Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mommy vs. Halloween 2009 Edition

As I mused last year, sorting out Halloween costumes is challenging for me. I don't sew. I am not creative. And my name is not Rockefeller. A few years ago I finally got over my stinginess and decided just to buy costumes for the kids.

As I found last year, when I was blanketing the city in mid October trying to find a skeleton costume to fit the J Boy, you can't leave it too late. Ultimately he had a skeleton costume that was a size too small and he wore it daily so that on Halloween night I had to fix multiple seams. Have I mentioned I don't sew?

The problem with acquiring costumes too early is that the under 8 set are not known for making a decision and sticking to it. At least one year I had to put together a ghost costume the night before the Halloween party.

I decided this year that I would roll the dice and go with early acquisition. It was late September and when Husband got home from work I told him I was going costume shopping. He took my temperature. We had only just got through a crazy September, what was I doing borrowing trouble thinking about Halloween?

I was steadfast.

However, I needed the kids to pick costumes that:

a) they would stick with
b) were available for purchase
c) in my budget.

It was actually easier that I thought. Sydney was still on a fairy/princess high post Disneyland so she chose Tinkerbell. Jackson agreed to anything Star Wars. I headed out to the place that puts the most amount of costumes out the earliest: Walmart.

I went through rows and rows of smaller costumes, and found Tinkerbell only available in a size too big or a size too small. I opted for too big.

Star Wars was a little challenging as I had to goes through literally a hundred costumes to find Jackson's number one choice, Darth Vader, in his size. Major Mommy score! Really, I have this whole Halloween thing all figured out.

I came home and the kids were excited and obligingly tried on their costumes. Sydney's needed some adjustment as the wings flopped on the over sized fairy suit. No problem. I have over a month to figure that out.

Jackson was infatuated with his suit. He found his lightsaber, or lightsaver as he calls it and in no time was spreading evil throughout our house.

Much like other infatuations, Jackson's evaporated the next night when he decreed that he hated his costume (after tags and wrapping had been discarded) because it was only a Darth Vader mask, not a full helmut. Very uncivil words were exchanged along the lines of "I'm never wearing that costume!!" and "Then you owe me $25 plus taxes and you will have nothing to wear for Halloween!!".

On a trip to Walmart returning all the things that didn't fit on my first trip, I bought a yard of dark black shiny fabric for a couple dollars and hoped I could fashion some kind of hood to address the helmut situation.

I had well over three weeks to sort this out. But we had Thanksgiving. And then Husband was at a conference and before I knew it, it was the weekend before Halloween. Several times I tried to get unobliging children to try on their costumes. They resisted.

Monday night was my hard deadline. They would need their costumes for Friday at school and since I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, productive things at home don't happen in the evenings during the week unless they are getting out the next days clothes or practicing spelling.

Monday, as it happened, Sydney was home sick. She tried her fairy costume on somewhere during the all-day-movie-marathon and I figured out pinning the shoulder mostly solved the floppy wing problem.
The J Boy continued to deny me access to Darth Vader until Thursday evening, when I am exhausted and frankly not very good at problem solving. Armed with black electrical tape, craft scissors and iron determination and with Husband available as consultant we tried to figure out how to convert a mask into a helmet while Darth would not sit still for more than 8 seconds at a time and heaved heavy sighs of impatience. But we came up with a jerry-rigged solution.

I know it's really flying nun meets the forces of evil, but it's the best I could do:
And here it the dark prince with light saber:
Good and evil side by side:
And good and evil battling:

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