This year Halloween falls on a Saturday, which means my two sons have two days of Halloweening. This means I have to keep two haphazard, gerry-rigged sets of costumes clean for two consecutive days.
I used to think Halloween was fun–I think. I wore my sister’s early 80’s “Barbie” princess costume which consisted of a plastic mask with a holes for the eyes and nostrils, a painted smile and a swath of yellow paint which I guess was supposed to represent blond hair. It also came with a vinyl “dress” that you tied on like a hospital gown. I used this same costume for kindergarten, first and second grade. The kids who didn’t have costumes usually wore some sort of paper mask or a giant paper pumpkin we made in class and we paraded around the school yard and had a blast. I would let the air cool dry my sweaty face after revealing my true identity. It was fun listening to my own voice behind the plastic.
In my 20’s, I enjoyed a brief foray into a Halloween Renaissance of sorts but for very different reasons (that’s another post).
Now all the kids are expected to wear much cooler costumes to school and be a part of an insidious marketing scheme for fun sized candies. I am an unwilling accomplice in this scheme, but I comply.
Halloween forces me to confront two things about me: I hate mass consumer marketing towards young children and I hate being confronted with the expectation to perform as a Halloween-loving mother to my children.
So I comply my way:
- I hate spending money on useless crap, so I will make the useless crap.
What this also means for me is trying to figure out how to make a turtle shell the night before with some egg crate and packing tape and some brown and green paint before nearly forgetting it at work.
One school also forbade the wearing of the costumes to school, so I packed the costume shell and his other implements into a plastic bag; hoping that the teachers would tie on the stuff in the right places and that Son #1 wouldn’t become a laughingstock in his pre-k class.
Luckily for Son #2, I was able to rig together a baseball player outfit out of well-worn Mets gear. Whew that was easy.
- I love eating candy but I don’t want to encourage my child to do the same (so it’s out of sight, out of mind), but Trick or Treating means being hauled door to door to have my children beg for the candy that I will eat.
The first day of Halloween is a day wrought with excitement and sugar highs at the pre-schools my two sons go to. Each go to a different pre-school with two different procedures for Halloween activities. Both kids enjoyed an exorbitant amount of access to candy.
This Halloween, there’s a chance the designated Trick or Treat chaperone (aka Daddy) may be headed to Game 4 of the World Series and may have to ditch his usual candy, which means this mommy will put on her nice “Happy” Halloweening face for the sake of her sons.
- Halloween is one big public display of keeping up with the Joneses, so I don’t keep up.
I can’t keep up with the wonderful costumes worn by other much luckier and much more loved children.I don’t want to devote time to making an awesome costume. I rather watch TV in my stretchy pants. My kids have crappy costumes and someday they may be made fun of for it or I’ll have to stay up really late and spend way more money than I want to, to comply. I feel like one of those options builds more character than the other. Can you guess which one?
- Halloween is not the only holiday I have beef with.
Don’t worry. I comply with Christmas, too. So what I may skimp on with Halloween, I try to make up sparingly during Christmastime.