Hallowe’en costumes are meant to be scary!
After a long, cold and fairly damp summer, I look to the autumn with joy. The beauty of the golden browns, luscious reds and deep ambers from falling leaves, collecting conkers, the mysterious fog that rolls across the fields, open fires and blustery walks along bitingly cold beaches.
But the main things that I look forward to, like any normal person, are Hallowe'en and bonfire night.
We pretend that the reason for sending thousands of pounds worth of pyrotechnics into the sky on the 5th of November, is because of Guy Fawkes and his plot. But really, we all know it's because it looks awesome.
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And we pretend that Hallowe'en is something to do with a weird old tradition about witches and ghouls. But again, everyone knows it's because kids look amazingly cute dressed up, and as parents, we can steal most of the sweets that they collect from willing neighbours.
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This year brought a potential Hallowe'en problem in my house though.
Whilst my 7 year old wants to make herself look as cool and freaky as possible, by opting for decimating an old, charity shop bridesmaid dress so she can dress as a 'zombie bridesmaid', my 4 year old hasn't quite grasped the fact that her costume is meant to be scary.
This means I have been fighting a battle of wills against a 4 year old, because I refused to let her dress as a fairy or a princess.
Why is it always fairies and princesses? Why can't little girls ever want to dress as Marie Curie or Amelia Earhart!
After a while, I realised that the only way I was going to convince her was to get her influential older sister involved.
The lovely thing about younger siblings is they usually look up to the older ones, which is very useful when you want to manipulate them into wearing a vampire costume.
So after a combination of her older sister's sly trickery and quite a bit of bribery on my behalf, we have finally convinced my 4 year old to dress as a vampire on Hallowe'en.
The only problem now is that she is rejecting the cheap and cheerful supermarket costumes, and wants a 'proper cape', with a giant collar, black hair and 'real fangs with real blood on them'.
Ironically, I think I have literally created a Hallowe'en monster.
They've been practising knocking on my door and shouting 'Trick or treat' for the last few days. And I've even almost trained them to stop saying 'Trickle Treat', but not quite… ;)
I'd love to know what costumes your kids have opted for this year – post your comments below. Please tell me I'm not the only one who bans fairies and princesses!