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?

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