A Tale Of Two Costumes
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.
Labels: The Small-Handed Ones