Can someone please explain to me how it’s possible to dress my family for Halloween without spending a million dollars and going to a thousand different stores?
Why is it this so hard? Why?
This year, we want to be a family of Power Rangers. Because, #thisismylife.
Really, is that so much to ask?
Power Rangers are so well-known and well-loved, no? I mean, gosh, they were around when I was a kid.
So surely, these costumes would be an easy find.
I mean, it’s the digital age. Which means we must have come to a point where we can easily buy whatever size costume we want, in whatever color we want. Yes?
Oh no, my friends. NO.
You see, everything about being a parent has to be hard and complicated. Even when you think it even when you think it will be the easiest thing imaginable, it will be impossible. Totally impossible.
Unless you have lots of money and lots of time.
And so, when I promised my 5-year-old we’d all be Power Rangers, and he could be “the red guy,” and all the family could pick their colors, I didn’t realize that I was setting myself up for the most epic Halloween fail of all time.
Because finding five stupid ugly Power Rangers costumes has been the worst thing ever.
And, extremely expensive.
And by the way, not even possible.
Universe, is it really so hard?
Answer: YES. Yes, it is.
Today, I have gone to every consignment and thrift store in town, and there are no Power Rangers costumes. None. There are ugly cows and stupid fairies, but no freaking Power Rangers.
Literally, I have spent hours trying to find these costumes because I really wanted to be smart and thrifty and buy them used.
Why used, you ask?
They will be worn for one night — nay, one hour — and then the kids will be over them. Or the fabric will be too itchy. Or they will decide they don’t like the red costume they’ve told me they wanted for the last 2 months. They want the green one. And so, in knowing that these costumes will be cast off within minutes, I would love to buy them at a slight markdown.
Oh wait, I did find one at Party City. Excuse me, yes, I stand corrected. I did find one costume there.
It was a men’s costume. And it was 55 freaking dollars.
Do you have any idea how many diapers I could buy for $55? Or kid snacks or days of preschool tuition?
Because it’s literally preposterous.
And there aren’t any kids’ costumes there anyway, so I’m back to my original problem.
Which is that I actually love to complicate my life and tell my children they can dream up their Power Ranger color, and Mommy will make it happen. Well folks, let me tell you: that was a rookie mistake that will go down in Halloween costume history. I set the standard way too high, and I am literally paying for it every day in the form of questions from toddlers.
“Mommy, have you found our Power Rangers costumes yet? The ones we want so very badly in the specific color that we want in the specific size that we want?”
No I haven’t. Darn my life.
Yes, I know I could make our costumes like I have before, but who the frick has time for that? I have 3 kids 5 and under now, and I haven’t showered for 3 days. Making costumes is no longer an option.
Wait! I know what you’re thinking!
WHAT ABOUT AMAZON PRIME?!?
YES! That’s where you can find everything, right?
Yes, they do have the colors. But not in the right sizes.
You heard me right.
Even Amazon doesn’t have what I need.
I will pause for a few seconds to let that sink in.
The struggle is real, my friends.
Really, 2016? At this point, has no one come up with a great online sharing community of crappy used kids costumes from all over the country where I can go and get a markdown price on a costume that another kid begged their parents for and then cast off within an hour of wearing it? Please?
Which brings me to another point. The quality of these ridiculous costumes is literally the worst ever. However, they have Spiderman or Ninja Turtles or Elsa or whatever bull-crap character that your child wants, and thus, they are licensed. Which means the markup is approximately 1,000,000 percent.
This means that a stretchy rayon costume that doesn’t even have finished hems, and will literally rip into shreds the first time my son tries to use the bathroom (or heaven forbid, I wash it), has cost me $50.
And that’s just for ONE. I need to buy 5. (#thestruggle) Again, I repeat for emphasis: I could literally buy 10 large boxes of diapers with that kind of cash.
Instead, I am spending it on a shred of rayon that won’t even live to see Thanksgiving.
Spoiler alert: here’s what will happen.
I’m going to end up shelling out hundreds of dollars for 1 amazing photo-op and an hour of Halloween fun and 5 costumes that my kids, myself and husband will not care to wear after one night. But, it is a family and cultural tradition and, for some reason, we must do it.
I will stay strong, and you do the same, my friend.
I’m off to another consignment shop now. The struggle is real. Please pray.
Have you ever had a tough time finding the Halloween costume your kid wanted? Share your experience in the comments. And keep scrolling for links to some of our past family Halloween costumes over the years!