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from the reject pile

from the reject pile

October 11, 2006

We have been having the costume discussion for a few weeks now at our house. As I type this, everyone has a costume except for my 11 yr old son, who is indecisive and at that age where conformity is all the rage.

A family that costumes together….

I. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

I would of course be Snow White and the children could all dress as dwarves.

11 yr old son: That is soooooo lame.

: No it isn’t. It would so fun. And cute.

11 yr old: cute? did you say cute?

Me (trying to recover from obviously having lost my mind and having dared to utter the “c” word): I bet everyone else would like it.

10 yr old: No, we wouldn’t.

9 yr old (pointing to his 5 yr old brother): He can be Stupid.

10 yr old: His name is Dopey, not Stupid, and obviously you should be him.

9yr old: Well you should be Stinky.

10 yr old: There isn’t a Stinky, DOPEY.

: Okay, enough. Moving on….

II. Fruit of the Loom

: Hey, I have an idea…what about the Fruit of the Loom fruit!

11 yr old: the what?

: the underwear guys.

11 yr old: underwear?

Me: C’mon, and one of you can wear just your underwear for a costume.

III. Cruella Deville and the puppies

: Oh my God , what do you think of that idea?

All of them, with every ounce of disdainful scorn they can muster: Puppies?!?!

From their reaction you would have thought I suggested they dress up like piles of puppy shit. Hmmmm….

Also proposed and rejected in this family theme category:

Mary and her little lambs
Wizard of Oz
Peter Pan
Alice in Wonderland
Little Mermaid theme as suggested by my 3yr old daughter (mer-men are NOT cool, and definitely NOT Halloween costume worthy.)

So, once again there will be no family halloween costume theme. And I shook my head at them all and loudly asked, “Why can’t I ever get my way??”

2. It was the 70’s our parents were probably doing drugs…

Me: Daddy used to be a hobo every other year. Want to be a hobo?

11 yr old: What is a hobo?

Me: You know, like a vagabond…

11 yr old
(blank stare)…

: a transient…

11 yr old
(blank stare)…

Me: a homeless person

11 yr old (again with the scornful disdain): He dressed up like a homeless person?

: Uh yeah. It was the 70’s there was no such thing as being politically correct.

11 yr old: Obviously.

Me: you know what else Daddy was one year.

11 yr old: a cripple? a blind person?

Me: Not that I know of… A male nurse. It was the height of a risque costume dressing up as a nurse. So funny.

11 yr old
: Why? Why would that even be funny?

: It just was.

11 yr old: Joe’s dad is a nurse.

Me: Yeah I know.

11 yr old: I don’t get it.

Me: (heavy sigh) It’s generational. I don’t get tap dancing in movies, but grandma assures me they were the good old days.

3.Other random ideas I threw out to him that were summarily rejected:

Any character from a nursery rhyme
Any animal, both living and extinct
Quaker Oats guy
Juan Valdez
Playing card
Disgruntled youth, which has the benefit of needing no special costume at all

4. Favorite costume suggested by a sibling:

5yr old
: I know. How about a human being.

Unfortunately, that might be too much of a stretch for an 11 yr old.

Posted by Chris @ 9:27 am  

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  1. Katie says:

    We did the Peter Pan theme one year. Your guys would be adorable Lost Boys.

    The Quaker Oats guy? LOL

    After much brow beating, I convinced the kids to dress up like Star Wars characters this year. I think the only reason they agreed was so they could have light sabers and blaster guns. *sigh*

  2. Karen Rani says:

    Your kids are freaking hilarious. They must get that from you. Oh and their homeless father. :)

  3. Boutros says:

    My costume was left in the hands of my sister when I was seven. She dressed me as Ed Grimley. I had no idea what or who I was, but everyone else got a kick out of it.

  4. jody2ms says:

    LOLOL!!! I needed a smile today. Work was hell yesterday with the icing on the cake of my day being finding out AFTER the bloody delivery that your patient tests peliminarily HIV+, and the fun of trying to figure out an AZT dose for a 4 hour old infant weighing less than 5 pounds. Just…shoot…me!

  5. guinness girl says:

    hee! That is freakin’ adorable.

