Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween gets caught in the Web

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. What's not to love? It's got candy. It's got costumes. It's got you out after dark ringing the bells of the neighbors’ houses without having to tell them that you accidentally ran over their trash cans or backed into their mailbox (but I digress). It's almost perfect.

Yet, up until this year, it hasn't even been on Ittybit's radar.

Oh sure, as an infant she had no choice but to portray an incarcerated cat burglar after I rummaged through a bag of hand-me-down clothes and found a black and white striped jacket and a black hat with pointy ears. The following year she wore her dad’s old fedora, a mock shearling coat, faux Uggs and corduroy overalls, and we called her an Australian cowgirl.

Back then I was all into the cleverness rather than the shelling out of cash. And seeing as how I have no talent with the needle and thread, our costumes up until now have been mostly that of an assembly of Good Will gallantry.

Yet this year, I'm afraid, all my excess creativity went to making a baby. So instead of wracking my brain for something we could make out of tape and old trousers, I fired up the computer and went surfing with the kiddo sitting next to me on the couch.

"How about a fairy?"


"A princess?"


"How about a witch?"

"No, too scary."

"How about a pirate? That's very big this year ... "

"MOM! That's for BOYS!!!"

"Sorry," I mutter as I click through page after page of ready-made costumes.

"Here it is. This is what I want," she hollers, slapping her hand against the computer screen.

And underneath the greasy handprint is a tiny Superhero I’ve never heard of. One who apparently had been dipped in Pepto-Bismol.

Pink Batgirl.

It had all the things a costume your mother would hate should have: It's got your form-fitting leotard and your thigh-high go-go boots. It’s even got a festive looking mask and cape in a shimmering plastic.

"That's the one I want. That's the ONLY one. Will you order it? Will it come in the mail addressed to me?"

How could I say no?

So I fill in the blanks and hit the button that says "Submit." While I'm at it I figure I might as well get something for the Champ, and like the spider to a fly I indulge my photographer's eye on a little peacock bunting I find on sale at a trendy baby boutique.

"Eww. What is that," snorts the girl child when I show her the puffy plumage. "I don't think that's so good," she says laughing. "They’re going to think he's a gurrell," she sneers.

"She's right," said the husband, looking up from his tool catalogue across the couch, "people are going to think he's a girl."

"I'm not going to hold it against you, because you've not yet turned four, but your father should know is usually the MALE of the bird species that has the colorful and ornate plumage. The female birds, sadly, are dull. ... And EVERYONE knows that."

When the package containing the costume for our fine feathered friend got plunked down on our front porch before the cotton-candy colored confection for the little miss, I wasn't worried. Hers will take just a bit longer.

Weeks go by and nothing. I contact the company. Nothing.

Every day she'd ask if her package came in the mail. And every day I told her no, but not to worry. It will come.

But I was worried. What if it didn't come? What if there were no Pink Batgirls to be had? Would she be upset? Would she be disappointed?

I started laying the groundwork two weeks before the big night.

"I think we should have a backup plan in case your superhero costume doesn't come in the mail."

"What's a backup plan?"

"Well in this case, it's another costume you will wear instead of Pink Batgirl."

And off we go to Target.

"How about a fairy?"


"A princess?"


"How about a witch?"

"No, too scary."

"How about a pirate? That's very big this year ..."

"MOM! That's for BOYS!!!"

"Sorry," I mutter as I click through a dozen more hangers.

"Here it is. This is what I want," she hollers, clutching at another Pepto-Bismol-colored costume that has everything a mother would hate — Barbie Cheerleader.

"Let's show your dad. He's saving for everyone's therapy bills."

1 comment:

Jenny said...

One of my friends gave my 3 year old the barbie cheerleader outfit for her birthday.

Hailey sneered at it and I sighed with relief.

Of course next year, who knows?