Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm okay, you're...not in costume

It is probably not necessary to explain to fellow parents that despite expressing excitement about dressing up as a purple cat for Halloween (for weeks she told anyone who would listen), when it came to actually wearing the costume ON Halloween, my toddler decided she was over it and wanted nothing to do with the purple cat outfit. She did agree to have cat whiskers drawn on her face, but only after I'd drawn them on Chris first. Thank goodness for Monkey Boy. Ever the enthusiast, Monkey Boy asked for whiskers too. Which was fantastic, especially since he was an alligator. An adorable alligator.

Cue the off key singing of "A, alligators all around, B, bursting balloons..."

A neighbor had everyone on the block over for dinner. She was fantastic to host a bunch of kids ranging in age from 1 to 7 (plus their parents). She made dinner, plus bone-shaped cookies (it was a cookie graveyard!). It was great. The kids, predictably, ate way too much sugar (plus a little stew and a bite or two of dinosaur shaped chicken pieces) before running out into the night.

DSC09705 DSC09708
A night filled with pumpkin light. How much do I love that our 3 year old neighbor - dressed as a fireman - asked if we should maybe blow out the candles, because you know, the fire hazard?

What I most want to record about tonight is my struggle to let Ada do what feels right to her, even when it conflicts with what I think she "should" do. I recognize that this could be the last year that Ada does not understand Halloween. I should let her have that innocence, but I wanted her to play along.

I tried to get Ada to wear a costume, telling her that all the kids were dressing up. No luck. I explained that the idea is to dress up and visit people's houses. Even the idea of getting candy didn't sway her. If I was a Zen Buddhist, it would have been a perfect opportunity to practice non-attachment. As it is, it was a chance to allow my child to be who she is. And I hated it.

Alligator leads the way

I wanted Ada to wear a costume, wanted her to get the positive attention I know comes with a small child in a cute get-up. But she did not want it, and despite my heart's desire to force her, I let her be. So this post is a record both of Ada hanging on to baby-hood and of my early halting attempts to let her follow her own path.

Even though Ada wouldn't dress up, I did. I hate for a chance to wear a green wig to go by. I may have to wear the wig every Halloween. It is as good as a warm cap on a cold evening. Should the kid ever decide to give trick-or-treating a try, I'll appreciate the warmth. Given how well Ada took to the candyportion of Halloween, I am guessing one of these years she is going to take me on a long walk for Halloween. Probably in the rain.

peeved, but soothed by peanut butter m&ms


  1. When my son was three, he wore his costume for about 2 minutes. We went to one house before he completely melted down, and we had to go home. I was disappointed, but, like you said, it was important to follow his lead.

    Now he loves Halloween. It just took one more year for him to grow into it.

    (Love the wig!)

  2. That wig is awesome.

    And Ada is just ahead of her time, because we saw a number of teenagers with no costumes out trick-or-treating.

    (Which, by the way, WTF Teenagers?)

  3. That would have taken every ounce of my strength -- go mama.

    And yeah. The wig rules!

  4. Halloween, she is a trixy one, that holiday.

    Next year, indeedy.

  5. i feel like i could have written this...i completely relate.

    way to go in your own green 'do.

  6. I think the alligator was getting a head start on Movember.

  7. (un)relaxeddad11/04/2007 5:26 AM

    I loved Halloween this year - dudelet's first real one - and he really went for it. Still, at least you got to wear The Wig! And I agree, you so have to let them have their way in terms of that kind of self-expression.

  8. we tried to put the nuthatch in this really cute bee costume but he was exactly like a dog with a cone on its head. he just went around and around in nervous circles, nearly in tears.

    he went as chairman mao instead in his regular cap and coat. a white, blond, blue eyed chairman mao but powerful nonetheless.

    I got freed of my obligation to go as Fiona from Shrek at the very last second, praise be!