    Anytime I couldn’t figure out what to dress up as for Halloween, someone always suggested a black-eyed pea. “Yeah, duh, heard it a million times and it’s not funny anymore” was always my response.

    I think my favorite costume (or, set of costumes) I ever saw - although it might not go over as well with kids (although…hmm…the kid version could maybe be cute?) involved a group of guys, one in a suit and Bill Clinton (prez at the time) mask; the rest in black suits as secret service guys, with either walkie-talkies or or headsets. Okay, so part of the coolness was that I was about 23 and at a bar and they pulled up in a limo and made this big show of it all and…wow. Holy long comment.

  6. ann-marie says:

    too bad they didn’t go for the snow white/dwarves theme; that would’ve been so great!

    i was a hobo one year, too. i had no idea then i was being un-p.c.

    i wish i had a suggestion for you, but i suck at this.

  7. Jamie says:

    LOL! I knew I was in trouble this year when my 4-year-old declared that she didn’t want to be a “cute” witch but a scary witch. I am so screwed!

    I love it when teenagers come trick or treating at our house (well, not really…being sarcastic.) Usually they are wearing regular clothes and a mask. Maybe he could just be a kid with a mask? Boring, but definitely not cute or related to any type of theme. I guess the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music is out, huh? ;)

  8. Cathy C says:

    How about a painter? an Olympian? Donald Trump? a musician? a paprazzi?
    11 year boys are hard!

  9. Mel says:

    Oh, Katie beat me to it. I thought a Peter Pan theme would fit your family perfectly. I taught high school before my stay-at-home days and one year the entire office staff dressed up in Peter Pan costumes: the principal was Cpt Hook, the cute young hall monitor was TinkerBell, the gruff assistant principal was Smeed and so on. Very fun.

  10. Six Monkey Jungle says:

    I tried to get my 11 year old to be Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. Hahaha. I thought it would be hilarious. And he almost bit.

    I also try every year to do the themed outfits. No takers. Ever. That is what happens when you have all boys. I think if I had a bunch of daughters, they would humor me.

  11. Lilly says:

    You make me laugh. My older brother was a table when he was about 11yrs old…

    You take a 3’square piece of cardboard or light masonite and cut a head sized hole in the middle. Set the table with a tablecloth and table settings. I think you’re supposed to wear flowers on top of you’re head since you’re the centerpiece…
    And I realize that your son and no other boy today would agree to something as dumb as being a table…. The funny family story was that noone realized until the last minute that my brother couldn’t fit in the car to go to the school Halloween party so my father took off without him and he had to walk the mile wearing his table costume…
    Alternate idea… The parents of a family I know went as the paper package for M&Ms and the kids went as m&ms.

  12. Jenny says:

    Hah! My daughter is doing the Hermione Granger thing this year, and forcing my husband to be Harry Potter. Haaaaa!

    How about a Mariachi Band?

  13. Jessica says:

    Ha! My 5-year-old son is suggesting a Justice League theme for this year. He really wants to be Martian Manhunter, thinks my husband should be Flash, I should be Wonder Woman (boy knows how to kiss up!) and that his 2-year-old sister should be Hawk Girl. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of people who would get that. Especially the Martian Manhunter. My son would choose the most obscure of the Justice League as his favorite.

  14. Gwen says:

    One year I went as the ozone layer - I burned a big hole in a sheet and wore it - makeup was black eyes - I just tried to look as beat up as possible. Since he seems witty but “correct”, he might like this one.

  15. jennifer g. says:

    I figure this is the last year I can truly exert my influence over my 2-year-old, so he’s being a cowboy. My 3-year-old is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear, and we were fortunate to be able to borrow that one. The problem is my almost 6-year-old: he wants to be an ostrich. For weeks, he hasn’t budged off the ostrich. Then, yesterday a friend offered us Dory and Nemo costumes that she had made. He actually jumped at the suggestion. But who does he want to be? Dory, of course!

  16. Brigitte says:

    My favorite I ever saw (of course it’s another dated one) was a kid in grown-boy-size beige footsie pajamas - he said he was a streaker!

  17. Mir says:

    Can’t… stop… laughing….

