eric switched jobs we decided to take the kids trick or treating. We had never taken them before so Dylan was nine the first time we went. I actually love the idea of trick or treating. Walking around, chatting with neighbors, getting free dessert. It’s really a brilliant idea. But that first time we went almost killed me. I have never ever in my whole life been as tired as I was the next day. I was four-kids-at-Disney-for-seven-days tired. Legs aching, pulled hamstrings, need a nap tired. And to add insult to injury, I had paid $20 per kid for costumes. That’s a lot of money to go on a walk, free desserts or not! My first ding-dong headed moment came when I agreed to do it again, and Eric and I repeated that “fun” the following year.

But last year I had a stroke of genius! I mean Einstein worthy! No more buying costumes! That’s right; this family was going to make their own. We had plenty of dress up clothes, and I love to use the hot glue gun! Plus, what a huge money saver this was going to be. I burst out my big brilliant plan, and the kids are pumped! And why shouldn’t they be? Their mom won first place one year in a homemade costume. Granted I was dressed as a Bible and really nothing beats a cute kid dressed as a Bible. The judges were probably afraid to not give me first place, “lest they be judged” if you know what I mean.

The one person who I thought would be pumped but wasn’t, was Eric. I thought he would love this idea since we would be saving money. Instead all I got was a giant eye roll from him. He seemed to doubt my skills. Well, he was right.

This great money saving idea of making costumes from what we had at home was not going well. In fact, every time I was out and found something I thought could be used to make a costume I bought it: Pipe cleaners, colored hair spray and ears of all kinds. None of which the kids ended up using. This was way more work and more time consuming than I had thought and maybe even more money. I had foolishly thought that I would gather my little flock and turn over the dress up clothes bin. Then we’d sit around together laughing and picking out creative costumes. It would take us only an hour of creative fun to come up with four spectacular, award-winning costumes.

That is not how any of it went down.

First, Autumn wanted to be Little Bo Peep. We have ZERO things to make anyone into Little Bo Peep.

Chandler wanted to be a Lady Bug Princess. Of course we had everything to be every other kind of princess except a lady bug.

Denver couldn’t make up his mind. One day he was going to be Buzz Lightyear, which we had, and the next day he wanted to be Harry Potter, which we didn’t have.

Dylan thankfully picked something and stuck with it. I have no idea what he was. He told me, and explained it to me, but to this day I have no idea. My best guess is he was something from a video game. All I know for sure was that everything he needed, we had. I may have loved him a tiny bit more than the others just for a second.

The girls fought over the princess items constantly. Autumn didn’t want to match Chandler, but Chandler wanted to match Autumn. It was a “Jesus take the wheel” kind of moment. Denver finally decided to be a magician but wanted me to make him a light up cone hat and cape. He really over-estimated the kind of craftiness his mom possessed. All I had left was a pillow case with a neck hole for a cape. For the hat I had nothing. My only redemption was Dylan only needed a black sweatshirt and black pants. I finally borrowed a cape and spiked his hair in a cone shape – and called it a day. The girls went as opposite princesses, still not too clear as to what kind they were.

This was one of my worst mom ideas. It was so stressful and crazy that this year, I will be found happily in the costume aisle with a bottle of wine, a credit card and four kids.

About this writer

  • Erin Spatz is a writer and blogger living in a quaint town called Pawleys Island. Erin was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Palm Bay, Florida. Five years after her first blog, Erin creatively turned her diary entries into a published book. The book entitled Who Left Me in Charge is a humorous look at parenting and life in general. 
    Erin is married to a minister and Executive Director of Teach My People, Eric Spatz, and they have four children.

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One Response to “Costume Crazy”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Erin, your story reminded me of the years I made costumes for my children and myself. I am a preschool teacher and LOVE to see the homemade costumes, which are less and less these days. At least you gave it your best!

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