Monday, October 31, 2005

A Tale Of Two Costumes

In honor of today, I bring you the following:

As a parent, there are many festivities you look forward to sharing with your offspring and several of these events involve costumes, decorations and candy, chief among which in our household are Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Now, when to trot your adorable little bundle of sticky around to see all the neighbors, begging for candy, is a personal decision. Charles and I came up with the age of 3, for Colin, being reasonable. We have nothing against tots of 3 days old procuring 20 lb plastic grinning jack-o-lanterns full of Sweet-Tarts and Hershey bars, but we prefer to cut out the middle man and simply buy the damn 20 lbs of candy ourselves, thereby avoiding getting the "yucky" candy and skipping the tedious going from door-to-door and ringing doorbells. Yes, free is a very good price, but so are deeply discounted giant-economy-sized bags of sucrosy goodness.

So. Three years ago, Colin and I trotted down to the local Shopko to find him the perfect costume. (Yes, yes, I am a complete lame-o at devising costumes with common household items. Long ago, I realized this and committed to buying them ready-made forever and ever, amen.) We saw lions and bats and superheros with capes. We also saw a spider costume. Colin is afraid of spiders. You can guess which costume he chose. I tried, diplomatically, to talk him out of it, but as he was set on his choice, (and the damn thing was rather cool, well made and on sale for $8) well, call me pragmatic. For several days following, he tried it on and loved it. It was black, green and a rather dark shade of purple, and made of felt. The arms were attached with black strings, so that when the top legs were waved via his arms being attached to them, all the legs waved. We talk about trick-or-treating and that either his dad or I would go with him, the other to remain at home to hand out candy to the other kids. He was terribly excited. Until after his nap on Halloween evening.

At that point, he no longer wanted anything to do with costumes, any costume, or trick-or-treating at all, even without that horrid, vile spider costume, even with the promise of candy. He wanted to curl up on the couch and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, over and over. At the end, he helped me hand out candy, admiring the other kids' costumes, but no regrets that he didn't join them.

The next day, he decided that he now wanted to go dress up and trick-or-treat. I explained that it was no longer an option, and he was fine with it.

Fast forward to the following year. He is 4. He is enamored with Scooby-doo. I find a Scooby costume in his size. He decides it is great! He can't wait for Halloween. The whole damn scene is replayed. In its entirety. Except that I save the receipt and do not remove the tags from Scooby-doo.

The following year, last year, he is in kindergarten. Small town kindergarten in the Midwest. We adore Halloween in the Midwest. We do not call it "harvest festival" and we do not hold back on the gory decorations.

Colin is enraptured by all things Lord of the Rings and has chosen to be an elf (specifically, Legolas, or "Wegowas", sans the long blond hair). He is very cute. School has a Halloween parade for all the kids to march in, going around the village, then back to school for the class Halloween (not harvest) party. He has a ball wearing his costume and, for the first time, goes trick-or-treating. Sara, not yet 2, stays home with her grandma. He gets 20 lbs of candy and the giant stadium light goes on in his brain: "So this is what the parents were going on and on about!!!"

That brings us to this year. He has chosen to be the Red Power Ranger (What? I don't think he has ever even seen Power Rangers.) Sara is nearly 3, and so ready to go join the fray. Colin has taken her aside and explained the whole situation to her in depth, so she will not make the same mistake he did.

Good thing she is not scared of spiders.

Happy Halloween!



Blogger Teri said...

The yucky candy problem. Sigh. Our community treat-or-treats during the day on the weekend before Halloween, so we already know that the yucky candy is in full-force. I have a child who will only eat peanuts in the butter form, and one who will not eat peanuts in any form, and one who has never been introduced to peanuts and halloween is not the day to start. Guess what nearly all of the loot, errrr chocolate candy contained?

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

Very funny-sweet Colin. I was just talking about the 6 month olds trick or treating AND the 18 year olds too!My husband has already brainwashed Ellie. "One for her, one for him" and when I asked them last night what happens to the yucky candy... Ellie answered " Those are for Momma!" sigh... My husband and I have also had a "conversation" about Ellie being a butterfly. She has wings, she has facepaint. She is happy! Why should I go through the trouble of making a costume that she is going to have to wear a coat over anyways? Antenna? She could care less, why should I?
Hope you have fun tonight!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Teri- You describe it as though it was a bad thing. (I am a candy junkie, although can happily leave suckers and 3 Musketeers, both of which Colin loves.) Colin is not much of one for nuts and Sara is not quite at the age where I want to introduce them, like Squeaker. Mmmmm. I see gooey, sweet nutty things in our future.

Kate- Yes. The 18 year-olds. Very wrong. So, you are the depository for all candies yucky? Sounds like you should be able to arrange a trade with your husband, sort of like in football. Here's hoping tonight is not too cold and we can get away with turtlenecks and jackets under their costumes. I don't think Florida has that problem. I love the butterfly wings and face paint. You are posting pictures, yes? The spider costume has antennae. Maybe they belonged to your butterfly costume? Last time I looked, spiders didn't have antennae.