    I say you make all the boys dress up as cheerleaders, and you and the beautiful princess dress as football players. :D

  18. Susan says:

    ROFLMAO! It’s funny how it was okay (and common!) to be a hobo “back in our day;” now, apparently, the whole concept is just… wrong! :D

    Your kids are as hilarious as you, Chris!

  19. Allanna says:

    This post was too funny!!
    Seriously, you’re my hero.
    I’m still snickering about the Juan Valdez recommendation. Priceless!!

    Now, if I can just figure out what the kiddos and I should be …

    …Juan Valdez … lol …

  20. Pam says:

    My 11 year old is a rock star every year. I just put colored gel in his hair and spike it up. He wears old jeans, we have an old leather jacket. We add crazy belts, bandanas, whatever.

  21. Beck's Mommy says:

    I can’t wait for those days! Right now my little one is 14 months and therefore does not get a vote (although he always votes in my favor against my husband). We will be doing the Wizard of Oz theme… I will enjoy it while it lasts!

  22. Joy H says:

    how about the Travelocity Roaming Gnome??

  23. Pieces says:

    “a cripple? a blind person?”–coffee came OUT OF MY NOSE!

  24. S says:

    Given the state of the house and the pics of the residing last week, maybe you could all go as construction workers.

  25. Cheryl says:

    Ahh…the joys of preteens….:) I think construction workers is a good one for your family at this time. Good luck!

  26. Ave says:

    How about you guys go as The Incredibles? I bet that is a cartoon that would go over well with an 11 year old. You got the dad, mom, daughter, older and younger sons, Frozone, Syndrome, etc!

    Or characters from Chicken Little?

    Trying to think of pre-teen friendly not-totally-uncool family themes….

  27. Nicki says:

    Now I know what I have to look forward to. I personally liked the snow white theme. Maybe next year. You could always threaten to not let him go trick or treating unless he goes as a dwarf…….bribery works wonders…right?

  28. Carolie says:

    Guess we were well-manipulated! One year I was Tinker Bell, and my brothers were Peter Pan and Michael (with trap-door PJs and a teddy bear) and one year we were all Star Wars characters… I was Leia with my long hair wrapped in cinnamon bun coils, the blonde brother was Luke, the brunette brother was Han Solo…and my dad didn’t shave for a week, went shirtless and was Chewbacca! (Mom hid in the bedroom, dying of mortification at my father’s display of wookie hair!)

  29. Caren says:

    What about the Smurfs? Wait…they probably don’t even know who they are.

  30. Gretchen says:

    I would suggest Indiana Jones, since that is what my 12 yo would love to dress as, but I know he already did that last year (and my 12 yo was jealous!). What about Han Solo then? (are you seeing a Harrison Ford theme here? LOL) That would probably be the 2nd choice here. Mine would also love to be Zorro, but that is because last month we rented 4 different Zorro movies to introduce him to that character. Not sure if your 11 yo knows who Zorro is yet. Good Luck!

  31. Mom Nancy says:

    That has to be tough finding a theme like that for so many! Too funny.

    A couple of years ago my girls were Velma (she already has brown hair and sensibly chose Velma - Daphne would have been tough), Scooby, and a ghost (the baby). If you and your daughter are Velma and Daphne, and three of the boys would be Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby, then the rest could be various monsters, etc. and freestyle their own ghost/bad guy.

  32. Julie says:

    I went as a go-go girl in the 70’s. Think our kids have any idea what that is?

    How about he dresses up as static cling? He wears a sweat shirt and pants and pins socks and dryer sheets to his clothes. Of course, my son would die at the thought of pinning his boxers to his clothes, but that would add to the fun.

  33. Caya says:

    How about bacon & eggs, or a lobster:


  34. Playdate Susan says:

    Juan Valdez! What ever happened to Juan Valdez?

    I was trying to explain to my sons that I was a gypsy for Halloween a couple of times; like “hobo” this seems to have completely dropped out of the vernacular.

    And Ave, one of my sons is dressing up as Dash, and has suggested that I be Mrs. Incredible, “Because you have her hips, Mama.”


  35. Mel says:

    One of my friends went as a hairdryer one year, it was hilarious! How about a toiletries theme? Hairdryer, hairbrush, comb, bar of soap, shampoo bottle, sponge, washcloth… the list goes on. The older boys could go as aftershave or something.
    Also love Julie’s static-cling idea.

