Having left for a brief debate with myself over the merits of writing about my personal life in a public forum I have decided to run with the idea that given the size of the internet, and the relative dullness of my life no one will ever read this anyway. There now, all settled.
Halloween, sure, why not? Possibly it's a little hypocritical to tell kids all year long not to take candy from strangers, then lead them around the neighbourhood to beg in a frenzy of gluttony, but I figure it's like Christmas, a nice opportunity to let them know that people are, by and large, good and generous and not to be feared. Plus free chocolate for me! Score!
I am a big fan of dressing my kids up in ridiculous outfits, any excuse to enhance their already overwhelming cuteness with face paint and cheap fabric is OK by me. Unfortunately, my fun is being spoiled by my 5 year old, Goober (all the cool bloggers have nicknames for their offspring to throw off the stalkers) Goober is a highly opinionated and uncooperative individual with a grossly overestimated concept of her own worth. Some might say she takes after me, although I deny it, because that is my opinion and I will not cooperate with those people who clearly don't realize how great I am. Anyway, she has been refusing my advances with adorable costumes and camera in hand since she was about 18 months old. She has been a princess for 3 years running. I hate princesses; vapid, matrimony obsessed twits that they are. So I was thrilled when she announced that this year she wanted to be something different. We went to Value Village (because I like costumes, but I'm cheap and lazy) and let her peruse the aisles. From time to time I would pull out a costume for her inspection, optimistically pointing out how pretty this zebra was, or how warm that astronaut would be, only to be turned down flatly each time. Suddenly her face lit up and she yanked out the rattiest, most faded homemade felt pumpkin costume I've ever seen. On one hand I was relieved that it wasn't a princess, but on the other hand: eeew.
"I love this costume, Mom!"
"Oh yes! It's perfect. I'm going to be a pumpkin for Halloween!"
Come on kid, not only is it the most uninspired costume since the bed sheet ghost, it's also too small, stained and distinctly urine scented. I'm all about your freedom of expression but unless your plan is to score more candy by virtue of eliciting pity from everyone silly enough to open their door to you on Halloween night, that costume sucks. Now because I know my darling, obstinate, contrary daughter I knew it would be a mistake to refuse point blank to purchase the shitty thing. Such an action would result in a pouting strike on the floor at best and a big hairy meltdown at worst.
So I said "alright, but let's keep looking for something for your sister to wear, hmm?" Luckily, said sister is only 15 months old and still prey to my costuming whims. I crossed my fingers and thanked the pagan gods of Halloween when she caught sight of a bright green caterpillar costume complete with antenna and extra legs supported by string. Admittedly the string was broken on one side, but I was not disposed to be choosy at a time like this.
"Wow! what a cool caterpillar costume! I wish there was one big enough for me!" I raved.
She took the bait. "It will fit me mommy!"
She wore it out of the store, I wasn't taking chances on any more changes of heart.
Halloween rolled around and costuming time was approaching when I realized I couldn't find Mooch's (Mooch being the aforementioned 15 month old) black cat costume. I know a black cat isn't exactly brilliant, but my Grandma had given it to her before she passed away earlier this year and so I wanted her to wear it as a tribute, you know on the night when the dead visit and all. But after ripping the house apart (not that it was "together" to begin with) I had to admit it wasn't to be and raid the tickle chest. A few minutes scavenging found me a ladybug vest, black pants and a red and black bonnet. Success! Not only did I have a suitable costume, I even had an insect theme to make me look like a hardworking, organized mom instead of a slacker who threw something together at the last minute! Goober added a piece de resistance to her caterpillar costume in the form of a pair of wings stolen from a Tinkerbell ensemble, thus transforming into a butterfly, and we set out.
The weather was the best I can remember for a Halloween in Ontario and we even got to skip the trauma of trying to stuff snowsuits on under the costumes. As an old pro, Goober ran up to the first house with her sack in hand and a smile on her face. Mooch on the other hand was a little bewildered when I plunked her down on a strange doorstep in company with a giant insect and a dinosaur, but she got over it when she received her very own bag of chips. She dumped them in the wagon and declined to visit any more houses until she finished them all. Eventually she caught on to the idea that - No way! ALL these people are giving out candy! and started running along after Goober as fast as her little legs could carry her bulky bug suit. She would struggle her way up stairs and run towards the door with her hands outstretched chanting "TA-TA!" determined not to be left out.
Once they had acquired enough candy that I felt comfortable that their daddy and I would be able to steal some without getting caught we headed home and I ruthlessly bundled them off to bed so that I could suit up in my own costume (which included the shortest skirt I've ever worn in my life) and head out for some grown-up fun at a club celebrating the "Feast of Flesh." There to drink and dance and enjoy party favours from the Stag Shop and basically pretend to be a normal 23 year old.
In conclusion, I got the best of both worlds. Sugary trick or treating with the kids followed by a nice buzz with some friends. Halloween kicks ass.