The Complete Mini-Me Halloween Handbook: Do I Really Have to Dress Up Just Like My Kid?

The Wishcraft Halloween costume catalog arrived in the mail last week. Jezebel has already opined about the high cost of the costumes here, saying:

“Vampires, ghosts and cultural appropriation, oh my! And just when you thought it was safe to take a look, you find that the prices are the scariest part.”

But scarier than the price ($148 for a tyke to dress as the Vampiress of Versailles, and that doesn’t include the creepy make-up) is the inclusion of so many fully costumed parents standing alongside the kids.

Am I late to the party? Are parents now supposed to dress up with their children on Halloween? I know adults go to their own Halloween parties, and I always love the neighbor who goes all out as Count Dracula or Lady Frankenstein to dish out candy. But the insinuation from the catalog is that parents and children should dress in identical costumes and head out as a team. It’s the mini-me phenomenon taken to the extreme:

Photos via Jezebel.

I keep thinking the trend in helicopter parenting is going to peak. I admit I do my fair share. I hover, I enmesh, and I over-protect with the best of them. And, yes, I have worn a pair of black cat ears while taking our kids trick-or-treating. But the rest of me looked like any other mom in my relaxed jeans, comfortable shoes, and fleece pullover. To me, dressing like your child on Halloween is just another intrusion into the world of children by a generation of grown-ups who don’t want to separate.

What was so magical about Halloween when I was young was leaving home with a band of costumed friends without an adult in sight as we took to the night by ourselves. When my brothers and I returned, breathless and flushed from our hours-long run through the neighborhood in the cool autumn air, we’d dump our candy on the living room rug to sort it out and start trading.

Our parents were off paying bills or tidying the kitchen. I don’t recall my mother asking me a single question about the night. She was too busy doing her own thing — and letting me do mine.