Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween Hangover

The Halloween Hangover is that morning-after feeling you have when you spent the night before traipsing around the neighborhood with some assortment of heavily costumed children hyped up on candy or the anticipation thereof. My children are all, at least chronologically, mostly grown, but there were years and years when the planning started in August and the recovery period lasted until the week before Thanksgiving.

Today, though, I've got nothing much to recover from other than wandering aimlessly around the internet admiring the costumes other people have come up with for their children and remembering some adventures in costuming from Halloweens past. We were pretty big into homemade(ish) costumes when my kids were younger, largely for budgetary reasons but also because the kids seemed to have a good time with it.

I was terrible at remembering to take pictures, worse at getting the film developed and even worse at organizing the pictures that did manage to become prints. Even so (and due mostly to Little Sister's superior organization skills), there are shots of most of the costumes around somewhere, but one year I didn't manage to get pictures of was the year I dressed all three boys as crayons.*

Son-One was five, Son-Two was almost four and Son-Three was two. I bought three sheets of poster board at like 59 cents a piece, a package of pointy party hats for a dollar and three tubes of face paint at about a dollar each. Made kid-sized tubes with the poster boards decorated to look like a crayon label, used coordinating paint on each kid's face and wrapped the party hats in coordinating construction paper for the point of the crayon. I dressed three kids for Halloween and spent just a little over $5 and the kids were instantly recognizable as crayons and looked absolutely adorable.

In my haste to pat myself on the back, I didn't immediately realize how gravely I had overestimated the flexibility of the poster board each child was wrapped in. It began to dawn on me as I watched the three boys making mincing little Geisha steps as they walked down the sidewalk, but it wasn't until they were trying to walk up the porch steps of neighborhood houses and were unable to fully bend their knees that it hit me that I had made the perfect Halloween costumes for standing completely still.

As penance for my lack of foresight, I spent the next two hours lifting them one by one up and down porch after porch after porch.

Everything worked out in the end, though--2500 calories of pilfered "fun size" candy bars later, I was practically in a diabetic coma and that ache in my lower back was nothing but a hazy memory.

*Little Sister was living halfway across the country (in Texas) that year. I say we blame her.


  1. Youngest Sister11/2/10, 9:17 AM

    Crayons with movement for leg room would be a great idea. I was never around for Halloween. : (

    Every year I always (at least once) eat enough candy corn to make me want to vomit. This year is no exception.

  2. Apparently there is a store-bought costume with a cloth crayon label and a soft pointy hat--one of my facebook friends and her daughter dressed as purple crayons. It looks much more flexible (and much more expensive) than my version.

    And--ah yes, candy corn. I didn't purchase any this year which is some kind of achievement (or a sign of the apocalypse--your choice) but someone at work had one VALUE BAG after another sitting on the staff desk for half of September and all of October. Impossible to resist. Another co-worker and I were trying to deconstruct the appeal of something that is, if you consider each of its attributes (texture, sweetness, flavor, even color)individually, entirely gross and maybe even a little disturbing. We were doing this expert analysis while ingesting handfuls of the stuff, of course..

    Have you ever seen Lewis Black's bit about candy corn? It's friggin' hilarious (though obviously we're exceptions to the rule about not eating that stuff):

  3. Youngest Sister11/2/10, 1:16 PM

    That's hysterical! I love candy corn. Others must too because they keep selling it. . . The candy I truly have no use for is Peeps. And now they are selling them at Halloween too.

    The best part about Halloween? Count Chocula. Forget Booberry or Frankenberry. I am all about the Count Chocula.