6:52 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Allie is going as a fairy. With her it is always a month long drama in deciding what to be. We went through this year: Tinkerbell, Corpse bride, Allie's "ballgown lady" concept, but since we could find anything that fit the vision in her mind, that was scrapped. She also considered being a Southern Belle, but that costume was sold out. So she will be a fairy with blue and purple wings, a fancy purple dress, rainbow colored press on eyelashes, and sparkle face paint.

An agressive trick or treater, she always ends up with TONS of candy. If we didn't stop her she would probably eat it all Halloween night.

7:01 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love Halloween. This is one of the reasons I wish I have small children for (one of the few reasons) because the whole gathering of the candy and schlepping the small ones around and the admiring of the costumes? So cute.

Fortunately God is a wise God and has blessed me with an adorable nephew who is probably being escorted around the neighborhood as we speak. So I will admire the pictures when I see them. Oh, crap. Kari doesn't have a camera. Dang it.

I only like candy bars that have something in them, like peanuts or fruit or both (remember the real chunky bars? Yum). Teri, you can ship that candy to me. I'll be happy to take it off of your hands.

I can't wait to hear how the evening goes for them. And why are the Power Rangers still around? Hasn't someone blown them up yet?

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

I love how you repeatedly point out that it is Halloween and not Harvest! Too funny! I always found that pretty stupid--does anyone think the kids are fooled by this change of terminology? They know that October 31st is HALLOWEEN! My rule for trick-or-treating: you must be able to walk, but not yet able to drive! Teenagers who come to my house better have damn good costumes!! So glad that Colin has given Sara the low-down on Halloween. She can have her candy and eat it too! She can always watch "The Great Pumpkin" while sorting through her stash after trick-or-treat is over.

11:21 PM  
Blogger beckyb said...

Thanks for the giggle! Colin was wise beyond his years for wanting to curl up with a good movie on a late October night instead of braving the elements. :) Of course this year is was BEAUTIFUL and he was lured by the sweet call of sugar in mass quantities. I actually seemed to avoid any teenagers this year but had a Mom who brought her own bag to trick or treat with! I guess she didn't realize the only reason we schlepp around with these kids is so we can score all the good stuff out of their bags after they go to bed.;)

11:57 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

How adorable! Halloween is always the best when the little ones get dressed up. I'm glad to hear that Colin enjoyed it and has talked his little sister into the experience.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Our chocolate candy *always* had to be *checked* so the Old Man said.

Chocolate, somehow, never passed the test.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Stacy- If you took "Allie pictures", I'd love you to e-mail one. (I still owe you the cookie recipe and will send you one of C+S, to boot. I just need 1) time and 2) a free computer.) Did your mentioned former prom dress become part of the fairy costume?

Dana- I love essentially ALL chocolate, with or without stuff, as long as it is chocolate and not brown wax masquerading as chocolate. I just tried a new one for me, a "Take 5" with pretzels, peanuts, peanut butter and caramel all in chocolate. It was in the clinic's candy drawer. Yes, we have a large drawer full of candy behind the nurse's station. All clinics do. We aren't allowed bottles of booze. Your sister needs a camara. All the little kids dressed up, running through the leaves, TOO FREAKIN' CUTE! (Weren't Power Rangers around when WE were in school??? Maybe it is retro? Maybe a new movie is coming out?)

Colleen- Welcome! Your trick-or-treating rule is spot on. After the outing, we had to physically restrain Sara from the candy after she crammed about 10 pieces in her mouth in rapid succession. I guess she "gets" it.

Becky- Wasn't it an amazingly perfect night for it? A mom brought her own bag?!? Not a bag for her sick kid or something?!? That's definitely over the bounds.

Beth- Colin is absolutely THE best big brother. He looks out for her, always. No joke.

Babs- Well, you know, I've noticed that it seems to be the chocolate that has the wrappers that don't hold together as well as the other candy. Not that I'd support another parent with clearly only their kids' best interests at heart. I'm sure that wasn't chocolate on his breath, either, just like it isn't on mine. *cough*

10:42 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Glad Colin finally got with the program!

Re: the yucky candy. That's why you have to make sure you get lots and lots, so it won't be too painful to have to throw out about a third of it (primarily those orange and black waxpaper wrapped things. Do they still make those?).

With all my years of experience, I have gotten trick or treating down to a science. And now that I know it's perfectly OK for adults to go out T and T-ing, I may head out next year.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

I agree that 3 is a reasonable age, although it will damn hard to not truck my 1 year old around next year. It will be EVEN HARDER to not dress up with him - I am ashamed to admit. At least I come by it honestly - my dad always dressed up with us.

No pics of the costumes??

9:30 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- I know the orange and black candies you mean. We didn't get any but I think I have seen them in the past few years. Abominations. Looks like you can apply your honed skills next year. I can see it turning into a night that adults go house to house, not costumed, while sad kids stay home and hand out candy. Twisted.

Cagey- Oh, do it! Everyone else is, apparently. I have pictures and, since you asked, will e-mail you a couple to your blog's address, probably this weekend.

10:33 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Ooh. The Take 5 is pretty good. I am somewhat in love with the mint Kit Kat.

2:52 PM  

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