A Baytown mother’s “crazy idea” about her seven-month-old child’s Halloween costume has led to him becoming social media’s newest star.
Erica Allen, a finance department employee with the City of Baytown, was shopping for a Halloween costume for her child, Cairo, when a “crazy idea” popped in her head. Instead of buying just one costume as most do, she decided to dress Cairo up in 31 different costumes in October leading up to Halloween.
“I was at Marshall’s, and I saw four costumes that I liked,” Allen said. “And I said I cannot just pick one. So, I texted my husband (James) and sent him pictures. He said that was Ok, but let’s wait and see. I was at the register when I had an idea. It was Cairo’s first Halloween, so I thought, let’s do something big.”
For the next 31 days, Allen dressed Cairo up in various costumes such as a UPS deliveryman, a bag of Reese’s Pieces, the Cookie Monster, a lion, Tootsie Rolls, the Pillsbury Doughboy, a sailor, a cup of noodles, the Chick fil A cow, a Cabbage Patch Kid and a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
Allen said her husband was not keen on the idea at first, but soon came to enjoy it.
“At first, he said no, and I said why?” Allen said. “This thing is for memories. I wanted to be unique and different, but I didn’t know it was going to go this far.”
Allen said things really took off after one of her relatives took one of the pictures of Cairo in costume from an Instagram post and placed it on Facebook.
“The next thing you know, I get a call and my former co-worker saying, ‘Have you seen what is happening with Cairo?’” Allen said. “And I thought is someone saying something, because you know how social media can be. But she said he was viral. And I went and looked on Facebook and saw it had 7,000 shares.”
Things did not stop there. Allen was bowling with her family when she got a call from a producer from ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“They said we see what is happening with the baby,” Allen said. “They did a big interview with me on speakerphone. After they posted their story, the shares went up to 102,000, and it keeps going up.”
Allen said she received materials to make the costumes from Amazon and things she made herself. She did this all the while working a fulltime job at the city.
“The one everyone loves is the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese costume,” she said. “It costs $3 to make. I went to Dollar Tree and bought a basket for one dollar and two poster boards. And that was it. I printed out the logo and put it on there. I also asked some of my co-workers for the toilet paper rolls, and they gave me some. I painted them yellow. That was my favorite one since he did great during the photoshoot. He was laughing and playing, and it only took me 10 minutes to do that photoshoot. That is everyone’s favorite.”
Kraft and UPS agreed and posted Cairo’s picture in costume on their Twitter feed.
Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo was thrilled to meet Cairo, Baytown’s latest celebrity.
“It is certainly great for Cairo to be Baytown’s newest social media star, and he is a cute young man,” Capetillo said. “We are unquestionably proud his family cherishes him and dressed him up for 31 days. That took a lot of effort. You can see how cute he is, and that is why he is undoubtedly liked amongst all of the social media folks. We are proud of him. He has accomplished a lot in his seven months, and we look forward to his future here in Baytown.”
Allen said she named her son Cairo after reading the Bible.
“I thought he was going to be a girl and was going to name her Egypt,” she said.
“But he turned out to be a boy and thought about the name Cairo, and everybody loved it.”
Allen said she is thankful for the love that has been shown Cairo over the costumes.
“This has totally surprising and unexpected,” Allen said. “We are grateful for everyone’s support.”
All of Cairo’s 31 costumes can be seen on Instagram with the username “cairo_a_.”