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If "Parent" Were A Halloween Costume, Here's What It Would Look Like

My husband and I visited one of those pop-up Halloween stores the other weekend on our way home from routine errands.

Have y'all been to one of these stores lately? There. Aren't. Words.

(Actually, there are A LOT of words, but I'll keep this brief and move along...)

As we wandered the aisles looking at the various merchandise, it became clear that though remarkable advances have been made in household holiday robotics (case in point: creepy crawling robot baby with glowing red eyes, all yours for just $89.99), the true attraction has and always will be The Costumes.

These have come a long way since my childhood dress-up days circa 1986. Children of the '80s, you know of which I speak: cheap printed vinyl with plastic masks? Yes, please. All hail Strawberry Shortcake For-Ev-Er.

Apparently those days are long gone. Goodbye Strawberry Shortcake, hello Elsa, complete with full blond wig, blue princess dress (in fabric! not plastic!), and sparkly tiara. I would have DIED for one of those as a kid. I'm pretty sure the 4-year-old I met fondly stroking the rhinestones in a hypnotic daze felt the same way.

And we're not just talking Elsa. There were hundreds and hundreds of costumes to choose from. Firefighter? Of course. Police officer? Naturally. Nurse? You betcha. Impressive reproductions of major motion picture characters? Name your favorite.

But here's one costume I couldn't find: parent.

Frankly I find this to be a shocking oversight. Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up and, sure, firefighter and nurse will likely make the list. But so will parent almost every time.

To help remedy this neglect, I've constructed a list of components for the perfect parent costume. Here's what it would include:

If "Parent" Were A Halloween Costume, Here's What It Would Look Like

  • 1 disheveled wig/hair piece vaguely resembling the remnants of bed head with just a hint of dried crusty something
  • 1 shirt (male and female options available), wrinkled and with a stain that can be hidden if tucked carefully just so
  • 1 pair of jeans, preferably with stretch, praise be to God.
  • 1 pair of slip-on shoes because we abandoned the fuss of laces long ago
  • 1 smartphone, screen scratched and covered in grubby, sticky fingerprints
  • 1 coffee to-go mug, praise be to God.
  • 1 wallet, also inexplicably sticky, jammed with receipts we'll never take the time to reconcile, and coupons we've forgotten about
  • And 1 lumpy bag full of crumbly snacks, empty juice boxes, Kleenex, Band Aids, and the jingle of keys maddeningly tucked away into some hidden bottom corner that cannot be reached

All of this would be neatly folded and bundled in a bag that will inevitably be missing something once you get it home and open it. Sorry, no refunds available.

Also, accompanying kids sold separately.

Here's one more thing I'd add to the costume, but I know parents wouldn't really wear it:

  • 1 superhero cape, because raising kids is a noble endeavor that takes courage, fortitude, and sacrifice. I know it's not as glamorous as Elsa and her entourage, but it's a really valuable costume to wear. Every day.

For the record, I'd also add a surprise wad of cash and a never-been-opened-or-spotted-by-greedy-sugar-crazed-kids Snickers bar with the costume. Just for you, parent.

Happy Halloween.

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