I took my kids to Party City today to find my son a Halloween costume...what a mistake.
We needed a little outing on this 3rd day of Fireman's 5 days at work, and I thought it'd be fun for them to also pick out some spider webbing and little spiders and glow sticks for decorations.
What a huge, huge mistake.
I will never take them to a Halloween store again for many, many years, if ever.
The scariest, most grotesque and horrifying masks and statues and displays are right there at little ones' eye level, hanging from the ceilings, dangling from racks, and are necessary to walk past to get to the babies and kids' costumes.
I rushed us down the aisle as quick as I could, tugging my son's arm as he dragged behind, mouth agape in fascination and shock.
I breathed a sigh of relief as we arrived in front of the wall of costume pictures. We were in front of the toddler and kids costumes, and Son started pointing excitedly at the Power Rangers and Captain America. As he dragged his finger along the pictures, he stopped and said, "Ew, look at these, Mommy!"
I had been scanning the Pumpkin and Rainbow Brite and Ladybug options for my daughter. When I looked down to see what Son was exclaiming about, here's what I saw:
Really? Do 4-6 year olds really need these options? When has this become ok? This was at 3-5 year old EYE LEVEL!!! These costumes are for ages 4 and up!!!
These images would warrant a PG-13 in a movie or video game, wouldn't they? But they're perfectly acceptable in a store frequented by ALL ages?
And what if you were out trick-or-treating with your little ones and you saw a boy in one of these costumes walking down the sidewalk next to you?
My son was really grossed out but also really curious - he'd never seen such images, and I was so, so sorry more of his innocence was instantly lost.
And don't even get me started on the SEXY aisle.
It really turns my stomach that Halloween has come to this. I used to like a little bit of the thrill of scary/gory but post-kids, I really can't stomach it. At all.
I really don't think this is ok. I really believe the super gross stuff should be in a curtained aisle or something, so that parents have a warning beforehand and can choose to walk down that aisle with their kids or not.
I'm sure some will say go to a different store if I don't like it, or shop online. Does anyone know of any Halloween costume places that are better geared for young children? I'm sure if there are any, they're certainly not a big chain with the big selections, in the many convenient locations. And I WILL be shopping online from here on out, or just doing the homemade thing if I can, although it doesn't seem fair to have to keep my kids from any big Halloween stores.
I'm writing to Party City.
If you feel like I do, please share this via Facebook, Twitter, Google + or however you want...maybe we can get Halloween cleaned up a little bit for our little ones. They're only little and innocent for so long.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear.
Love + light ~