Picture this: Your kid wants to be a dinosaur for Halloween. But not just any dinosaur. Because many years ago you thought a Dinosaur A-Z book would be a great gift and he has since become obsessed with obscure and specific dinosaurs, so he wants to be a Spinosaurus. When you see a generic dinosaur costume at the store and suggest that he just be that, he explains that it does not have the correct features and would require larger claws and a spine along its back. He shakes his head, disappointed in your ability to distinguish "Spinosaurus" from "cute, non-specific dinosaur / reptile / maybe dragon." And so, while proud of your budding paleontologist, you are also a little annoyed that this particular obsession is making costume shopping difficult. So you turn to the internet.
Luckily, a Spinosaurus costume exists! From an aptly named site called HalloweenCostumes.com. It appears to be on backorder, but the site says it will be in by mid-October. Which pushes back to late October. Which pushes back to early November, and now it seems that HalloweenCostumes.com should be more appropriately called EarlyWinterCostumes.com.
But what can you do? A million ships are docked off the California ports, there are shortages on everything from cat food to shipping containers, and regular people are using the phrase "global supply chain" with stunning regularity. And, as with so many things that are an ever-present, but invisible part of our lives, like gravity and sewer lines, we only talk about the global supply chain when things are going very, very wrong.
So, we adapt. And if you're a non-crafty, non-DIY parent like myself, you may need to adapt a little harder than others. Here are some classic costume ideas from an era before we came to expect that we could find anything on the internet, and kids had to settle for what they or their parents could make themselves.
Pros: So easy. You've got a blanket or sheet? You've got scissors? You've got yourself a costume.
Cons: Once they see how easy this is, be prepared to find random holes in a lot of sheets and towels.
Pros: I think toilet paper is back on the "we have this" list, so wrap that kid up and send 'em out.
Cons: We're all still a little scarred from 2020, so you may not be ready to see toilet paper used in mass like this. Also, rain is gonna be a problem. A big one.
Pros: Classic joke that adults will love and your kids will think you made up.
Cons: Can be creepy if your kid takes to this costume too well, you know?
Person in a Zombie Movie Trying to Hide the Fact That They Just Got Bit
Pros: Super easy to put together, although it does require some acting skills. Kid wears regular clothes and just holds their sleeve down over their wrist, walking a little funny and looking shifty. Throughout the night, he or she can get progressively sweatier before being allowed to bite one person.
Cons: I mean, to really sell this one to your kids you kind of need to show them The Walking Dead. And depending on how old they are, that could be considered "questionable parenting."
Superhero's Alter Ego
Pros: Oh, that Superman costume with the little muscles? Yeah, that's on backorder until March. But you know what is never on backorder? Those old glasses you had in college that you really should give away but are still floating around your house for some reason. That and the suit you got your kid for a wedding that was canceled in 2020 and you got yourself a little Clark Kent.
Cons: It is hard to convince your kid to spend the one night a year that they can dress up as literally anything to go as "the boring half of a superhero's life," but you can make up for it on Christmas, when Santa magically comes through with that Spinosaurus costume.