Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Incredible Halloween

As we embark on another October, the PBA have begun to discuss their Halloween costumes for this year.  Actually, they are a little later than usual. In times gone by, they have been preparing costumes in April. Granted, we don’t really finalize any plans until August at the earliest, but you can never start your plans too soon.

So far, I have made many of the PBA’s costumes. Now don’t be too impressed…I use the term “made” loosely.  (The exceptions are few… if you saw all the pictures lined up, it would be obvious to you which ones I made and which ones I purchased…but seeing as how I cannot seem to locate a digital picture of each costume, you’ll be forced to take my word as truth.)
The flurry of discussions about costumes has forced me take a trip down memory lane. I actually could not recall all the costumes which have darkened the doors of our house…I’m not sure if I blacked out or what. But upon seeing the pictures, I did remember how they came about and what year each was taken. Here are a few for your enjoyment:

The 11yo’s first Halloween…standard issue duck costume.

His second Halloween…guesses anyone? At the time, most people thought he was a monk. But no…that’s not right. You can’t tell from this picture, but the garb has a hood. Think Star Wars. If you guessed Jawa, you are correct. He hated that costume. But as you can clearly see from the picture, once he got some candy, he was like, “Costume? What costume?”

Next up: Bob the Builder and Winnie the Pooh…

And then a year later, a Dinosaur and a Farmer…notice the similarities in the Bob and the Farmer costumes. We recycle whenever possible. Don’t judge.
He looks like he's in a sugar coma, doesn't he? He probably was. For his size, that kid can put away some sugar.
Dinosaur…bought from Land’s End in the dead of winter, preparing for the following Halloween; so glad he didn’t grow too much in the space between or we would have been shelling out some fat cash for a new one. He wore that thing ALL THE TIME. Until it was clearly too small (he looked as though he was prepared for a flood, and the hood would no longer fit on his melon).
Skipping forward a bit, we have Mace Windu; I’m sure the skin color was the giveaway there (note the recycled Jawa costume) and a Clone trooper (a Target purchase…but in the toy section…not costumes…MUCH cheaper, I might add).

Then we have a Ninja (only the breastplate was purchased at Goodwill…did you know they have a costume section? They have partial sets from regular retail stores, usually still in packaging, from years past. I stumbled upon this discovery a few years ago, quite by accident, and I am still a little bitter that no one told me sooner. Consider this your PSA on that. You’re welcome! Oh, and the ninja was accompanied by Luke Skywalker “in the all-black costume,” from Episode 5.

Next up: a Native American (with real furs purchased in Lafayette, on our maiden visit to Feast of the Hunter’s Moon…Indy went N.U.T.S. for these furs. That was totally worth the price of admission right there.) and Luke Skywalker, in Episode 6 (complete with an old bike helmet painted with spray paint in the cabinets in our garage…thanks so much, but please hold all applause until I’ve finished).

I tell you all this, leading up to my All-Time Favorite costume to emerge from this house. It was 2005. In about July, the PBA began their plotting. By the middle of August, I‘d had enough of the discussions and was ready to pull the trigger on them…the costumes, that is. Not the PBA.
I told them they had to make a final decision on their selections and I would make the costumes. As you can see by the photos, the 11yo went for Batman and the 9yo went for Mr. Incredible. Yes, I realize that the Mr. Incredible part may not be obvious to you as a casual observer, especially considering his slight build. Most people thought he was either Dash or Jack Jack. Nope. He was “Bob” all the way…you know…Bob Parr, the undercover name for Mr. Incredible?

Yes, the mask is not even on Mr Incredible's face so he can see out of it. It's really a terrific photo.
Anyway, both boys enjoyed dressing up in their costumes. Weeks before Halloween, they were getting full-use out of them and I was thrilled.

However, the now 9yo (he was 2 ½ at the time) took things a little bit to the extreme. He wore the mask E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. we went. And when I say “everywhere”, that is exactly what I mean. Church may have been the only exception. I put my foot down on that.
Playing outside…always in the mask, regardless of what he was doing.

At the soccer fields for his brother’s games or practices, we would hear giggling and, “There’s that little boy with the mask.”
At the grocery, the Senior Saints (that’s what my 94yo grandmother calls herself and others in her demographic…I’m planning to use that too, just so you know and won’t be taken off-guard; she's the one in the picture with my little dinosaur. My other grandmother, who's 89 and I'm certain she will appreciate me telling everyone that, is pictured with Mace and the Clone Trooper) always thought he was The Lone Ranger. What kid knows who The Lone Ranger is? I mean, I know, because as we established in my post yesterday, I am old. Kids…if you are reading this, PLEASE google “The Lone Ranger”, for your own edification if nothing else. And share your findings with your friends.

Another popular guess from the senior crowd was “bank robber”. Yeah I can see it, but it’s still wrong. If anyone guessed erroneously, my child would always correct them. There was no room for mis-identification.
Did I mention that he wore this E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E? One night, after we tucked him in, I heard him in his room, moving around. I waited a couple minutes and went in to check on him. This is what I found. Who knows how many nights he did this. We only caught him a handful of times.

You never know when you might be called on the save the world. Best to always be prepared.
As I said, he began wearing the mask in August. And he continued to enjoy it long past Halloween. He wore the mask all the time until May.

Note the garden flag behind him...it's for EASTER. This was sometime in April that next Spring.
Actually, I should not say “the” mask because he went through several. Fortunately they were pretty cheap at JoAnn’s Etc. I stocked up. Didn’t want to be without the mask for even one second. Actually, I wasn’t entirely certain how he would react if he didn’t have a mask and frankly was not feeling up to finding out.
In May, we went to Disney World. We, as his parents, were so excited that he would finally meet his idol. This character with whom he identified (big, strapping, handsome…need I go on?)…and the chance to meet him face-to-face.

The day finally arrived. We checked the schedule and knew when Mr. Incredible would be available for photos and the like. We got there just as The Incredibles made their appearance.  And my son would NOT put on his mask (for some reason, he had not wanted to wear it that day). As you can also see from the photo (which is HORRIBLE of me…please do not look at that part!), he was kind of smiling, but really did not want to talk to his hero. How odd is that? And he only put the mask on 2-3 more times after that meeting. Then he was finished with The Incredibles. We couldn’t coax him into  the mask after that if we tried.
Nice…there’s nothing quite like knowing that you inadvertently distroyed your child’s image of his idol. Of course if we had not, he might STILL be wearing that mask.

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