Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Will Never Be A Costume Designer

Yesterday it snowed.

First I cried because it was snowing in mid-October.

Then I cried harder because I realized it's not mid-October; it's close to the end of October.  In fact, we're just about a week out from Halloween.

Then I panicked.

Just a little bit of panic, though.  I have two of the kids' costumes more or less set:  my mom (thankyouthankyouthankyou) made Adelaide a cheetah costume for her birthday last May, and I made it pretty clear to her that she was going to wear that thing for as many Halloweens as I could stuff her in there.

I found one of those cowboy-riding-a-horse costumes (I have no idea how to describe that thing if you don't know what I'm not talking about, so... just wait for the inevitable post-Halloween pics I guess?) for Cade at a garage sale last spring, so he's pretty well set.  Just need to borrow a Caedmon-sized cowboy hat.

And then there's Atticus.  (I feel like I say that a lot, you know?)  He hasn't been able to make up his mind over the past few months, but I finally pinned him down to his most recent choice of 'snapping turtle.'  Okay.  So.  Time to construct a snapping turtle costume that 1) costs very little money and 2) requires very little time and/or energy of me, because spending oodles of time I don't have preparing something he'll wear for two hours at most isn't really my thing.

I knew where to go for ideas and inspiration (Pinterest, of course!), but I was half-terrified to do so.  Pinterest is chock-full of crazy-ambitious moms who apparently live to do things like weave their own fabric on hand-constructed looms and hand-dye it with natural dyes derived from the plants they grow in their native plant gardens that fill their backyards.  (You think I'm joking.  And... well, I am, but JUST BARELY.)  I knew that I would probably find a clever idea for a simple turtle costume, but I'd have to weed through 1) parents who don't mind spending a fortune on costumes and 2) parents who don't mind spending weeks sewing and gluing and losing sleep and probably pints of blood, because if 4-H taught me anything it's that you lose a lot more blood trying to sew late into the night while getting ready for an event, be it the county fair or Halloween.

I finally found the courage to brave Pinterest yesterday (after shedding my snow-induced tears), and I was right.  Partly right.  I found groups 1 and 2 (moneybags and time- and blood-donors), but I also found:

3)  Slutty turtles.

I'm not even kidding.  I'm well aware of the recent trend for youngish females to dress themselves in the strangely provocative versions of pirates and witches and medical professionals; I've spent many a merry hour with my friends being, um, perhaps a little less than generous in our commentary of these no doubt super duper smart young ladies.  But I really thought that I was now able to predict what kinds of costumes you'd see on these, ah, modesty-challenged girls.

I was so, so wrong.

I don't even know.  I just... I just can't.  Did I miss something in biology and my backyard?  I remember picking up a turtle when I was a kid, and I really don't recall seeing a green lamé bra anywhere on it, and it may have peed on my hand but it did nothing with its tongue that made me recoil in horror.

I did eventually get over my shock at the thought of sexually promiscuous turtles (oh, jeez, I don't even want to know what kind of skeevy human being is going to find this blog because of their google search for "sexually promiscuous turtles."  GO AWAY, CREEPER.), and found an idea for a turtle shell that involves a big disposable roasting pan and a great deal of paint.  Will his costume look tragically homespun?  Oh, no doubt.  But I presented the idea to him and his only concern was that it wouldn't be "like a snapping turtle."  I told him to eat his candy by snapping it into his mouth and then he'd be a snapping turtle, and he seemed satisfied.

I tell you what, you set the bar low when they're young and you make everyone's lives that much easier.  Feel free to write that down.


  1. Hurrah for a costume that doesn't involve sewing! Tragically homespun is the best way to go. You just raised your children's creativity by 110%. But the other kind of turtle costume leaves me speechless with dismay.

  2. Did you see Joh Stewart's Daily Show segment on sexy costumes? Hilarious! Truly, truly.

    The costume for Atticus sounds just like the costumes we used to make for ourselves when I was a kid (late 60s/early 70s), which in my opinion is just what Halloween is supposed to be: a one-evening-holiday, where kids make their costumes out of what they can find at home the day before.

  3. My kids have to come up with their own stuff these days. If I ever bought something, it was with the idea that it would be used and reused ad nauseam (a black cape, natch). Looking forward to seeing those pictures!
    I've uh, observed large turtles (probably tortoises) doing, um, interesting things. Mostly it was a male who had really bad aim and made a mess on the female's shell. So perhaps the inappropriate costumes aren't that far off?

  4. "I tell you what, you set the bar low when they're young and you make everyone's lives that much easier."

    Agreed, Amen, and preach it sista! In both birthday parties AND costumes. :)

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