Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Thawing of My Jello Brains: Halloween

Saturday I spent making our Halloween costumes, and then went to our friend Kate’s fabulous Halloween party, where BabyG fell asleep and we stayed later than we expected. I even got to return, after putting BabyG to bed at home, because we’d swiped Nicole’s purse on accident. I got to stay up till one or two talking with Kate and Nicole, the last of the partiers.

On Halloween itself, I completely didn't know it was Halloween. I thought it was Wednesday, not Tuesday. All night long I was convinced the School District had announced kids had to go out a day earlier. Don't ask me why I came to this conclusion: I just saw kids dressed up in a grocery store and decided it was the wrong day. When trick-or-treaters came, I gave them candy, but I still thought it was October 30th. I said to 13 year old next-door-neighbor-boy, in a tone of voice suggesting that he was on my side and thought Halloween should be celebrated on the 31st: "But you're having your party tomorrow, right?"

"This would be my party," he said, mortified, rolling his eyes the way 13 year-old-boys with loopy neighbors are apt to do. But me? I thought, "How sweet, Ben's getting moody and sulky for no reason at all." But still didn't think it was Halloween. Not until I got online, and I saw the date, did it occur to me.

BabyG was in bed by the time I realized she should've been wearing the Itsy Bitsy Spider outfit I made her. At Kate's, she was the spider, and I made GreenDaddy into a water spout, and I was the sun and the rain. These were the first costumes I ever put any real thought into…and the itsy bitsy spider was the first Martha Stewart ‘recipe’ I ever followed. It was a no-sew costume, which I mistakenly thought meant simple and not-time consuming.

I used tools I’d forgotten about: a razor, wire, duct tape, a glue gun, and cardboard. It was very relaxing and all-consuming, much to Raj’s chagrin, as he had a paper to write. He put off all his work until my comps were over, and then I spent my first “freeday” and his first “workday” slacking.

But making BabyG’s costume was a little bit of a coup for me. It’s definitely one of the things I’ve done in order to undo my own Halloween experiences growing up. I never had the cool parent-help-made costumes. I was always made out of whatever was laying around the house after the Halloween party at my dad's bar. One year my dad made me into a cone head…a Saturday Night Live skit based costume my dad had worn the year before. Another year I was half witch, half Snoopy, because my dad found green paint and we had a witch’s hat from one of the barmaids, and somebody picked up a plastic Snoopy mask at the grocery store. But the most memorable year was when I was eight or nine and I trick or treated wearing my step-mother’s fur coat, wearing dog ears, and told people I was a stray.

So I felt very hefty and supreme spending an afternoon constructing a costume for BabyG that looked like somebody (new to crafts) cared. Which isn’t really fair to my parents, because there is something to be said for the on-the-spot-creativity Halloween evoked in my family…on the spot thinking is probably one of the best traits I inherited from my dad, at least.

And of course, if you asked BabyG about it, she’d tell you she didn’t really like wearing spider legs. Luckily, her annoyance at the legs only enhanced her costume. Her pal Cosmo had a Superman outfit comfy enough to sleep in. I saw the question in her eyes: Couldn’t mommy have just found me some Wonder Woman Underoos?

Alas, dear BabyG, Momma couldn’t have. You will probably work hard to let your kids trick or treat in whatever get-up they can muster…but for the next few years, at least, I’m going to have to impress myself with my sloppy, well-meant craft-making, at your expense. When you’re old enough to vocalize, I promise to use the glue gun according to your specifications.


Fiddler said...

Great costumes... I like the family playing parts in the whole story...

Anonymous said...

Your story about the costumes from your childhood really cracked me up. Especially the stray. At least they were unique ;) The only costume I "made" for Dylann was the year he was a toad and I bought a green sweatsuit and sewed light green and brown felt circles all over it. Nobody knew what the heck he was.

Henitsirk said...

I love those costumes! I wanted so much to make my daughter's costume this year...she specifically wanted to be a dragon. So I had a vision of a green sweatshirt with little felt pieces sewn in for spikes, and some sort of tail. I once sewed a dragon costume with a 3 foot long tail for a adult in a play, so I knew I could do it.

Unfortunately, evidently 2 year old girls are only supposed to wear pink, purple, hot pink, lavendar, black, white, and stripe or flower combinations of the above. No green sweatsuits allowed.

So my husband bought her a polyester crocodile costume and we told her it was a dragon. She was adorable and she loved it. Oh well.