Last Friday Kaylee and I had a girls day out. We were shopping for materials to make Halloween costumes. Halloween is a big deal in our house. Most years we try to convince the kids to go with a theme so the whole family can dress up together. Depending on what the kids decide on, a lot of years my mom will make their costumes for me. Which is the case this year.
Brendan, having spent most of the last year reading the Harry Potter series, was keen on being Harry for Halloween. I knew mom would be able to help me create this costume for him because it wouldn’t be the first time she’d made a wizard costume. And once I remembered that I realized that Kaylee was about the age that Brendan was when he first wore the other wizard costume. It didn’t take long to convince her that she should be a wizard too. With two out of three kids being wizards, and me owning my own set of Harry Potter robes, it made sense to try to talk Cameron into it as well.
Unfortunately, he had other plans. A few years ago, Brendan wanted to be a dragon for Halloween. That year we decided to make both boys into dragons while Matt was the knight that was going to smite them and I was the princess being held in their dragon keep. It was a very cute concept and the costumes turned out adorable, but boy were they a pain to make. The upside to Cameron’s decision was that we had two costumes already completed and would only have to worry about making Brendan’s.
Before we got into that though, we needed to do some repair work to the dragon and wizard costumes. After digging all of the pieces to the costumes out of storage I took them to my mom. When Brendan trick or treated in the wizard costume he caught the sleeve on a wrought iron railing at the very last house we visited and ripped the lining, and the hat had lost some of its starched shape over the years. The dragon was a bit more complex to fix. It’s only problem was that the tail, which drags on the ground, had worn through on the bottom. Amazingly she still had some of the original fabric we used in making this costume 5 years ago and was able to make a patch that blends so well you have to really be looking for it to see it.
It was as we were doing these repairs that I thought about the logistics of Cameron wearing this dragon costume to his school Halloween party, and what a pain in the neck that tail was going to be during his classroom party. And as I realized that it occurred to me when Brendan had worn this costume. I had always known he wore it when he was approximately Cameron’s age, that’s why Cameron was able to fit into the costume after all.
But what I had forgotten was that Brendan wore the dragon costume when he was in Kindergarten. Yes, in Kindergarten with the very same Kindergarten teacher that Cameron now has. This poor teacher has to deal with the same bulky, pain in the neck, (although admittedly adorable) costume with not one but two of my children. I about fell on the floor laughing when I finally realized. it.
Matt was skeptical of my memory. He too knew the approximate time that Brendan had worn the costume, but he thought Brendan was 4, not 5 when he’d worn it. I knew I was right though, because the year Brendan was in Kindergarten I didn’t go into work until 9:00 in the morning, meaning that Brendan didn’t have to go to a before school program, and was able to ride the bus.
Well the thought of my little Kindergartener wrestling with this enormous tail and trying to find a seat on the bus was just too much. So I sent him on the bus without it, and took my lunch hour to run his costume up to the school and help him get it on before his party.
Nowadays I drive the kids to school instead of them riding the bus since the bus stop has moved to the other side of the neighborhood, so getting the dragon costume to school should be a little simpler. Cameron has been using the costume as a dress up toy for the past year which hopefully will make him able to get the costume on and off by himself, but I’m not holding my breath.
Our shopping trip for Brendan’s costume last Friday was a success, barely. The problem we had is that he’s too large to buy a child’s costume for, and too small to buy an adult’s costume for. We finally found one that would work and started looking for materials. Then it just became an issue of finding materials that I liked. Since he wants to be Harry Potter I was trying to find materials that would best represent a student in Gryffindor house at Hogwarts, which meant black robes, with red and gold highlights.
It took over an hour, and at least a dozen combinations of different fabrics before I found the fabrics that matched the vision I had in my head for his costume. With a little over 6 weeks left until Halloween we will start working on his costume this coming Friday. I can only hope that this wizard will be a little easier to put together than a certain dragon costume was…