Halloween for Parents in 8 Depressing Steps

I f*cking love Halloween. I really do. In years past, I’ve honestly had my costume planned before my two boys. I’ve always loved it, ever since college. I’ve been Edward Scissorhands, the Unabomber (admittedly in poor taste), Flo from Progressive, David Bowie, a cowboy junkie (play on words with needles in my arms – what!?), and many, many more. To me, there’s nothing better than that moment when you think of a costume that is going to make someone laugh or freak out. However, Halloween has certainly changed since having kids. Of course, it’s more about them (lame) and I get that but … well, it’s just not the same. These are the general steps a parent goes through at this time of year:

halloween penguin skunk

  1. Ordering of the Costume

You think you’re getting a jump on it but somehow your coupon to Oriental Trading Company is already expired so you pay through the nose for some lame Ninja Turtles costume that looks like an out-of-work fashion designer threw together in a drunken fit of misplaced job rage. You try not to show your horror when he tries it on, knowing you’ll be eating top ramen for a week because of this expensive piece of dukie.

  1. So-and-So From School Says…

Petey Pain-in-the-Ass from school tells your son that Ninja Turtles are for babies and he’d never be caught dead in something like that. Now the over-the-top Ninja Turtles costume is useless and—let’s face it—you’re never going to return that shit because you still have an unreturned prom dress from 1989. You’d like to punch Petey right in the face but that’s really frowned upon so you go back to the drawing board.

  1. You Hit Up Target

You’ve decided to go where lice go to party like it’s 1999—the costume section at Target. You’ve been dreading this moment but, hey, you love Target so it’s not that bad. Only now it’s so late in the season that there’s one clown head left and a fairy wand. F*CKKKKK! You head immediately to the wine aisle and load up. You get the full six because it’s 10% off and you’re still trying to recoup the money you lost from the Ninja Turtles fiasco.

  1. You “Pop On” Pinterest

Unless you’re a Martha Stewart disciple, this will send you into a shame spiral like no other. Just Google “DIY costumes” on Pinterest and feel the self-loathing take hold. Not only that but they’ll try to convince you to make pumpkin clementines and spooky celery instead of giving your kid candy. What is this—Nazi Germany!? There’s no way in hell you’re making your kid into a human piñata because paper mache makes you itchy and that idea you had to go as a family of s’mores got you more laughs than the time you tried to show them your Dougie. The only time you’ve ever even attempted a homemade costume, you showed up as Gumby and everyone thought you were a giant dong. You. Are. Screwed. Pass the Fireball.

  1. F*cking Fall Carnival

Not only do you not have to get a costume for your child for Halloween but you’ve been ass-deep in homework and sports so you’ve forgotten about the f*cking fall carnival.

Kids: “Mom, what are wearing to fall carnival? I hope I win the costume contest!”

Mom: When is fall carnival?

Kids: Tomorrow. 

Mom: There goes the motherf*cking neighborhood.

By now, the sixer of wine you bought at Target is long gone and you’re crying harder than when you watched Old Yeller. You pull out the costume bin from last year and throw one at each kid and they’re so frightened of your mental breakdown that they try it on without saying a word.

  1. Amazon Prime, Beeyatch

You know last year’s costumes aren’t really going to do it but Halloween is now days away and you’re out of time and fucks. You’re also out of wine and Fireball so that partly curdled bottle of Bailey’s you bought for last year’s Christmas party sits on your desk as you peruse what’s left in pure panic. Walter White and Happy Gilmore it is. It’s not like anyone in your neighborhood thinks you’re of sound mind anyway.

  1. The Dressing of the Costumes

Tears, tears, and more tears as you try to convey that being a teacher-turned-meth-dealer is funny and appropriate, dammit. Many of the tears are your own but your tear ducts are nearly dry so you’ve got that going for you. Happy Gilmore threw a fit so he’s now a skeleton with the half-ass makeup you found at the bottom of the Halloween bin. All that’s left of your Halloween candy is a few Mounds-the devil’s anus of candy- because you’ve been stress eating like Bridget Jones.

  1. It’s Go Time

You arrive at your party and gather for the group trick-or-treating. Despite the fact that you love Halloween, you’ve spent so much time on your kids that you show up as Marianne from Gilligan’s Island just like you did last year and the year before that. You hate yourself and search for the booze immediately. On your way, you see that your skeleton’s makeup is off because he decided bobbing for apples would be a great idea and Walter White’s outfit is balled up in the corner of the family room.

“Never again,” you say to yourself as you sip champagne straight from the bottle, knowing you’ll rinse and fucking repeat. “Never again.”

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