David Trinko: Howling at the Halloween costumes this year

First Posted: 10/26/2013

There are four seasons in our home, and we’re nearing the end of one of them this week.

There’s Christmas “I want” season, “where are we’re going” vacation season and birthday “I want” season. Then, as soon as we finish our trio of August birthdays, we’re haunted with Halloween costume season.

Forget about wearing white before Labor Day. My three girls want to talk about wearing fangs before the temperatures drop below 90.

I don’t necessarily understand their fashion fascination with Halloween. When I was a child, it was all about the candy. We didn’t keep a lot of candy in our home growing up. As one of seven children, nothing in the public domain lasted long anyway. I savored having my own bag of goodies.

My girls still collect the candy, but they don’t have that sweet of tooths. Generally they’re bored with the Halloween haul by the weekend, and we’re left with a bunch of treats that my wife and I take to our workplaces to share.

For these girls, Halloween is all about the costumes. They love to dress up and be someone else. More than that, they love to brainstorm costumes.

This year was the year we lost control of those costumes.

Their mom had cute ideas for their costumes. The 6-year-old would dress as Lalaloopsy, a rag doll that sort of looks like a modern Raggedy Ann doll. Our youngest, 5, would dress up as Doc McStuffins from the Disney series. The oldest, 12, would recycle a dance costume from earlier in the year.

I liked those ideas. They matched their personalities well. They were modest. Most importantly, they included pieces we already had in our home, which any penny-pinching dad can appreciate.

Then it rained one Friday night when I was stuck working late at the office, and the costumes changed dramatically.

It started with some smart marketer sending a catalog of children’s costumes about a week beforehand. It ended with “Empress Vampire,” “Funky Bones” and “Sassy Werewolf.”

“We’re all being monsters,” my middle daughter told me.

There’s no arguing that point.

Apparently the girls colluded to harass my wife that wicked Friday night. They sweet-talked her into looking at the company’s website. Then they offered to buy their own costumes with money they saved from birthdays and their earn-as-you-go weekly allowance.

So now our first-grader will dress as “Empress Vampire,” a cross between a princess and a vampire, wearing a fancy dress with a Dracula-style collar instead of that cute rag-doll outfit.

Our kindergartner, as “Funky Bones,” will wear a neon skeleton costume that, for reasons I don’t understand, includes a tutu.

The oldest, who probably won’t even trick or treat on Thursday but will just hang out with her friends on our street, will be “Sassy Werewolf,” a teen-inspired werewolf costume with furry covers for her feet and claws.

They may not be wearing traditional costumes, but I will be.

I’ll be dressed as the dad who’s slowly losing control of his daughters and doesn’t know how to sway the balance of power back his way. It’s an all-time favorite; every dad on my street wears it every Halloween.