  36. Mel says:

    He could go as a battery. Black pants, copper-coloured shirt, plus and minus signs at appropriate ends…
    I went as a menthol cigarette one year. White pants, camel-coloured top, brown shoes, green belt, and a paper cut-out of a camel pinned to my leg. Not that that would be appropriate for a child.

  37. Jonathon says:

    Ha! I laughed out loud when I read that. I can remember scoffing at all the “uncool” Halloween ideas my parents came up with.

    Keep trying!!! I love the Cruella idea, but I would’ve loathed being a puppy at 11. (Just sayin’.)

  38. Monica says:

    Carpenter would be easy and cool, especially if you get one of those gory wound kits and whip up some really nice construction wounds.

  39. Mama T. says:

    What about The Church Lady? I bet your son will dig that suggestion.

  40. Wendy says:

    Good Luck finding a costume. I cant imagine getting costumes that everyone would like. I barely know what to do with my 2 and they are only 4 yrs old and 8.5 mos old.

    The 4 yr old wanted to be Cinderella, but now wants to be a witch. The 8 mos old will be a pumpkin. It is the costume left over from his sister’s first Halloween. I smell a tradition brewing.

    I think either way I can get this as a theme.

    Cinderella and her carriage before her fairy godmother waved her wand.
    A witch and a pumpkin. They go together, right?

    I will be going as the incredible cranky woman who has to walk about a mile between houses. Can you count that is the start your excercise program?

  41. Woman with Kids says:

    Snicker… “a cripple, a blind person?” That’s fabulous.

  42. Sara says:

    How about the seven seas? They could wear some nautical gear and big Cs on their shirts….
    I was un-p.c. one year and went as a blind person, complete with cane and pencil cup. (What can I say? I was in college and the cup was perfect for holding beer. I’d like to think I have grown since then, although I still like the occasional beer.)
    My brother and a group of friends dressed in white tank tops and shorts and one carried a boom box that played the theme from “Chariots of Fire” then they all “ran” in slow motion all night.

  43. maria says:

    that’s funny - I had the hobo discussion w/my kids (2, 4 and 6) last night… At least you’re creative - we borrow and give them a budget and go to ToysRUs… Well - there was that year #1 son wanted to be a fire engine - we painted a xerox box red

  44. Snapper says:

    Very funny kidlets…. I’m betting they wouldn’t want to be a sandwich either. Two breads, and the rest of them the innards.

  45. cowmomba says:

    A take off on someone’s fire engine. How about a train?
    Miles can be the caboose… You, (or the 11 year old) can wear the striped overalls and swing a lantern. Use boxes decorated as boxcars and let them paint their own graffiti on the sides.

  46. Marie in St Paul says:

    My husband always wanted to dress our daughter as Queen Elizabeth I - and put the head of Mary Stuart in her trick or treat bag. Sadly, she’s now too old (at 9) to go for it. She wants to be a Pirate Maiden this year. Our 15 month old son will go as Charlie Brown, as befits his enormous, round, thinly haired head.

    Before children, back when I had a cute figure (before children and gravity), I once went as the Maidenform woman - bra, underwear and fake fur coat. Damn it was cold, but I was hot!

    Hey what about the Village People?

  47. Sherri says:

    Could be worse, my 10 year old son informed me that he thinks that he should just stay home and help give out the candy this year…ack, I can remember dressing up at 14 for the last time!!! Sniff, even the lure of candy is not enough for him to dress-up.

  48. Playdate Susan says:

    Oh my god, Marie’s Queen Elizabeth I costume is HYSTERICAL! The head! So funny.

    Sorry. Just had to say that. So. Funny.

  49. Momofa2yearold says:

    OK, not sure if you will think this is appropriate, but my friend’s son went as a “babe magnet” one year. Wore a sweatsuit and super-glued barbie dolls all over. . .

  50. peepnroosmom says:

    I feel Sherri’s pain. My 11 yr old said he would just give out candy. He thinks he’s too old to go out. Sniff sniff
    I want my two boys to go as Dr. Evil and Mini Me, but no, they won’t. Oh well.
    The funniest costume I ever saw was a man dressed up like a pickle barrel. He was wearing a barrel with suspenders and a sign that said “pickles 10 cents”. The hole you had to reach into to get the “pickle” was really low. Ha Ha!

