Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i hope you understand this just means less candy for everyone

For the past three years, Joe and I have chosen Cal's Halloween costume for him, OVER-CONTROLLING PARENTAL INCLINATIONS and need to live vicariously though our offspring aside, for the simple reason that Cal had no idea what Halloween was, nor could he care less about dressing up. However, this year, he is a three year-old man, so I decided to ask him for the first time what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween.

A butterfly.

Oh, a butterfly! That's a nice costume. What kind of butterfly?

A pink one!

(Not wanting to discourage the boy, though worrying somewhat about schoolyard mockery)
Well, I guess that should be easy enough to do...

No, wait, a red butterfly. An orange butterfly.

That is also easily accomplished.

This was about a month ago. So I ordered the wings and the antenna set (not a bad costume, considering it was only about $7.00 at the time), found his long-sleeved black T-shirt and a pair of black pants, and figured that we were set. Cal seemed to enjoy the costume well enough, and spent a few evenings flitting around the house, wings sprouting from his back, excitedly telling everyone who would listen (and occasionally some of us who stopped listening) that HE WAS A BUTTERFLY A BUTTERFLY A BUTTERFLY.

This past weekend, Cal had an actual Halloween part at his school, and we attended, thinking that not only would it be fun, but it would be a great way to get a little more mileage out of his costume. Except for one thing: Cal would not put it on. He put on the all-black outfit fine, but when it came to putting on the actual butterfly accoutrement, he balked. "I don't want to put it on yet," he said in the living room, "I want to wait until I get to school." At school, we figured it would be an easy sell, since every single kid in attendance was in costume--quite a few of which featured wings similar to his--but he continued to refuse. "I don't want to wear my wings," he said. "I just want to wear my sweater." Which is why he was the only kid at the party wearing a gray zip-up sweater and black pants. Just like an old man. We should have just brought some baby powder to dust in his hair and then that could have been his costume.

That was five days ago. To date, Cal still does not want to wear his costume for Halloween. "I just want to wear a regular shirt and pants," he insists. He is a very odd child sometimes. So, unwilling to spend any more money on costume elements that he in all likelihood will refuse to wear, I have been scrambling to figure out a costume for trick-or-treating consisting of normal clothes from his closet. Which is proving to be a little more difficult than you would think, as he has no novelty-type clothes that we could push into costume territory. He doesn't even have a pair of overalls.

So far all I could come up with was to dress him all in black, put on his black stocking cap, and give him a flashlight (he likes flashlights, so he would probably agree to carry this--though who knows, he liked the wings too) to pass as a cat burglar. However, unless I slap reflective tape all over his back, I worry that the dark outfit combined with outdoor trick-or-treating might not be the most traffic visible costume to test the notoriously bad driving skills of our Atlantan brethren. (My other idea was to take the all-black outfit and send him out with a book of e. e. cummings poetry. But this costume would perhaps be on the subtle end of the spectrum.) I even thought of dressing up as a resident again, same as last year, only we still have a ton of boxes from the move we haven't unpacked yet, and I'm not sure where his scrubs are.

Any last-minute costume ideas for an extremely stubborn three-year old that preferably involves spending no money and minimal craftiness?