“What are you going to be?”
Our children will be asked this question at least a hundred times this week. What will your kids say?
I have two wonderful costumes in a size 3T, just perfect for my 3 year old to wear next week, stashed safely in our dress-up box. But does he want to be Buzz Lightyear or a lion for Halloween this year? Of course he doesn’t. That’s the Murphy’s law of Halloween costumes: Your kids want to be whatever you don’t already have a costume for.
No one wants to be Harry Potter again this year? But I knitted that scarlet and gold scarf myself two Halloweens ago. No one wants to wear it again, really?! And I have a perfectly good musketeer tunic from four Halloweens ago and yet no one is stepping up and shouting, “En garde!” (The hot-glue-gunned feather in the hat is still intact and everything!) And is this handmade, furry viking coat just going to sit this Halloween out?
You see, I justify spending time and money making homemade costumes because I naively believe they will get passed down and reused in the future. I believe this, yet I have a perfectly good dress-up box that runneth over in the next room, and here I sit braiding skeins and skeins of brown yarn into 18 inch dreadlocks and hot-gluing them onto a long piece of cheap, red fabric because Halloween will be no fun at all this year unless a certain 3 year old is Jack Sparrow on Monday. Not just any pirate, mind you. Jack. I don’t have a Jack in the dress-up box. Yet…
I have an aversion to the flimsy, pre-packaged, 100% rayon costumes you see in stores this time of year too. I guess it’s for the same reason I can’t bring myself to buy those pre-fabricated, registered trademarked Valentine cards for my children’s classmates in February: a have a sick, deep-seeded need to make my life more complicated. Either that, or I just romanticize the whole homemade, making memories with mom part of it while at the same time managing to forget how cranky I get when using a sewing machine.
I saw the greatest costume idea in a magazine the other day. The child in the photo was wearing a princess dress with clown shoes, Harry Potter glasses, a funny hat and wig, with a sign around her neck saying “100% recycled costume.” So easy, so clever, so green! I begged each of my kids to be a “recycled costume” this year but to no avail. That would be in direct violation of Murphy’s law and they’re sticklers for rules.
So I’ll figure out a way to buckle a 3T swash without a pattern this week and come up with something brilliant to turn a plain old lab coat into the maniacal centerpiece of a mad scientist’s ensemble for my 10 year old. I’ll turn my gold colored canning rings into gypsy earrings, bust out my face paints, make amends with my sewing machine and fire up my glue gun. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure my little ones can go and collect all that candy with their heads held high.
And if they’re unhappy with my creations, well, that’s what winter coats are for.