Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Cute Halloween Costumes

Using some sort of secret mommly powers (which likely involved sacrificing some small animal... no wonder we've had chicken for dinner so much lately), my wife has convinced our kids to coordinate their Halloween costumes. The oldest - a boy of 4 - will be the Cat in the Hat. The girls, one aged 2, the other just 6 months old, will be Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Technically I think I had a hand in brainstorming the original idea several months ago when reading "The Cat in the Hat" to my son. But I come up with that sort of "wouldn't it be funny if" stuff all the time. I never thought they'd actually go for it. These kids have strong opinions, stubborn streaks a mile wide, and temper tantrums like they're auditioning for "Little Orphan Insanity-Ward Annie." Yet somehow they're going along with it happily so far.

Of course, I was never too worried about the 6 month old. She's pretty amiable. You should see some of the outfits she has already worn without complaint.

The two year old was another story. Sometimes she's happy to go along. But frequently, for reasons only her two year old mind can comprehend, she just flat-out refuses to do something. Even if it's something she truly loves. Example: Most of the time, she paces in front of the fridge, knowing the candy jar sits atop it, begging in the most bedraggled voice "I vewwwy hungwy!" Strangely, she's never hungry for any food offered that doesn't come from the candy jar in those moments. Yet on occasion when daddy is feeling especially generous, I'll offer her a special treat form the candy jar, and she'll reply "No thank you." Can't be budged at such moments either. Unless her brother hears and agrees to have some. He's her hero.

Which brings us to the one I truly thought could never be won over. From birth our son, who is now four, has been best described by the word "intense." If the two year old is stubborn, this one channels whole teams of mules at times. Yet when he's happy about something the intensity is just as great. He can go from utterly exhillarated to screaming raging fits. He's also scary-smart, so my wife and I often joke that it's our job as parents to teach him to use his powers for good, lest he grow up to destroy the world.

Anyway, for some reason my wife got him on-board with the Cat in the Hat idea way back around April. And he is still on board with it. Even excited about it. If you have ever had a four year old, you can appreciate what a great feat this is. Favorites and obsessions come and go at a staggering pace at this age. We've had dinosaurs, and trucks, and fire-fighters, and bugs, and planets, and states, and on, and on, and on. Add plain old marketing on top of that - mostly from a dizzying array of popular pre-school oriented kids shows which have branched out into books, toys, movies, etc. I'd estimate we have passed approximately 80 kajillion opportunities for my son to latch onto a new costume idea. But he's still on board with the Cat in the Hat. Amazing.

Amazing and jinxing. I just realized I'm writing this 18 days before Halloween. If I have screwed this up by writing about it early, I can't imagine the size of the animal I'm going to have to procure for my wife's next sacrifice to get him back into the cute costume she's making herself. Does anyone know if moose-meat makes good chili?


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