I used (sweet, precious) nap time yesterday to go to the mall. Trombone needed boots and socks and I needed to find him something like a Halloween costume for Tuesday, when he will be attending a Halloween party at daycare.
No, he is not going trick or treating. Because he is 16 months old, has no molars and goes to bed at 7. Trust me, when he is old enough to complain that he is not going trick or treating, I will take him. At the moment, his complaints run more to the “gimme that thing/I want that thing/why did you take that thing away/gimme that thing/RAWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRR” end of the spectrum. Also, we don’t fuck with bedtime.
I had a very “in touch with my upbringing” experience whilst shopping because, of course, Halloween costumes, the weekend before Halloween, are anywhere from $10 – $30. Toddler size! I know this is why people go to Value Village in August and/or get out their sewing machines; I am not that person. Until the daycare lady said “Don’t forget his costume!” I was blissfully ignoring the oncoming freight train & its caboose full of candy so yeah, in consumer terms I guess I am a slacker who deserves to pay $30 for a stupid Superman costume, but I ain’t gonna.
Looking for tissues at London Drugs, I came across a hooded bathrobe. A duck hooded bathrobe. See, once we decided Trombone would be dressing up, I decided I wanted him to be a duck for Halloween (SA wanted him to be a lumberjack) and there were – strangely! – very few duck costumes on the market. So there, in London Drugs, I had the brilliant idea of a duck hooded bathrobe over a pair of one-piece footed pajamas (yellow) and then his yellow rubber boots. Because it is going to rain. Oh yes. Presto – toddler duck!
When I was a kid, we always made my costume. My mom helped; she is quite handy with a sewing machine, but it was never “Let’s buy this box of costume and you can wear it and look awesome,” it was always, “What do you want to be? Let’s go to 3 stores and find all the bits you need and put them together.” It was the way most of my life played out – lots of “use your imagination” and “if you’re bored it’s because you’re not thinking hard enough of something to do.” An approach I really appreciate now that I am older than 17 and find that creative thinking and problem solving really enhances my life and, I think, makes me a more interesting person.
However, many years, this approach to costume design ended up with me looking kind of not the way I pictured and having to explain my costume to people – a tradition that carried on into my, well, ’30s, as I dressed as a rhinestone cowgirl 2 years ago for Halloween and people kept asking me if I was Sarah McLachlan.
Now that I have the pieces assembled for Trombone’s costume, I realize he is going to look sort of like a duck in its pajamas or, worst case, an old, short dude who loves yellow and wears his bathrobe and boots around the house (see also: Toddler). I am sure that the other children (all 2 of them) at daycare will have costumes that were thoughtfully prepared 6 months in advance but this, Trombone’s first Halloween as a person who notices things, will set the tone, I think, for a lifetime of being just a little different in general, and of having to explain his costume to people, just as I was and did. And that makes me happy even though when he’s 7, it will probably make him incredibly upset with me.