If you secretly resent those crafty parents who can effortlessly sew together adorable Halloween costumes for all their kids, then you have no reason to resent my wife and me. All of our skill at producing cute costumes comes at a bargain price from a discount store.
I have created many of my own costumes for Halloween parties over the years, but my creations have been more conceptual. One year, I was a window. Another time, I did Halloween as part of this complete breakfast. I got a lot of hungry looks from squirrels that night.
Kids’ costumes are supposed to be cute and, more or less, easily identifiable. If this weren’t enough of a stake in my creative heart, they are not supposed to be even slightly dangerous. I was never able to guarantee that the costumes I’d made for myself wouldn’t accidentally poke somebody in the eye. That’s not really a selling point at a kids’ party.
My wife and I aren’t very artistically talented, if you take away the part of art that is left to the beholder’s imagination. Consequently, my wife spends part of October shopping for boys’ Halloween costumes.
The big boy decides what he wants to be on his own. Last year, Halloween coincided with his skunk phase. All boys go through a skunk phase, right? This year, he’ll be a soldier. He’s known this for at least six months. Easy.
The little boy is another story. Finding an appropriate costume for a toddler can be an adventure. Of course, it must be cute. But it also must not make him topple over at every step. Most importantly, it must not induce him into a screaming fit every time it comes near him. Nobody is cute wearing a screaming fit.
After much browsing, Mommy and Toddler narrowed down the candidates to three. The pumpkin costume had the advantage of being inexpensive, but it didn’t quite ring the bell on the cuteness scale. The owl had the potential to be very cute, but sometimes a little boy just doesn’t want to be an owl. The owl was presented to him on two separate occasions, resulting in two separate screaming fits. With regret, Mommy crossed the owl off the list.
The frog is definitely cute. The boy let himself be clothed in frog with only a mild look of reservation. Whether or not the frog will make him topple over at every step remains to be seen. But after the owl experience, we’ll find a way to live with that.
This Halloween, if you see a tired, prematurely aged man carrying an adorable frog on his shoulders, you’ll know who they are. Yes, the man may appear to be wilting under the weight, but rest assured, so long as the frog is not screaming and crying, that little old man is perfectly content.