Thursday, 31 October 2013

Huge Halloween Skeleton Hanging in My Closet.

Ok, Too Cute 

I am not really sure where to begin.  I have been trying to embrace the excitement and anticipation of this day.  I have read jokes, looked at adorable photos and counted down with many of you.  I have seen the pumpkin carving contests at the hospital where I work.  The little volunteer coffee lady looked like the Gene Simmons from KISS.. On the way home, I passed homes decorated more than some at Christmas.
I have been trying, honestly I have, to jump on the whole Halloween Express.  Unfortunately, I am finding, that for me, being unimaginative, more than slightly lacking in creativity and somewhat uncomfortable in full costume, this Express Train is flying by me. I have not decorated.  I have not dressed up.  I barely bought candy.  I am a poor excuse for a Halloween mother.  But then, I always have been.   I have spent years trying desperately to hide it.

This evening I continue to try to get in the mood.  I am awaiting the little Trick or Treaters to start.  It is an exceptionally unpleasant rainy evening, weather-wise.  This means left-overs!  I am happy to be in for the night with a big bowl of my favourite candy, some of which I plan to shell out.  I was a fair weather trick or treater.  I loved taking the kids on cool fall evenings, but I hid on the snowy nights and one very rainy night I went in a cowboy hat just to stay dry.

As I lie back on the couch in an attempt to analyze myself, I think it all started in grade 2.  Some snot-nosed grade 3 boy looked me up and down and said " Oh Gawd Wells, are you a witch again this year?".  Up until that time I had no idea there was a standard that had been set with respect to costume frequency. Who knew?  Apparently everyone.  I had gotten away with my standard Japanese komono for years as a pre-schooler.  These were pyjamas brought back from the Orient by my grandparents.  I guess in Ontario in 1965 it was acceptable to dress up like an Asian for Halloween.  

Had to Add it
I made my way through years and years of Halloweens.  I liked the candy.  I liked the dances.  I dressed up like many different things from a beer bottle to mouseketeer.  Those costumes were in keeping with the "show as much leg as possible" in the 1980's.  If I had whiskers and a short skirt, I was in costume, but never wore the same skirt twice.
Ok, along came motherhood.  Early years were good. I was happily on the train.  We carved pumpkins and no one cried if they weren't allowed to use the knife.
Gross Daddy
We did Halloween spider crafts and maybe even baked something. We decorated a bit (and I mean a bit). Kids dressed up exactly as you planned.  I took Kate to her first house, dressed as a clown, at the age of 3.  She got a box of raisins and she didn't even bat an eye.  She had no expectations.  When I gave the perfunctory "what do you say to Mrs. McCarthy", she replied "More?"  Ok, that was cute.  See I am not all bad.  When Kevin got his first Halloween treat he wanted to go home immediately and eat it.  He was done.

Time paddled on and kids figured out the whole dealio.  The Halloween Express began heading downhill.  Kate's birthday is September 9.  Every September 10 since 1991 she has asked me "what can I be for Halloween?".  This was the beginning of countless conversations, with suggestions, then vetoes, followed by new ideas and head shaking.  There was the last minute mind-changes with which I had difficulty.  I think in every kids mind there is some Tickle Trunk of crazy costumes somewhere in the attic.

Borrowed costume Kevin chomps on
 Now admittedly, I am neither imaginative, creative nor skilled with a sewing machine.  However, I am related to one very imaginative, creative seamstress in the form of my sister-in-law, who saved my sanity many times.  I also was never too proud to eye costumes one year, (Oh My Heaven's, that is the cutest idea and your daughter looks just like Jasmine in Aladdin") and then scoop the costume up next year.  I guess dressing up like Arab characters was acceptable in small town Ontario during the early 90's.

Boys are pretty easy.  All they really want is a sword, a cape and a mustache and they will wear it in different combinations each year. They grab a pillow case and off they go.  If it is raining or snowing, they throw a garbage bag over their heads.   Girls need alternative choices, depending on weather.  Girls usually require make up, coordinating shoes and there are concerns about their hair.  Trick or Treating in Canada can be cold, so flashing the knee comes later.  

Kevin with a hooded cape.  Away he went
I am not the only woman I know that has these conflicting feelings about Halloween.  I have a support group.  None of us could create a cool costume to save our lives and were too cheap to buy one.  We sat at the back of every Mommy and Me group of toddler bunnies, butterflies and bees.  My BFF is immersed in pre-schoolers.  She has a closet of costumes for various events. I have heard she has been known to wear one more than once.  Many have been stapled back together and other's have worn through.  One would think that someone who loves small children would, in turn, love Halloween.  Nope.  She is as big a closet Halloween Witch as I and I love this about her.  We spent an entire evening "shelling out" which included chocolate, wine and witching.

So now we come to Adult Children of the Halloween Express. Ok this Train is on its way to Hell.   I could see things progressing through the years, from arguing over costumes and pumpkin faces.  I breathed a sigh of relief when high school hit.  I was in no way ready for Post Secondary Halloween costumes.  Kate was number 1.  Off she went to Western Ontario and she was able to pick and choose a costume.  I thought a pirate was such a cute idea.  "will you wear a coffee ground beard like when you were little?".  Oh, how naive.  I didn't realize pirates could be girls.  Apparently it is called "Slutty Pirate".

Kevin I think continues to wear the superman cape he has had since he was 4 and carries a sword.  He is good.  

Now along comes Bridget, our extrovert.  I had explained to her that I had seen Mean Girls and I realized
Halloween got a bit skanky at her age.  She said she had caved and bought a Batman Costume.  Why anyone would buy a costume I don't know, when I am sure some skin tight leggings and a tight turtleneck would skank it up just fine.  Then I get a picture text.  I would include it here, but we are desperately trying to shelter her father.  Who knew they even made Batman Bikinis?

Ok When Did this Happen???

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