Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bad Mom: Halloween Edition

Okay, so here's the deal... Halloween is upon us.  I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday.  As I child, I obviously loved it.  Not only did I love dressing up and bringing in a haul of candy myself, one of my favorite parts of Halloween was dressing up my little sisters.  One of my sisters would demand upwards of three costumes per Halloween, and it was always my pleasure to deliver.  I loved putting unique costumes together, often from items found in our supply of dress up clothes.  Now, as an adult, I don't so much love the holiday, except in my role as a candy-monger to the neighborhood children.  I never seem to have time to put together a costume, and honestly can't deal with the idea of sitting in my office in costume, especially when it is hard enough to get dressed in normal clothes these days!

When the little guy comes of trick-or-treating age, I look forward to putting my crafty-big-sister hat back on and creating all kinds of fabulous costumes for him and his future siblings.  But this year?  Let's be real.  The little man: a) has no idea what is going on, b) doesn't take kindly to having things tied to him (hat w/ ear flaps takes a bit of convincing, to say nothing of a lion's mane or what have you), c) goes to bed at 7:30pm.  He will be none the wiser if we don't costume him this year.  Yet, "what is Baby J going to be for Halloween?" is the question I am fielding more than any other these days, and I can't help but feel like a Bad Mom when I answer "nothing?" -- which is why I have been going with the safe answer of "we're not sure yet."

I can't decide whether it is practical and pragmatic to spare Baby J being put into a get-up that he doesn't understand, or whether I am robbing him of a quintessential American rite-of-passage because we happen to be particularly busy and not in a Halloween frame of mind this year.  I may need to eat a bowl of candy corn while I ponder this one.

Dress-up costume brilliance circa 1985: we have island girl, ballerina and sailor/ballerina (??).
Someday I'll get the magic back.


  1. I began this anxious season considering recycling costumes I've already recycled ("bambam and pebbles" - too cold and pale, "partly cloudy with a chance of showers" - my students are over it and someone copied me last year anyway!, "bloodied and beat-up red sox and yankees fans" - lost on all the giants fans here, and "lenny and george from of mice and men" - mildly offensive)...I've now resorted to entertaining the idea of forcing my husband to dress up as foster parent Henry Warnimont to my Punky Brewster and carrying my stuffed golden retriever around as Brandon (which would be an upgrade for poor cuddles - as he was forced to play Lenny's dead puppy last year).
    Ever since Sweet Mama Jane stopped designing my upwards of three Halloween costumes a season (a favorite being when she dressed me up as a "fancy lady" was the third of three that year - and still brilliant), the holiday fills me with the same nervousness. Can I just be nothing (not an option, I am a teacher)? And why does every idea feel so daunting (even Punky and Henry)? Captain SMJ is off duty. That's why.
    I say put Baby J in his red sox jersey and hat, snap a few pics, and put him to bed. Then nosh on some candy corn while you try to keep the neighborhood kids from waking him up.
    You had about 18 years on duty as Captain Halloween before Baby J and you'll be on duty for about 18 more. I say take the year off. You deserve it. Love,
    The Fancy Lady

  2. You didn't mention our Halloween amazingness from a few years ago... Team America: World Police!

    That was the most intense costuming of my life. Not to mention that it resulted in the ill-advised watergunning of Emily and Ethan that they still blame ME for.

    Mary Lou purchased way too many costumes for Donovan. They might be a little big on Baby J but I say that she should share. It'll be cute because he'll be swimming in it!

  3. Jane - Most important thing, don't be too hard on yourself. If you miss one year it's not going to hurt anything. There is always next year. I have no recollection but I know that my 1st Halloween I was about a month old...I doubt my mom did anything. The next year, as pictures prove, I was a bee. My mom dyed a white pillow case - drew black stripes using a sharpie, cut holes for my arms & legs, stuffed the butt with newspaper...and made a paper stinger and antenna out of black construction paper. It was cute as hell. If anything...bundle the little guy up and say that he's a mountain man or fall leaf peeper! :-)

  4. Sailor/Ballerina!! Why didn't I think of that for this year?

    I'm on your boat J-dog. I HATE dealing with costumes, but then the day of H rolls around and I race around throwing SOMETHING together. Then I end up looking like a really jack ass. (Can you say ass on a blog?)

    This year I actually have a DATE for Halloween and so I find myself in Fancy Lady's predicament: costume required. I was scoping out the costumes at Fred Meyers last week all the time wondering, why don't I have any costumes? I'm an adult. I haven't acquired ANY? Oh yeah, that's because I hate this. I was also wondering why in the H are all these adult costumes so slutty...

    So, I made the big investment (for this sucker WILL be reused) on a $12 vampiress (NOT slutty, and actually kind of unflattering) costume. Sported the $5 for glue on fangs and everything.

    I feel so....responsible.

    I love that Alison's Mom dyed the pillow case yellow instead of just buying a yellow pillow case. Ah...the good ole days. That costume does sound adorable though.

    Have fun being the neighborhood sugar mama!

  5. I think this might be a job for Mama S! I am sure that either the Target down the st. or the yoga studio baby store where I get a 40% discount will have SOMETHING. BK rocks for this sort of thing. Though Ang- I am SO with you. I abhor Halloween. And while I will happily hunt for something for Baby J, I will not be dressing up in Mont P myself. I"ll just bring my old phish show standby- the cowboy hat and the sherrif's badge. Works every time.
    Can't wait "Lit-Rally" Can. Not. Wait.
    Take this off your plate, SMJ. I got this one.

  6. Thanks everyone above for a lot of LOL's.