  51. creative-type dad says:

    How funny!

    Hey, wasn’t the “Brady Bunch” Snow White and the Seven Dwarves…

  52. Kari says:

    I personally think the Snow White characters would be great, but then somebody would have to be “Dopey”, so that might not work out so well… I am totally on a bug kick this year (my baby is going to be a ladybug - not very inventive, but there you go). Anyway, how about bees? You would be the queen bee, or course and your hubby could be the bee keeper. But then, any of the boys over 5 are probably not going to be caught dead in a bee costume.

  53. Joy H says:

    Sara — that ‘Chariots of Fire’ idea is PRICELESS!

  54. sweethomealagirl says:

    This was too funny. Along the same lines with your previous post, my older 2 are getting to the age where costumes aren’t exactly easy to come by, and I swear I think you are on to something with the serial killer bit…what did happen to the good costumes?? Anyway, this year I found a solution. Rather than spending a lot of money on something just to satisfy their desire to have (cheap, sad excuse for) a costume, I convinced the boys that if they would simply wear their soccer uniform as their costume, I’d give them $10. That way, I saved money and they got something anyway. Don’t laugh. It worked. :) Except the little one has begged and begged to be a horse, so I spent $25 on his…2 out of 3, I guess.

  55. Sara says:

    Almost forgot. I dressed my second son, he of the curly blonde hair, as Harpo Marx when he was two. I made a black top hat, found a small adult jacket to make a trench coat and used a bike horn for, well, the horn. Most people got it, but a few thought he was just a hobo.

  56. Saerah says:

    Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean. My friend put this costume together for her 12-year-old and it looks terrific, everyone knows who it is, plus, he gets to act the part. The other kids could be assorted pirates, ghosts, Elizabeth Swanns, members of the British Navy, etc.

  57. Kathy says:

    How about Snow White and six dwarves (sp?) - Bashful is “too bashful” to join you. Then your 11 yr old can be whatever he wants.

  58. Kendra says:

    I once when as a lightening bolt victim. Lol. I was young. If all else fails, get him one of those lame t-shirts that says, “This is my halloween costume.”

  59. Ellen says:

    So many greatideas, I love the 7 seas (Cs), and Star Wars… If you are looking for other do it yourself ideas check out the link below, some are easy to make some, not so much. I can really picture your family going as vikings — visulize — so cool!


    And last but not least, one of my favorite costumes was a friend dressed as as vampire with a bunch of spatulas stuck to the inside of his cape — “Count Spatula” of course!
    Good luck!

  60. peggy says:

    Go as a six pack of coke and a bottle opener
    A bag of m&m’s with stray m&m’s running around
    mother hen and her chicks
    Sorry, I got carried away LOL it is going to be hard to get a 11 yr old to like anything a parent comes up with in costume ideals. Good luck

  61. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, not only was I a hobo one year, but the only purchased part of that costume was a big fat plastic cigar. Don’t see those around for the kiddies any more.

    I love all of the “concept” costumes! I remember a set of twins in our old neighborhood that went as a toilet and a sink in about 4th grade. I especially remember the mother saying the big fight was over who got to be the toilet (which was considered the bigger laugh and therefore cooler). They switched off. Wouldn’t you just want to give them big tootsie rolls?


  62. daring one says:

    I still think someone should dress all their kids as the things the old woman swallowed. So you dress up like you’re the evidence of the autopsy. You can’t tell me, honestly, to my face, that an 11 year old boy would not want to be a regurgitated cow, spider or fly for Halloween.

  63. InterstellarLass says:

    That’s more ideas than I would have come up with in a million years!

  64. rachel says:

    We did family themes for Peter Pan and for Madeleine. But I don’t have boys. No theme this year, sadly.

    You could have them all be planets, and you could be the sun (you’re off by one or two, so you’d have to borrow one or two kids, depending on your stance on Pluto)

  65. Mom to Three Girls says:

    So DH and I went as Sick and Tired one year. I had an ice pack on my head. He carried teddy bear. Best part? We got to wear our PJs and robes.

    Next year… he went as static cling. Safety pinned socks to his outfit.

