Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Costume Conundrum

It’s that time of year when we need to scare up a Halloween costume for my toddler. At 4 1/2, he’s old enough to choose, which means I’m off the hook. There will be no finger pointing years down the road if he cringes at photos of himself dressed as a whoopee cushion or some other absurd attire his parents found cute at the time. Hopefully he’ll select a can’t-go-wrong outfit like a monster, superhero or Star Wars character. If not, well, you’re on your own, Buddy.

Initially, he was gung-ho for a skeleton outfit. Not just any skeleton, mind you. It had to be a scary skeleton, with menacing features that would surely send shivers down a slinky snake’s spine. But his preschool’s “no scary costumes” rule crossed that one out. So I took my son to the Halloween USA store to enlist Plan B. (One of the not-so-bright light bulb ideas pulled out of my mommy hat.) Keeping him focused on the task at hand was not an easy challenge as he immediately ran amok. Wall-to-wall costumed racks and animated freaky figurines stretching their boney fingertips between barred cages competed for his attention. (What happened to the good-ol’ days of pre-packaged costumes with the claustrophobic plastic masks that caused kids to hyperventilate?) From the expression on my son’s face, you’d think they were trying to tickle him as he darted playfully between the fog machines and the fiery-eyed ghouls hypnotizing his saucer eyes. I briefly distracted him from the morbidity by holding up a familiar cartoon costume, which caused him to shriek “SpongeBob!” so loud even those six feet under put a dent in their coffins. But his enthusiasm soon waned when I couldn’t find his size — not in the banana outfit, either. So back to the tombstones, cobwebs and giant rats he ran.

If my son doesn’t select a Halloween costume soon…I’m going to scream!

How’s your costume haunting, I mean hunting experience been or are you a DIY creative type?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

4-Year-Old Vs. Immunizations

I think I need therapy.

I just took my son for his 4-year checkup, which included his three required immunization shots that nobody had the courtesy to warn me about. I, naively, thought it was just one, so you can imagine my surprise (and his) when the nurse informed us it would be three — which actually turned into four! As I reluctantly held my son down — simultaneously trying to convince him it was for his own good — he suddenly morphed into Hercules! He fervently grabbed the syringe right out of the young nurse’s hand after she administered the first torpedo into his left thigh. (My son shrieked so loud, stretching his rubber-band mouth so wide, I swear I saw remnants of his breakfast still digesting!) He wound up with a four-inch scratch on his leg, not an ounce of vaccine under his skin and blood dripping everywhere. He sobbed uncontrollably as the rattled nurse dutifully prepared his next two shots. Scratch that (no pun intended) — make that three more shots, since that one didn’t even count! Poor thing. Five Band-aids later, he limped to our SUV, his hazel eyes still pooling with tears. Stuffing two Thomas the Train stickers — handed to him by the guilt-ridden receptionist — apathetically in his pocket, he tearfully asked me to pick him up on the way. I scooped him up so fast you’d think I’d sprouted wings. Trying to prove I was still his loving protector, I softly kissed his moistened cheek and whispered repeatedly that I was sorry. My own tears soon melted into his. “That sure hurted me,” he whimpered in my ear. Mommy sighed. “That sure hurted me too.”

Anyone know a good therapist?