>Succumbing to the Pressure

>I did something comletely against my religion–if I really had a religion, that is.
Lemme explain!

Every year, I have made Ev a killer Halloween costume. It all started when he was a year old. There was a costume contest, and Ev was dressed in a store-bought costume as a little lion. Not original, I know. But so, so cute because he even learned to roar. And he was little–about the size Zach is now because Evan was such a scrawny baby. So for what we were lacking in originality, we made up for in cuteness. He got zilch! And I took it as a personal attack and vowed never again!

The following year, when Evan was just 2, it became my mission in life to win that stupid contest. What made it especially difficult was that everybody competed against each other for the big prizes-all ages, all costume types….And I had never so much as sewn a button on a shirt before. But, damnit, I was going to find a way to make THE costume to rule them all. And so I bought fabric, buttons, hair dye, face paint, and tights.

And I made Evan into the cutest Oompa Loompa ever. Strangers were asking to take his picture. I did so well And when it came time for the contest and John walked Evan up onto the stage, you could hear everyone saying, “Look at that little boy!” And when it came time to announce the winners, Evan didn’t win a thing for his age group. But he did win for the entire thing, beating out other babies,bigger kids, teens and adults. The seed was planted, and I have been making his costumes ever since. We’ve done french fries, a dinosaur, a bus driver (complete with the bus), and more. And with each passing year, as Evan gets older, it gets more and more difficult to do this because his tastes and interests change. This year? He wanted to be a pilot. Have you ever tried to find pilot-looking clothes for a 9-year-old boy? So it was a no-go. And then we found ourselves beyond the Gates of Hell this week (see next post) and it never dawned on me that Halloween is just days away. And Evan doesn’t have a costume. Gasp! At this point my Mommy License is in serious jeopardy of revocation. But I just figure I’ll come up with something.

So tonight, we’re at the grocery store, of all places, and Ev finds a rack of cheap Halloween costumes. Including an Ironman one. Oh, the horror! Other than the Oompa Loompa, I have this thing about characters. (Technically, the Oompa Loompa was first a literary character and thus exempt from this.) No characters. I just can’t do it. My children have received shirts with characters on them as gifts, and I hate it. I have no idea where this came from with me. A perfect example is the shirt Evan got as a gift from John’s sister when the movie Cars was all the rage. And it had Lightening McQueen on it. And I really would have been happier if I could toss it into the bin of clothes to be donated, but Evan insisted on wearing it, and I secretly longed for the day when he would outgrow it. I just find it too commercial, too unoriginal, too cheesy. So we steer away in every way, including clothes, toys, and even Halloween costumes.

So back to the grocery store: Evan wants the Ironman costume, and I want to die. I’m trying to come up with arguments to counteract his. But he has some pretty damned good rationalizations as to why he needs this costume. These arguments include my role as Bad Mommy, that he still doesn’t have a costume 2 days before Halloween,and there is no way, at this point, that I can make one. That it is the only one in his size. That it isn’t tacky, cheesy plastic, but rather good quality. That it is on sale because no other respectable mom waits until 2 days before Halloween like we did. Ahhhhh, the drawbacks of having a smart kid–he could rival the most hardcore, cutthroat attorney out there!

I bought him the damned costume. It kills me. Trick-or-Treat this year is going to be a traumatic experience for me this year, because everywhere I turn, I will see a kid dressed exactly like mine. I imagine myself losing Evan in a sea of other Ironmans on the street. But on the bright side, this is a learning experince for me: never, ever wait until the last minute!

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