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“But I don’t want to wear my costume!”

I was looking through some random photographs the other day and came across a few from past Halloweens. A consistent theme throughout the pictures was that one of my kids was either not in a costume or crying on various Halloweens. Kids lined up on the porch happily smiling in chosen costume with accessories? Not so much. Kids out of sorts because they a) didn’t want to wear their costume, b) were freaked out by seeing all of the other kids in their costumes and looking kind of scary, or c) woke up from their nap just generally out of sorts? Absolutely.

My kids are a little bit older now (3, 5 and 7), so they are now definitely more excited about Halloween, wearing their costumes and generally participating in the typical Halloween festivities of costume parties, trick or treating, etc. It has been a long road however. There was the year my younger daughter refused to wear the adorable bunny costume that I had thoroughly prepped her on (she must have been somewhere around age 2) ; the moment I pulled it out on the big day, she burst into tears and I caught myself actually trying to force her to wear her costume. I was being ridiculous of course and quickly realized such.  There was another year where my son was a lion but wouldn’t put the hood up – the main “lion” part of the costume – and I kept trying to pull the hood up. This was one of the years during which many of the crying pictures were taken.

Halloween is kind of scary for a lot of little kids. It’s dark. People don’t look like themselves. It’s hard to recognize familiar faces. Lots of strangers are talking to you. I found that my kids actually prefer to be home handing out candy than trick or treating for themselves (they’ll learn quickly, I am sure). So far, everyone is content to trick or treat at 10 or so houses on our block and them head home and camp out on our porch and take turns handing out treats to the masses. That’s where you’ll find my family this year I am sure, as I can predict my Super Man will refuse to wear his cape, my pink Power Ranger will quickly shed her costume and don her pjs, and my witch will be sporting the dress which has already started to come apart from so much pre-Halloween wear. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Halloween!

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Rachael Ray