Real Life :: When Your Kiddo Hates Costumes.

It’s true. I’m a mama who love to dress up. Like this:

And like this:

As a result, Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of year. When I found out I was having a little boy, I was so excited about all the dress-up possibilities. I had visions of making him superhero capes…astronaut outfits…cool pirate getups. The works! Yet life clearly has a sense of humor, because I was blessed with the world’s most adorable child…who hated costumes. He’s an impossibly good natured boy— happily wearing any outfit I put on him. Except, of course, when that outfit might involve a character.

It all began with Wolfie’s strict NO HATS policy as a baby. Wait, no hats? What what? He’s a baby! How can he hate hats? Trust me.

When Wolfie was one, I bought a little prefab puppy dog outfit for Halloween. But because that seemed just a leetle bit boring on it’s own, I  made Greg dress up like a Westminster Dog Show handler—with Wolfie as his prize-winning pooch! Since Wolfie was still so little and liked to be carried around, they made an awesome pair.

Except my sad little pup refused to wear the “hood” that had the puppy head on it. Too much like a hat, of course.

At least I managed to sneakily draw a little nose and whiskers on him and he still looked pretty adorable.

The next year I got him the cutest little cowboy outfit…it came with wee chaps, a cowboy shirt and a super sweet lil vest. I didn’t even try and add a cowboy hat, but I figured this outfit was pretty much like regular clothes. Easy peasy, right? WRONG. What I neglected to remember was that Wolfie is a very proper little man and he liked his jackets and hoodies zipped up. And a vest? Well it’s like a perpetually “open” jacket. Yeah the vest? He didn’t like it ONE BIT.

He threw himself on the ground like a cartoon character, sobbing. Keep in mind that normally Wolfie was the sweetest, most low-drama kiddo around. Greg and I looked at each other half laughing and half shaking our heads….like “Really? You’re going to throw yourself on the ground over a VEST?” Thankfully he gets over things pretty quickly and once the offending vest was removed, he was all sunshine again.

The next year I had a great plan….and seemingly Wolfie-proof! Greg and I would go as Mr. & Mrs. Frankenstein—and Wolfie? He would be the Crazy Mad Scientist. Genius, right? All he’d have to do was wear a wee little lab coat (buttoned all the way up, of course) and make his hair all crazy. It was the perfect plan. Greg looked great.

I even left Wolfie help me put on my “spooky” eye make up so he wouldn’t be scared—this was a huge success.

But when it came time for his own costume, well…once again, you can see how Wolfie felt about all this:

I explained to him that Halloween was all about dressing up, and if he didn’t like the Mad Scientist outfit he could really be anything he wanted to. After some thought he declared. “I wanna be a punkin.” I was a little floored. “Um…..a pumpkin?” “Yes. Punkin, mama.” My costume-adverse child goes and picks the roundest, poofiest costume around?? “Wolfie, you know a pumpkin is very round, right? Are you sure you want to be a pumpkin?” “YES. PUNKIN.” OK. So I have to admit that I was totally a terrible mom and thought this was a lame costume idea (I know, I KNOW), but I wanted him to be happy, so a pumpkin it was. I searched high and low for a non-poofy pumpkin costume and FINALLY found one (it ain’t easy, folks). I came home triumphant. YES! Wolfie will be so excited! Except……

Oy! I can’t lie. It became a Battle Royale. He was going to wear that freakin’ pumpkin costume if it killed me. I finally calmed him down and like all savvy moms…..I negotiated a bribe. “Listen. If you wear the costume, I’ll give you something. Something good.” His ears perked up. “What?” he sniffled. “Um…you can have some chips.” Yes. I know. Bribing with snacks. What can I say? I was desperate. And Wolfie’s a salty boy, so this worked better than the promise of chocolate. With a sigh, he was resigned to his fate:

The final verdict: “I’ll wear it. But I won’t like it.”

By the next day (which was actually Halloween) he had a miraculous change of heart and happily wore Ze Pumpkin. Hallelujah!

Oh my silly little Wolfie. I’m happy to report the last two years were amazingly struggle free and he has decided costumes (and HATS!) are A-OK. His friend Emmy got him into Pokemon and decided he wanted to be Pikachu. Not only did he wear the outfit, he wore the kooky hat dealie too! Whooo hoo! It was a cheap-ass flamable costume, but HE WAS WEARING A COSTUME. Listen, I’ll take what I can get. And apparently this is a rather “rare” costume, and he got lots of props from the big kids who all shouted at him, “We chose YOU Pikachu!” He was beaming.

