Halloween Fail

I used to be a good mom, I did! I used to start brainstorming ideas for creative Halloween costumes during the summer. I made awesome costumes for my kids year after year. (My sister is really the creative one as you’ll see from the pictures, but I held my own.) I was the room mom for my kids’ classes every single year. I organized great parties with the best games and I made homemade goodies that would turn Martha Stewart green with envy. The mom I am now would hate the guts of the mom I was back then. I would call that mom an overachiever and a stuck-up Miss June Cleaver. And that hatred would be fueled by pure jealously. As I’m sure you can tell by my posts over the last year, I’m having issues and struggling with feelings of inadequacy. I know on an intellectual level that I’m in a different place and simply cannot do all the things I used to do as a married, stay-at-home-mom. I know this. But still, there’s this little part of me that cannot help but lament the mom I once was (even while wanting to punch her face in at the same time). Yes, yes I know I probably need psychiatric help.

Anyway, the begining of October when my kids asked me, “What are we going to be for Halloween?” I brushed them off and replied, “I dunno. I can’t think about that right now.” Two days before Hallween, they asked again, “What are we going to be?”

I thought for a minute, then answered, “Well, you have a choice. You can be yourself or you can look in the Hallween box or dress-up box and throw together some sort of outfit. Or, hey! I know! You can wear your cheer and football uniforms!” Then, under my breath, “I paid enough for those. You might as well get use out of them. Or you could be a hobo and wear those ripped up, too-small jeans you were trying to squeeze into yesterday. No, no no! I’ve got it! How about I just buy you guys some bags of candy and we go out for pizza instead of trick-or-treating?”

I thought that plan was brilliant! A relaxing evening out with my kids sounded fabulous to me! Why hadn’t I thought of this years ago? They were less-than-thrilled with my helpful suggestions, but in the end they accepted the fact that I’d become a crappy busy mom and this was the best I could do.

In case you were like me this year and didn’t think about Halloween until a week before, I’ll help you out for next year. Here are some ideas, taken from my Martha Stewart days, you can use for next year’s costumes. (I would’ve helped you out with these ideas earlier this month, but that would’ve ruined the whole Halloween Failure Thing I’ve got going on.)

  • Penguin & Elephant 1 of 12
    Penguin & Elephant
    Back when I was a good mom, I came up with creative, homemade costumes for my kids. Here are Austin and Savannah in cute (and warm) penguin and elephant costumes made from cheap sweatsuits I got at Walmart.
  • Jimmy Neutron 2 of 12
    Jimmy Neutron
    I made Jimmy's hair out of foam that I cut, molded, hot glued, and spray-painted. I used fabric paint for the design on a cheap t-shirt from Michael's, and he wore his own blue shorts and shoes.
  • Marge Simpson 3 of 12
    Marge Simpson
    Her hair is made from bubble wrap spray-painted blue. For her necklace, I strung together large wooden beads and I had my mom sew a strip of elastic around the top of tube of light green fabric.
  • Whack-a-Mole 4 of 12
    This was a pretty easy, yet creative costume to make. I just cut 5 holes in the top of a box, taped a strip of tickets to the box and decorated it with markers. I made a padded mallet and bought a plastic animal nose. (Note: it's probably not the best idea to give a tween-aged boy a padded mallet.)
  • Mr. Six 5 of 12
    Mr. Six
    I'm not sure, but this may be a regional character. At the time, he was featured in all the Six Flags Great America commercials dancing to Vengaboys 'We Like to Party'. We tried a bald cap, but ended up shaving Austin's head completely bald instead! He carried a small tape recorder with him and played the song while dancing from door to door.
  • Violet Incredible 6 of 12
    Violet Incredible
    This was a pretty cool costume I pulled together when the movie first came out. I made the Incredibles logo out of felt and hot-glued it to a red leotard, then I bought, red tights, black boots, gloves, headband, mask, and spankies.
  • Spongebob 7 of 12
    I first made this costume (many, many years ago) before Spongebob was a household name. I remember taking Austin trick-or-treating. People would answer the door and say stuff like, "Oh look honey, it's a piece of cheese!"
  • Mermaid Man 8 of 12
    Mermaid Man
    A few years later, I revamped the ole Spongebob costume and got another year out of it. I just took a box, covered with foam, spray painted it and added felt and fabric touches.
  • Phineas, Ferb & Gang 9 of 12
    Phineas, Ferb & Gang
    I got all 4 of my little ones to cooperate and dress like Phineas, Ferb, Candace, and Isabella. Thankfully, they didn't build anything crazy in my backyard.
  • Edward Scissorhands 10 of 12
    Edward Scissorhands
    My sister came up with this awesome costume. Back in her "pre-kids" days, she used to win contests with her costumes all the time!
  • Heat Miser & Cold Miser 11 of 12
    Heat Miser & Cold Miser
    From Rankin and Bass's famous 'A Year Without a Santa Claus', we have the heat miser and the cold miser. My sister made these for herself and her boyfriend at the time. Awesome, no?
  • 2012 12 of 12
    Which brings us to this year which Clayton has dubbed "The Worst Halloween Ever". Lex wore an old cheer uniform, Brooklyn wore a dress from her dress-up box, and Clay wore a mummy costume passed down to us by my friend Ginny who originally made it for her son. I'm officially all out of creativeness.

To read more from Dawn, check out her hilarious books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!

I don’t always waste time, but when I do, I enjoy playing on Facebook. Come with me, my friend.

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