Halloween preparation at my house goes something like this: in February, one child will say, “I want to be [fill in the blank] for Halloween.” I will gently remind said child that he has plenty of time to think about it and plan accordingly. But then October rolls around, the idea from eight months earlier is all but forgotten, and a week out we have a mad dash of indecision-fueled panic over what “we” are going to be.
I do think the best costumes are homemade or in accordance with my skill level, home-altered. For example, since I am not handy with a sewing machine, two years ago when Jack wanted to be a Zombie Doctor, I bought a doctor costume and we zombied it up. Or back when Colin wanted to be a bloody ghost, I bought a white sheet and some gauze, and he quite artfully applied the guts and gore.
Last year we had utter costume failure when Jack, unable to pinpoint his idea until 15 minutes before we were due to meet up with our regular posse of trick or treating families, did not have all the supplies and materials necessary to execute a sufficiently festive getup. He looked like that teenager who pretends to be dressed up just to get candy.
Thus this year, I was the one who in February was encouraging the kids to commit to a Halloween costume.
I thought we had it settled when in July I made two Mad Eye Moody costumes (including the eyes) for the boys to wear to a Harry Potter party. Of course, I assumed we’d get multiple uses out of my uncharacteristically creative efforts. But no. Neither child wants to repeat the Mad Eye portrayal. Jack, having failed to make an adequate “army man” last year has decided he wants to go for perfection this year. As of Saturday, Colin was still opting between also being an army man (i.e. part of Jack’s squadron) or a werewolf. These are very different ideas with very different levels of stress-induced anxiety inflicted on this busy mommy. Luckily, by Sunday, Colin too had opted to be a solider, a decision that I believe was inspired by the fact that he gets to make use of the camo-face paint he got for Christmas last year.
Now I just need to remember to buy the Halloween candy.