I love Halloween. I remember scouring the streets as a kid, my pillowcase overflowing with Wig Wags and Wagon Wheels, trying to cover as much ground as possible before people turned off their porch lights. My mom is a fantastic sewer and every year I’d have a one-of-a-kind costume that managed to transform me into my character of choice while still concealing that necessary evil of Alberta Halloweens: the snowsuit.
As has been established, I am neither handy nor crafty; therefore, the proliferation of store-bought costumes these days has been a godsend for me. Each of my kids learns by age three that letting mommy make a costume is a recipe for disaster. My daughter is three. This was her year.
She wanted desperately to be a ghost. I tried talking her into re-wearing last year’s Little Red Riding Hood costume, which wouldn’t have counted as recycling since she only wore the cape (Little Red Streaker), but she refused. I began searching for ghost costumes in September to no avail – my inquiries were met with the same response: “May I suggest a sheet and pair of scissors?”
With two days before Halloween, I finally caved and went to a fabric store. I asked the sales lady to explain the assembly process as though I were a two-year-old. I’m pretty sure that she thought I was drunk.
I went home, dug out my airline sewing kit and my scissors that can’t cut through jello, and went to work. The results were as expected: my adorable three-year-old daughter looked like a cross between a terrorist and a KKK grand wizard. In other words, not a great look for her.
The greatest irony of all is that I should know better: my son’s costume of choice when he was three? The one that convinced him store-bought was the way to go? A ghost. His nursery school teacher thought he was a deranged mental patient from one of those Saw movies.
The silver lining of this whole debacle was the bin full of bunny ears, clown costumes and the cutest Little Red Riding Hood cape you’ve ever seen. That and the forecast – any costume was destined to be covered by the dreaded snowsuit.