Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Horror

I've never been into Halloween, but my kids are a different story. They start planning their costumes around Memorial Day and if they haven't settled on something by the 4th of July they really start to feel the crunch.

Last year as the Halloween season descended upon me I discovered to my horror the fatal error I made the year before. Grace had been in her American Girl phase (the series of books that go with the dolls that go with the clothes that go with the cars and vacation packages and summer homes) so I'd made her a Felicity dress, a colonial dress complete with lace trimmed sleeves and bodice. That set the standard by which all other costumes were to be measured, I had been to the summit and had nowhere left to go. Grace now wanted something better, a medieval princess, and would accept nothing less. I couldn’t believe my foolishness, a mistake of a novice. Andrew was no help, he just wanted to know why she wanted to be an "evil princesss."

As soon as Spencer heard Grace wanted to be a princess he chose to be Spiderman. This had been a source of competition between them as Grace was constantly trying to lure him into playing princess of which he wanted no part. I came downstairs one day to hear her sweetly asking him while they were coloring "What is Spiderman looking for in a wife?"

One year Spencer chose Luke Skywalker as his costume inspiration. He had received a light saber for his birthday which he wore at all times (lucky those things are water proof). If the subject of Jedi weaponry came up he was ready in an instant to discourse on the history and theory behind each light saber ever seen on film. His was blue, so he would recite every screen appearance of blue light sabers, illlustrating the versatility of his own.

“Mine’s blue, that means it can be Obi Wan’s light saber, or Luke Skywalker’s light saber, but only his light saber in Star Wars #4, not #5, because he uses a red one then . . .” Don’t quote me as a solid source on this, as I’m making this up, but Spencer knows. He knows.

Last year David was Spiderman and had a little Spiderman outfit he wore 24/7: the library, Fred Meyer, Walmart, everywhere but church (I put my foot down on that one). I didn't see a problem with this, no moral issue was involved--maybe if he'd wanted to be the Green Goblin or something on the other side of the law, I might have objected. I just assumed it was a good security measure, who would snatch a kid in a Spiderman outfit? They’d just be asking for trouble. So I told him to "wear it in good health my son," and figured it would give me something to hold over his head when he was older.

But this spring David played the lead role in his kindergarten play "Bugz." The smash hit (ha) about a stink bug that no one wanted at their picnic which drew rave reviews--Andrew asked David at the cast party what his motivation had been but David was just confused. Anyway, they don't call the cost-umes for nothing, I paid enough for those googly eyes, six legs, antennae and leathery wings that I assured him that come October he'd be trick or treating as a stink bug.

He looked so darn adorable in the whole thing but by June he was so thoroughly sick of the outfit that I had to pay him a dime to put it on for family or friends. By October it was up to a quarter and he was quite put out when his buddy Marc got to be Zorro while he had to endure the ladies cooing over how cute he looked.

But like it or not I suited them up and let them loose on the neighborhood (which in Alaska means full winter gear with costumes over the top, making David look especially cute with his puffy arms and legs) to go trick or treating door to door. They returned from the hunt raving about the spoils and so hopped up on candy that I had to peel them off the ceiling. After the obligatory Counting of the Candy I finally got them brushed and into bed and Grace's last words before drifting off were, "Mom, you know what I'm going to dress as next year?"


Carmen said...

i had an entire conversation with a 3 year old about the different color light sabers and whose was what. the sad thing is that i kept the conversation going. sigh

Haley-O said...

All my friends are buying little costumes for their toddlers....I'm skipping it this year --because look at all the fun I have ahead of me. :) Love the pic!! :)

Michael - Lover of Amy said...

We are considering a cotume for our Basset Hound. New to blogging, my wife makes me do a TT. :)

Leslie said...

LOL! My Spenser knows all about the colors of the light sabers too! He was Darth Vader this year-- Clone Trooper last year, Obiwan the year before.


Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

Isn't it funny how Halloween is such an enormous deal in the life of a child.

Christine said...

We had full winter garb under our costumes here in Iowa too. The kids were so bundled up they could barely bend their arms. But they were warm.

Angie said...

I am trying to find a stink bug costume for my cousin who is in play. Any suggestions on how to get this costume constructed? Or would you be willing to sell the one you made?

scribbit said...

Angie, email me and get in touch and I can arrange something. I kind of forgot your request in the hassle of the week and have no link to get back to you. scribbit at

Andrew said...

You have an amazing blog! Hehe I wish my mom let me trick-or-treat when i was younger!