“Mommy, for Halloween I want to be a …”
Those eight words strike dread into my heart. What if my daughter wants to be a Ballerina Robot or a Pregnant Ostrich or some other creature where you actually have to create the costume instead of just going out and buying it? Oh, Halloween, you suck the creative juice right out of me.
When I was a kid my mom sewed an Indian Princess get-up for Grade 1. In Grade 5 she fashioned me a flesh-coloured, robe-like Conehead costume (not sure why I was watching Saturday Night Live at age 10? 70s parenting?), complete with a pointy hat-head-thingy, that warranted a call home from my teacher — the school thought I’d marched in the Halloween parade as a KKK member (clearly I did not look like a Conehead). Yes, my mom was somewhat crafty, if totally clueless about SNL characters. I’m the opposite — I can name all the members of One Direction but I can’t sew on a button.
Back in September Avery wanted to be a bat. “I could make wings using black fabric and use two wired-together hangers as the skeleton,” I thought. “I could paint her face like a bat!” Um, who was I kidding? By October 1st I was suggesting other possibilities: “How about a witch? A ghost? Oh, I know! A pirate!” (Cuz, like, all that stuff is in the storage room, including Daddy’s old white puffy shirt.)
My son, bless him, is much more easily influenced by my Jedi mind tricks.
Bennett: “I want to be A.J. for Halloween. He scares me.”
A.J. is the neighbourhood shar-pei, who lays in wait for small passersby and then lunges up to the fence barking maniacally. It’s gotten to the point where Bennett makes me carry him past A.J.’s house while he buries his face in my shoulder and whimpers until we’re a safe distance away.
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry honey. We don’t have a wrinkly-dog outfit. Why don’t you go as Superman instead?” (Cuz that hand-me-down costume is in your closet, and the “S” lights up — so cool!)
Bennett: “I want to be Superman.” That’s my boy.
In the end Avery chose a witch costume because that’s what Zellers had on special (Jedi mind tricks work really well at the point of purchse). The only problem is its light-weight fabric is more appropriate for a Florida Halloween than a -7C and blizzarding Canadian one. Which got me thinking. Maybe she could go as a skier? I know, that’s lame, right?
Then I had an epiphany. On Tuesday Avery wore her pink and purple parka and pink snowpants to school along with her pink pig hat. She’d scored a pair of vampire fangs on a playdate and was wearing those, too. Now, all we need is some face paint and my kid will be the freakiest child in the ‘hood, a beast of Amityville Horror proportions who is also dressed appropriately for the cold weather: a Vampire Pig.