Ghosts of Halloween Past

It’s that time of year – when I go “Oh crap!  It’s October!” and I start running around figuring out Halloween costumes.

I do enjoy Halloween.  I loved it as a child, loved dressing up, and so get too wrapped up in helping my own kidlets find just the right costume. I will go above and beyond the call of duty – which includes ordering a Captain Feathersword costume from Australia the first year The Wiggles aired in the US.  This was right before the whole Pirates of the Caribbean craze – I couldn’t even find a kid’s pirate costume.

But despite the craziness, I do love it.  I love it when a costume comes together and my kids faces light up with delight and pride because they feel they have a great costume.

Ironically, what should have been an easy costume turned into a challenge.  Twice.  First, when Collin was four, he decided he wanted to be a ghost.  Sean of course wanted to be a ghost too.  But neither wanted their faces covered in the traditional “throw a sheet over your head and cut two eye holes out” way (which I’m pretty sure my brother did one year.)  But they wanted hoods.  It was a challenge to not make them look like little KKK members, but I succeeded.  I even used a white sheet set, cutting a pillow case in half for “hats” while telling Collin to NOT refer to it as a hood.  They were cute little ghosts in the end.

When Collin was about eight years old, he decided to be a ghost again.  Easy enough – I knew how to do this one.  Until Josh said “What color ghost?”  Really? REALLY???  You don’t give kids color choices for ghosts!  Collin said “Red!” and insisted on being a red ghost, which required red hair gel and red face paint.  No one was really sure what he was supposed to be, but he was happy.

One year, Miriam wanted to be the pink girl from a Nickelodeon show that had been on the air for about five weeks – aka Stephanie from Lazy Town.  There were no costumes to be bought, but luckily, had a how-to guide on it.  One jumper, several containers of fabric paint and a pink wig later, and Mim was Stephanie.  I was very proud of that outfit.  Mim liked it a lot as well.

My absolute favorite costume set was when Collin was two and Sean was six months.  We planned on going to Boo at the Zoo.  Collin was into Blue’s Clues so I thought he could be Blue.  I didn’t have a sewing machine, so my mother-in-law sewed up a costume for him.  But I still had Sean to figure out.  At six months, he wasn’t going to do anything but hang out in the stroller.  But then, one day in Target, I saw a light blue outfit in his size and was inspired.  I bought the outfit, then with the extra light blue costume material, made him a double-sided bib…and glued a paw print to either side.  He was the clue!  As we went around the zoo, parents would go “Oh look, there’s Blue….OH!  And they have a clue!  Do you see the clue honey?”

Of course, all of this has convinced my kids I can do anything.  So last year when the boys decided at the last minute they needed helmets for their knight costumes, I said “No no no, can’t do it, no, it’s Halloween morning, no no…oh okay, get me some cardboard and duct tape.”    Once completed, I realized they looked like the knights from Monty Python’s Holy Grail.  But would the little ingrates say “Ni!” just once?

The boys - Halloween 2009