Ah, Halloween. I'm pretty sure our kids were talking about it FOREVER before it arrived. I enjoy Halloween and all, but I won't miss the drama that comes along with a trip to Michael's or Target this time of year. Nels is weird enough without having to worry about the impact a life-sized motion-triggered ghoul or a headless bride will have on his fragile psyche. Seriously.
Nels goes to a Christian pre-school, which chose to throw an inoffensive Noah's Ark party on Halloween. Each child came dressed as an animal. When I asked Nels what animal he wanted to be, he immediately said "DEER." Didn't think about it for a second. I suspect this is his grandmother's influence. The boys see lots of deer out at their grandparents' house.
That was fine with me. It sounded easier than any other animal, except maybe a cat. Of course there was no way that Willem was going to allow Nels to dress up as a deer without him. When I mentioned this to the pre-school director, she invited us to come a half hour before the pick-up time, so Willem could join in the fun. Willem LOVES his big brother's school. He's made friends with many of the teachers and knows them by name. He also spends evenings poring over Nels's class photo and memorizing the names of the students. I'll often hear him yell things like "There's Kaara!" in the parking lot.
I dressed the boys in head to toe brown (thanks to the providential sale at Target where I found brown pants for $2.98) and affixed white puffballs to the backs of their shirts (with a safety pin) for tails. Of course I handed the headbands and pipe cleaners over to Shaun for the fashioning of antlers. He once made me a sculpture of a man holding a flag out of wire, so I knew he was up for it. The antlers received rave reviews from the teachers.
Here's our aspiring school boy.
The antlers didn't hold up so well, but I like them this way too. I love how it's not even noon and the boys are already totally wasted by all their excitement over Halloween. That's Nels's teacher, Ms. Treese, in the background. She reminds me a bit of me.
Now THESE are the costumes the boys had already picked out for trick-or-treating. We got it all a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to score Nels's outfit at the thrift store (you can't see the jeweled short sword too well, but he's holding one) and Willem had a complete outfit with just the purchase of the $12 coat and hat at Target. He already had rain boots with a firefighter insignia on the side.
I realized a little too late that I should have briefed Willem on what trick-or-treating is before we went out. Apparently he does not share his brother's uncanny ability to remember things, so he didn't know what it was. After the first house, he asked me if we were going to go home or go to another house. And he asked that after the next house and the next and the next and the next and after EVERY house until we were ready to hand him off to the next vampire that happened by.
My birthday happens to be the day after Halloween. I'm pretty sure that for about the next 10 years, my birthday is going to be mostly about "Phew! Halloween's over!"