    Next year… our friends went as the four horsemen of the apocolypse. Hey… 11 year olds might like that. So cheerful ;-)

  66. amy says:

    I have a friend and her son dressed up as a pirate EVERY YEAR he trick or treated. Apparently really liked being a pirate. (Can you imagine how freaking easy that would be?!)

  67. Wooden Porch says:

    My mom always dressed me up as a jogger every year. Talk about LAZY!!

  68. But Momma says:

    I loved Mir’s idea of cheerleaders and also the 7 c’s! Great ideas! I always wanted the boys to dress up as The Lollipop Guild, they won’t even discuss it.

  69. Heather says:

    Every year, without fail, my Dad is a hippie. Which is only funny because he is actually old enough to have been one…

    People drive from far-ish to see him… It’s great and he loves it. Moms take pictures of their kids with him. It’s actually sort of weird, but cool.

    My brothers and sisters and I were going to be the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer one year… and yes, I am a dork.

  70. kalisah says:

    My Kid was a hippie last year when he was 12. He wore a tie-dyed shirt and a wig of long, superstaight hair, a headband & round John Lennon glasses. Maybe your 11-y-o will think that’s “cool.”

    My Kid only ever keeps his costume on for about six houses anyway.

  71. Boo! « Yummy Sushi Pajamas says:

    [...] I think Americans are the only ones who do the Halloween thing, so for my friends across the pond this post might be boring.  However, I was perusing Notes from the Trenches and I came across some great Halloween costume ideas!  Read the comments AND the post to get all the cool ideas.  Here were my favorites, click on the pics for info: [...]

  72. Suebob says:

    “11 yr old: a cripple? a blind person?”

    Your kid is fabulous.

  73. Gretchen says:

    My vote is for you to be Elastigirl aka Mrs. Incredible, Rob can be Mr. Incredible, little girl can be Violet, and the boys can all be Dash! Imagine a whole houseful of Superheroes!
    Good luck!

  74. kelli in the mirror says:

    I was a hobo almost every year too. My mom was too lazy to come up with anything else. One year I basically dressed as a hobo and then she made me hold a paintbrush and tell people I was Tom Sawyer. Not cool for a girl in fourth grade when nobody knows who that is anyway!

  75. Amah says:

    You have such great ideas!! I use your blog for my creative side (of which I have none!!). Question for you - at what age do you guit trick-or-treating? Las year we had some “old” teens that - yup - regular clothes and some of Mom’s make-up. Not even a mask. I wondered what your thoughts were - maybe for the trenches site.

    I read your stuff (both) daily. Keep up the great work!!

  76. Gillian says:

    How about the seven wonders of the world and you could be the tour guide? You know, spiffy little hat and microphone.

  77. ben says:

    Oh that is too funny.

    So, when is halloween? Do I need to get costumes ready any time soon? I’m the kinda person that starts thinking about it on the way home from work that day, much to my kids chagrin.

    Remember in ET when the kid dressed up as a terrorist? (or has somebody already brought that up)

  78. Gwen says:

    A boy in our neighborhood dressed up as a kissing booth a couple of years ago. He put a box over his head supported by suspenders. It had “Kisses - 25 cents” across the top and was complete with a small curtain. I don’t think he had any takers, but it sure was original!

  79. Gwen says:

    Or maybe you could be the zookeeper and they could all be different animals!

  80. Personal Chef to 2 says:

    My son is obsessed with dressing like Shaggy (everyday! green shirts, brown pants) from Scooby Doo. So who do you think he wants to be? His brother, now 2, has no choice but to be Scooy-Doo. And my DH and I have given in … I’m actually putting on a Daphne costume and DH will be Fred.

    WE just need a Velma … any takers?

  81. kellie says:

    i have four littles, I so thought scooby do would be great the 7 year eats enought o be shaggy, the 5 is high fashion daphne, the 11 my honor roll would be velma and the 10 freddy, I offered to dress up in a fridgs box and be the mystery machine…the were disgusted at the thought. I feel your pain.

  82. JAM says:

    Need to know if you all think this is too politically incorrect for a 5th grade boy … hang a vinyl mini blind around his neck, give him dark glasses and a sign that reads: “Give to the blind.” Or “Candy for the blind.”