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Spidey problems

October 22, 2008

Last month, as the evenings started to feel crisp once again, Graysen launched a small campaign to move Halloween up.
“Mom,” he whispered one night as we walked outside under a waxing moon, “we should do Halloween tonight. It’s cold.”
The conversation that proceeded did not favor his proposition, however intensely he argued his point that a cold, moonlit night equals Halloween.
Fortunately, his sudden interest in the holiday revealed no permanent damage from the year before when I, horror of horrors, completely screwed up his costume.
He wanted to be Spiderman but since tradition in our family dictates that we wait until the last second to do things like buy costumes (Christmas gifts, Easter egg dye, fireworks, ad nauseum), the stores’ shelves were down to the dregs by the time I went shopping. This poses quite a challenge for a procrastinating mom like me because it means that I have to work twice as hard to cobble something together out of random items.
Case in point: A Spiderman costume for a discerning boy. After digging through the piles of costume accoutrements, I came up with Spidey gloves and spats … but no actual costume. The consolation prize of the outing was a Graysen-sized pirate costume I unearthed from a pile on the floor. I figured I could sell him on the idea and offer up the Spidey parts as accessories. A Spidey pirate if you will.
But I apparently forgot that the trick-or-treater in question was my son. And, to a certain extent, he takes after yours truly.
When I was 4 I told my mom I wanted to be Snow White. This was back in the days when no self-respecting mother would dare clothe her trick-or-treaters in those hideous plastic “costumes” that tied over regular clothes.
Being a parent to only one child at the time, my mom confidently took on the challenge of sewing a genuine Snow White dress out of cotton and velour, with lovely appliquéd sleeves. Problem was, she got the colors wrong.
When she proudly held the dress up to show me, I apparently burst into tears and frantically showed her a picture of the proper Snow White — on the front of one of my Little Golden Books. My mother would like me to add here that she actually remade my dress for me, beloved child who I was … and saved the day.
The sewing gene was not passed along to me, however (if Mira’s talent with fabric craft is any indication then I would say it skips a generation). I look at a pile of fabric and my brain shuts down.
So last Halloween, when faced with the disappointment of a small boy who really really really wanted that Spiderman costume, I did what came naturally — got annoyed and tried to hardsell the pirate getup. He’d consented to trying it on — and had even liked it — but when he realized that it was offered in lieu of the Spiderman attire, well ….
That simply didn’t cut it.
To keep the toddler tantrum forces at bay I proffered the Spidey gloves and spats. But Graysen’s no dummy, and there was no way he’d stoop to swashbuckling his Spiderman.
The pirate costume was shed just before trick-or-treating. Feeling at least partly responsible for the debacle, I called my husband, who is both creative and handy, and detailed my plight. Of course, he had a suggestion.
“Just draw webs on his PJ’s. The red ones,” he offered.
And saved the day.
I unleashed a black Sharpie on Gray’s red footie pajamas and drew webs that impressed even me. Then, I webbed his pirate scarf.
Graysen actually liked it. I helped him into his home-drawn attire, tied the scarf on properly, and assisted as he navigated the Spidey gloves. The spats were a different matter entirely. Gray didn’t want them to cover his shoes. To his mind, they were “broken socks” because they were open at the bottom.
No amount of explaining their function would deter him from his conviction that they were not acceptable.
So I stapled them shut. And he wore them over his shoes.
This year, Graysen wants to be a shark … no, a race car. Wait … a Smart car AND Lightning McQueen (?!) … uh, nevermind…he wants to be a shark race car. And a robot.
And Spiderman.
I can’t wait.

© 2008 Ana June. All rights reserved.

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