Last year he continued the Pokemon theme and dressed up as Pikachu (again) at school and as Ash, Pikachu’s owner, on Halloween proper.

This year Wolfie is plotting yet another action hero character (Ben 10, anyone?). I do my best to suggest crafty, cute things, but ultimately I just want my boy to be happy and feel great in his costume—which means he gets to choose. Hey, I’m just happy he’s enjoying the fun of dressing up. I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun Halloween, ya’ll.

PS Don’t forget we’re looking for great costume photos! Send me your best (or worst!) home made halloween costumes! Read more about it here. We’ll be posting them all in a fun Costume Parade next week! You can send them to Alix [at] modernkiddo[dot] com.

32 thoughts on “Real Life :: When Your Kiddo Hates Costumes.

  1. What a fabulous post Alix!! Absolutely loved it. Because we’re in Australia, Halloween just isn’t as big here but I have promised Felix for a year that we would ‘do’ Halloween this year. He wants to be a Zombie Pirate!

  2. Friends–it’s Dottie here. You have to understand that fell in love with Wolfie over his Halloween cowboy costume. It is one of my absolute all time favorite stories of parentdom ever.

    I love that Greg is so rocking the costumes. Eric and I are determined one day to do the Addamms family with Georgia as Wednesday. One day…

    I can’t wait to see what Wolfie rocks this year.

  3. great post!

    oliver has been the same way. he’s just now, in the last year maybe, gotten to where he’ll wear hats and costumes. though, the horse costume last year was only worn for maybe a total of 10 minutes. he preferred being a dismounted cowboy instead.

    this year, he wants to be dj lance on the horse with all the yo gabba characters following behind. no problem!

  4. too funny! i love that Wolfie is that specific about his wardrobe…even costumes! my Miss Haven is the easiest kid ever, so i don’t really ever anticipate an argument about clothing in general, but Baby Mae might be a whole different story. last year she was a baby lobster and she wasn’t feelin’ it most of the night. we will just have to wait and see if she has developed any costume quirks this year!

  5. LMAO! The pictures of him in the cowboy costume are priceless!!! I seriously had tears reading this post. My daughter is 4 and of course loves to dress up but when she was 2…we had a major battle as well. No to the fish costume. No to the bee costume. So I threw a tutu on her and sent her on her way.:) Now, I have a 15 month old…I bought him a giraffe costume but I am having a sick feeling he may pull a “wolfie” on me this year! I will report back.:)

  6. hahaha….yep, that’s my Wolfie. He’s always had his own opinions about things. The thing that was hilarious is that he really is a particularly sweet kiddo and is usually soooo agreeable. Dottie can attest to this. The fact that he made COSTUMES the sword he was going to fall on was totally hilarious. (And drove me crrrrazzzy!!! hahaha)

  7. This post made me smile! Wolfie is such a cute little boy! I love Halloween and dressing up, my fiancé isn’t a big fan. I feel like I’m convincing a child when I bribe him to dress up. Here’s hoping my daughter will like wearing costumes!

  8. I love Halloween too, and I always dress up in multiple costumes. Luckily my son doesn’t have an opinion yet on the costumes, so I’ve been dressing him up like crazy. You saw our Woody and Jessie costumes, well next week he will be Yoda, and I’ll be a Jedi, and then later in the week he is going to be Dumbo, and I’ll be Minnie as a witch. Love love love Halloween so much. I hope my son grows up loving it as much as I do.
    Love all your costumes. I did the bride with my husband frank 10 years ago. We should do that one again one year, it’s such a classic. 🙂

    1. Aw I’m glad you all like this, guys. And lemme tell you….with the exception of hats, Wolfie has always let me dress him in whatever I wanted to. That’s what was SO WEIRD about this! It was like he finally had enough and came undone!! haha. Can’t wait to see what costumes you guys all come up with this year too!!

  9. i love this LOVE THIS. i remember all these costumes and all the stories that go with them, and i just giggled my way all the way through this post!!!!!!

    and wolfie, you are not alone my little friend!!!! henry was a cowboy one year and he totally came unglued when i drew on a mustache with some eyeliner.

    uhhhh, wha?

    XO XO and happy halloweeeeeeeeen season mamas!!

  10. Am I the only dude commenting on here? Whatever, this is a funny post. Costume Parade…the best idea i’ve heard in along time…I wish we could have a costume parade to decide who gets to be governor of California…and the winner, no wait, the loser gets the job.

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