Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boo Mania!

When it comes to listing one's favorite holiday, I've have always had a deep and abiding suspicion of those people who choose Halloween.

For me, a holiday with no large meal and/or exorbitant gift exchange directly associated with it has always seemed just kinda third rate. Sure, I understand that this, the spookiest of all holidays, comes with the serious upside of allowing one to spend an entire week consuming candy in lieu of meals, but what can I say? It's been years since October 31st has really lit my fire.

HOWEVER! Having recently spent my first Halloween as the mother of a toddler, I must admit, I've had a...change of heart.

As months of previous entries here at www.shortfatdictator.com will surely attest, there are about a million downsides to having a baby. There are the sleepless nights, the Sisyphyean realities of diaper changing and laundry duty, the complete surrender of your existence to a small and unreasonable human...I could go on and on. But the good news is this - just when things seem darkest, there always seems to be some sudden and unexpected upside. For example, the opportunity to dress one's offspring in a hilariously adorable outfit completely against his or her will. Which is AWESOME!

When I was little, my mom was the queen of Halloween costumes. She would start taking orders in late August; then for the next two months the sewing machine would be rockin'. The resulting costumes were fantastic - a clown with giant home-made foam shoes and a red mop wig; the statue of liberty recreated down to the smallest detail using half a dozen hand-dyed sheets; and a pint-sized Wonder Woman, complete with blue starred shorts and a pair of bulletproof cuffs.

Now that I had my own child to costume, this September I vowed to carry on my mother's noble tradition. I would get out my Brother sewing machine and I would create my very own costume-y magic! I decided on a circus theme. With Snoodie's stocky physique and bald-ish head I imagined him as the perfect little strong man. I would be the bearded lady and for David I would whip together a fantastic Ringmaster's get-up from scratch!

It was approximately Mid-October when some reality began to set-in. It occurred to me that my shirtless tattooed mini-strong man might start to get rather cranky as evening temperatures were hovering near the mid-fifties. Also, let's be honest, there was the even more pressing reality that I can barely sew, which was putting a serious hurtin' on my plan to stitch together a three-part circus masterpiece.

Luckily, as I was going to bed one week before the big night, I had a vision! A vision of my friend Mindy's toddler wearing an adorable and more importantly pre-made lobster costume. Halloween - SAVED! By the weekend I had the hand-me-down costume in hand and IT...WAS...ON!

Halloween finally arrived and the three of us hit the streets! Total prep time: six minutes. Total cost: 12 bucks (spent at the local kitchen supply store). Result: Unspeakable awesomeness!

(chef, lobster and diner)

All night I just kept saying to my husband, "I forgot how great Halloween was!"

Instead of cramming myself into someone's crappy apartment with a bunch of people dressed as recently deceased celebrities, having to fight my way through a throng of slutty nurses on the way to get a beer, I was out TRICK-or-TREATING!

Our neighborhood was transformed into a Halloween wonderland with kids in costumes, friendly neighbors handing out candy, and general merriment abounding. Snoods was, frankly, overwhelmed by the whole experience and spent most of the evening in the role of "deeply perturbed crustacean". Nonetheless, Halloween success was undoubtedly achieved!

Back at home we de-lobsterified Snoodie and put him to bed, handed out some candy to a gaggle of adorable young'uns, ate sweets by the handful and then hung our "OUT OF CANDY" sign on the door and were in bed by 9:30pm.

I apologize to you, 31st of October, for all my past maligning! I am ready to dub thee the GREATEST OF ALL THE HOLIDAYS! At least until next month when my head is turned by the sweet, sweet lure of cornbread stuffing with sausage, turkey with gravy and PIE!

I suggest you enjoy your victory while it lasts Halloween....