My daughter Riley wore her first Halloween costume when she was 2. She went as, yes, a pirate. (My call. It was completely awesome. More cute than bloodthirsty, but she did sport an eye patch and a hook for a hand.)

After that, it was three years of princesses. Tiaras, sequined tutu dresses, plastic jewelry. Dark days for her Goth-loving father.

But when she turned 7, she started going in for more grisly fare, and that’s where her tastes remained — which was great fun. For the past three years in a row, her go-to Halloween option has been Vampire. Badass Vampire. Cape, pale face, black hair spray, black widow’s peak drawn on her forehead, and the slightest trickle of fake blood on her chin. Very, very fearsome. And when I say fearsome, I mean adorable as hell.

Last week I went into her room and found her flipping through a magazine. Subsequent investigation revealed it to be a costume catalog. Every year, when my mom sends the kid a Halloween care package, she throws in a few of them to help Riley brainstorm ideas.

“So,” I asked her, “what’s the costume plan this year? We going to pull out the ol’ vampire cape again?”

“I want to go as Alice,” she said, “like from Wonderland.”

I was surprised. A little girly for her recent tastes, but a relatively easy costume to put together. “That’s a cool idea,” I replied. “You haven’t mentioned that one before. What made you choose it?”

“It’s right here,” she said, holding up the glossy catalog page for me to see: