As you know, we are presently in the month of July. Bambina and I, therefore, had a very timely conversation yesterday about Halloween costumes for October '07. We have narrowed it down to: a) a dalmatian, b) Scooby Doo, c) a greyhound, or d)a bear. The only contract rider being that the costume must be "A Mommy Dog" or "A Mommy Bear." Last year, you may recall, Bambina was a puppy. I certainly recall it, for the simple reason that she wore the puppy costume for a month before Halloween and a good 6 months after. The only reason she can't wear it now is because the puppy legs are now capri pant-length and because we can no longer button it in the back. This, of course, was the case for several months until the discomfort of the Puppy Costume Perma-Wedgie finally got to her and we managed to retire it with honors. Now that she is A Big Girl, she no longer feels a puppy costume is appropriate to a person of her stature. She must now be The Mommy Dog.
Now, you may wonder whether Bambina herself independently and of her own volition raised the topic of Halloween costumes. Your superior intellect no doubt tells you that she didn't. I did. In one of those perfect examples of how one generation's issues are passed on to the next, and inexorably to the next and the next, I have made it a point to ensure that Bambina will never be searching around on October 29th for costume ideas...Until she reminds me she's in college and it's kind of embarrassing to have your mom drive up in her Oldsmobile to drop off a Red M&M costume at your dorm.
Our costumes when we were kids were all homemade. I can't recall Scotland at the time having store shelves full of those plastic/vinyl ones that Americans had in the late 70's/early 80's, so it wasn't a case of my parents just not buying us any. It was more the sense that Halloween was fun, but not entirely a huge priority financially. So my parents would help us come up with ideas and we'd make the costumes (one year my sister was an issue of The Hamilton Advertiser, a local newspaper), so she essentially walked around with an entire newspaper taped around her body--with a kicky newspaper napoleon hat to boot. I was a rabbit one year, utilizing those footie pajamas and a carrot. My brother was a thief one year, with a striped shirt and a bag of loot ("swag" as it was called). All cute ideas, all put together at home, but never having the polish and attention to detail of the other kids with money. For instance, I was devastated to learn that, despite my pride in my rabbit costume, most people thought I was a clown carrying a carrot. Absolutely devastating. Especially because I couldn't understand why they wouldn't make the logical leap of carrot = rabbit. Like, am I lame--and are they stupid? I began to dread the question, even after we moved to the States, on someone's doorstep: "And what are you this year?" Hello?!!! I'm CLEARLY Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts! Yeah, I know I'm blond, but my parents wouldn't buy me a wig! Come on, people! I'm holding a football! I'm wearing a dress with little socks and mary janes! But of course Melissa PrettyGirl over there has an absolutely picture perfect Punky Brewster costume on; everyone oohs and aahs over her. Grrr! Deeply distressing from all angles...
Well, apparently all of this Halloween horror in my young life has scarred me, because I am now the Costumer in Chief for my kid, from concept to creation (okay, well, purchase. Okay, well, asking my mom to purchase the next time she's out...). But you get my point. Getting Bambina the costume she loves is a priority in my life. Which, even with all the time I currently have on my hands, is pretty pathetic. She's three. I could put her in a blue shirt, blue pants and put blue socks on her ears, trot her out and tell her she's Blue from Blue's Clues, and she'd be none the wiser. But instead, I'm researching--researching!--dalmation costumes online, both pre-made and available for sewing. What in god's green earth is wrong with me? Or maybe, what is wrong with me that some more love and hugs on October 31st, 1979 couldn't have helped, right?
In any case, she's dressing up as a Mama Dog or Bear this year. And you'll immediately recognize my costume (finally! at long last!). I'll be the dead ringer for Dina Lohan.