Toddlers are reasonable, decisive people which makes picking out a Halloween costume for them as easy as a DIY c-section.

Step 1: Ask your toddler what he or she would like to be for Halloween. Before doing this, use the bathroom and find a comfortable spot on the floor because the rambling monologue of an answer will go on for 2-3 hours.

Step 2: Repeat the importance of choosing ONE thing to be. One thing. As in singular. Your toddler will misunderstand this to mean six or seven individual costumes. With accessories.

Step 3: Help your toddler understand that multiple costumes will cost more than you have budgeted for this particular event and unlike a Broadway musical, there is no place to change between scenes while trick-or-treating.

Step 4: Comfort your toddler while he or she cries into your chest and/or tries to physically assault you denying them their heart’s desire.

Step 5: Rejoice as your toddler has agreed upon a costume. Keep in mind that the word of a toddler means nothing.

Step 6: Buy the costume. Try not to think about the fact that you just spent the equivalent of three bags of groceries on a seasonal outfit for your toddler while you yourself are wearing threadbare $9 stretch pants with a hole in the crotch.

Step 7: Feel your heart swell with joy as your toddler expresses excitement over their new costume. It was all worth it to see your toddler smile.

Step 8: Struggle internally with whether or not you should let your toddler wear the costume before Halloween. Decide that the Instagram likes will be worth it.

Step 9: Take no less than 900 photos of your toddler in his costume.

Step 10: Allow toddler to eat, sleep, pee, poo, and generally live in said costume.

Step 11: On Halloween day, 14 seconds before it’s time to go trick-or-treating, shed two bitter tears as your toddler decides that their costume currently offends their sensibilities and is therefore unwearable.

Step 12: Explain to your toddler that there are no other costume options available at this time.

Step 13: Listen to your toddler cry. Notice how well vodka goes with candy corn.

Step 14: Trick-or-treat with your toddler who is wearing footie pajamas, cowboy boots, and a winter hat. Explain to your neighbors that she is a pajama cowboy in the winter.