Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Stress

I never realized back in the day how good I had it when it came to Halloween. If I knew what I wanted to be, I had the assistance of a crafty mother and grandmother to make it happen. If I didn't know what I wanted to be, a few minutes rummaging around said crafty grandmother's piles o' stuff generally gave me inspiration to be something. I had some fantastic costumes. Nothing flashy, perhaps, but I never had to rely on going out and buying some crappy store-bought character costume. I always had something cool and just a little bit different, generally cobbled together from an assortment of sources. From Grandma's fabrics and costume jewelry to my parents' Halloween box, from years of kid costumes that had been passed down to my mom's handiwork...there were plenty of options out there. I think I was Strawberry Shortcake one year, and my mom must have done a heck of a job on that one. I was an angel a couple years in a row. I was a cowgirl with a glittery vest another year, a gypsy with a glittery tambourine another. I was a millionairess one year, decked out in jewelry, makeup, and yes, a fur stole that might just have been real. I think my last year of trick-or-treating I did end up going to buy a witch hat, but I think I wore an old graduation gown from the Halloween box to go with it. Long story short, I was lucky to have a nice assortment of materials and a couple helpful folks to help me put it all together.

Fast forward a few more years, and I was relegated to store-bought costumes for a couple work-related Halloween events. I did a queen and a beer wench, and while I at least made a couple accessories for them (a sparkly gold crown for the queen, and beer/root beer glasses for the wench), I still felt like I was selling out. Last year I managed to get a bridesmaid dress altered and use this random silver briefcase we had to be a Deal or No Deal girl, but that's about as fun as it gets. I'm currently pondering my options for this year, and I'm getting frustrated with my lack of creativity and drive. But you know, for me, it's not a big deal.

But when it comes to Jacob, I feel bad that I'm not a fancy costume maker. Visit any number of mom blogs and the guilt starts getting worse when you see what other creative folks come up with. So far we've managed. Jacob got a hand-me-down bee costume his first year, and the fantastic mouse costume that I wore as a kid (homemade, of course) for last year, but this year I'm totally stressed. He is insisting on being a goalie. A hockey goalie. Not exactly a costume I can glue gun together. And quite frankly, even if I did, I think Jacob's smart enough to call me out on it. He wants a real helmet, real skates, and real everything else. He's been asking for a lot of that stuff for Christmas anyway, so we could kill two birds with one stone, but I have some reservations. First, I don't want to spend a ton of money on this stuff. Sure, it'd be cool to get him some skates and a helmet and let him start learning how to skate. But even if I relent and he plays organized hockey at some point, he'll outgrow pretty much anything we get now by really, why not wait another year or two? We do have the option of looking into used equipment, and apparently there are skates that grow with your child, but I still don't think it's going to be cheap. Second, wearing a ton of hockey equipment is not exactly convenient for trick-or-treating or for sending in to daycare. It's too bulky, too heavy, and in the case of skates, not even remotely possible. But even in sneakers it just won't work.

My creative plan was to convince Jacob to be the hockey monkey from his favorite movie. Then I could get a standard monkey costume and just add a hockey stick and a jersey or something. It seemed like the perfect plan, but no, Jacob keeps whining that he wants to be a goalie. End of story. So here I sit a week away from Halloween festivities, and I'm clueless. And even worse, I realized that tomorrow night's Amerks game is their Halloween game with trick-or-treating in the luxury suites. We already have a busy day on tap tomorrow so I don't know that we'll even have time to pull anything off, let alone his dream goalie costume. And I don't think Jacob will be too keen on wearing anything less. Ugh. There are days he's picky about his clothes, so I don't see him being very accomodating with a potentially uncomfortable costume that's not what he wanted.

While I don't think I have to go out and spend $40 to get him a great costume, I'm lacking in creativity and time. And I don't exactly have a willing participant if things aren't perfect, so I'm worried. Quite frankly, I also don't want to put a ton of time and money into a costume only to have Jacob freak out at the most inopportune time and not want to wear it. While I know Halloween is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I don't want to look back (or, ummm, walk into his day care room on Friday) and be embarrassed at how little effort I put into his costume. I don't want it to look like I don't care. I do care, but I'm feeling stuck. And while it would be easier to have a kid that just wants to be Buzz Lightyear or a puppy, I suppose that's just not Jacob's style. I hope someday he uses that trait for good. In the meantime it might make me crazy, but still....assuming we can get through Halloween without an emergency room visit this year, we'll have to consider it a success, right?

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