I love Halloween. I love pumpkins and the crisp leaves crunching underfoot, the nip in the air. I love apples, pumpkin bread, apple cider. I love little children in costumes, trick or treaters. I love the parade, the downtown trick or treating. I love the pagan roots of the holiday.
One of the things I looked forward to with having a child was celebrating Halloween with her. I have, in the attic, yards of black velvet from a decorating failure (curtains in the bedroom); I kept them in case I need to whip up a witch costume.
For the first several, malleable years of my child’s life, she mostly wanted to be a princess. I was okay with that, although I think it’s boring and have definite objections to the gender typing involved. But it’s not really so important to me that I would try to change her mind. Warmth, comfort, whimsy, and fun are more important, in my opinion. I want her to be creative, and choose for herself.
However, I do have limits. And some of the costumes I see online are pushing them. It’s was bad enough a couple years ago when all the princess costumes on all the little girls had spaghetti straps with low cut bodices. My kid wore hers over a black turtleneck; most didn’t. This year, we have a vast array of slutty looking costumes to choose from. (There’s a great article on Scary Mommy that expresses this very well: http://www.scarymommy.com/dress-your-daughter-as-a-whore-day/)
What’s startling to me is why so many parents want to dress their little girls like this. Last spring, a relative gave Cass an insane number of ridiculously fancy clothes; some were bright and strappy, and being six years old at the time, she was immediately drawn to them. When the gifter said “Yeah, she immediately chooses the ones that make her look like a M****** wh***.” Why on earth anyone would think I would think that is funny is beyond me.
I admit that compared to other mothers I know, I’m rather prim about my kid. No makeup (apparently all kids have “play makeup” now). No nail polish. No pierced ears. I want her to have a childhood, not go straight into being a teenager, and I’m willing to have a fight with her so she can have it.