I have three sons, 6 1/2, 4, and 13 months. So far, in the world of Hallowe’en, I have successfully avoided the commercial and the creepy.

We have dressed up as chickens, monkeys, lions, kangaroos, pumpkins and even a Native Canadian (okay, maybe not so PC but better than Spiderman, in my mind anyway). I have steered the kids away from Batman, Spiderman, Star Wars and other such costumes that I have deemed to be too commercial and bordering on violent.

So, this year when I craftily sang the praises to my two oldest sons of dressing up as matching lions for Halloween, my boys jumped aboard. Yes! Another year of being cute.! Another year of being cute, furry, cuddly animals. Another year that I have successfully held Spiderman or Darth Vader at arm’s length.

But then one day when I was walking my oldest son E, in grade two, to school I heard some boy’s talking about what they were going to be for Hallowe’en. There were vampires, ghosts, SuperMario, Spiderman, and Storm Troopers on the list. I was suddenly filled with a sense of dread. Oh no, poor E was going to have to say that he was going out trick or treating as a lion. And to make it worse, he was going to be a matching lion to his younger brother in junior kindergarten. Was I putting my own issues above the happiness and well-being of my child? Was I going to cause my son to be a social reject? (I had already gone through this dilemma about eating cupcakes in junior kindergarten……..)

Well, several days later when we were at the grocery store my sons spotted some costumes. All of the costumes that I had never even let them discover, let alone try, were all laid out in their commercial plastic-masked glory. So, I broke down. I let them each pick a new costume.

My oldest son ended up with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume which he unknowingly called “Superturtle.” We read the tag and found out that it was Leonardo. My son had the brilliant plan to write Leonardo’s name on a piece of paper and put it in his pocket. That way when the kid’s at school asked him what he was being for Hallowe’en he could pull out his trusty piece of paper and declare…..”Leonardo: SuperTurtle.” Maybe I should have made him be a lion………..

My four-year old picked a “Bad Black Batman” costume. I negotiated a deal that he would have to be the lion at the school costume parade. I would even sweeten the deal by painting his nose brown. (My kids have also NEVER had their faces painted……but that is a whole other post). This lion decoy costume is less about the teacher wanting “non-violent” costumes and more about me avoiding discomfort…actually the full-on mortification of sending my child to school in a batman costume.

I am coming to grips with my decision. Is the world going to come to a staggering halt when “Superturtle” and the “Bad Batman” Halloween 2008 put on their costumes for Hallowe’en? No.

So, I decided that I was going to own this decision.  That was until my four-year old said, “Mom, why does everyone else have scary Hallowe’en decorations and all of ours are cute?” That’s where I draw the line…….for now.

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