Don’t Read This. Seriously, Stop Right Here. Just Keep Scrolling.

I bet you don’t respect authority either. Oh well, your funeral. That’s if you die of boredom. Or banal cuteness. You might actually enjoy this post if you have a subscription to Reader’s Digest. So this blog belongs to me. Most of the time I make funny with the haha. On occasion, I write endearing things about my beloveds on it. But that’s rare. Most often I use it to gently insult my mother. Because she’s the one who taught me how to laugh at myself.

Anyway, the primary readers of this blog are – my parents, my grandparents, and my son’s Godparents. All of them asked about our Halloween. So as a show of how much I love them, here is our Halloween in full. (Oh also Sula and her Mom read this blog. They would also want to know about our Halloween.)

Last year we had a German au pair who had never trick or treated before. Hence why for the first time ever, I went all out with family costumes. Tex paid a Kijiji seller fifteen dollars and in exchange we got our son an Olaf costume. Janey went as Elsa and I made myself an Anna costume. It was fabulous. It was the most elaborate costume I had ever created. Which is to say not elaborate at all but I put in effort so that was a change. I offered to make Tex a Kristoff costume at the same time, because we were in a city so I could buy items like costume materials. He declined.

This year, with only two and a half weeks until Halloween, Tex comes up to me and says “I want to be Kristoff”. People, we have lived three months without a bathmat because you can’t buy them here. The likelihood of me being able to procure the materials for a Kristoff costume without making a four hour round trip to the next large city over, (Well largeish. Ok small, it’s a small city.) was next to zero. However Tex never asks for things and he really wanted to participate in Halloween. So I sent him to the mall with a list. He returned without fake fur. Not surprising.

Two days and two dollars later, after a visit to the local second hand store, I found a teddy bear. (The secondhand store is only open certain days of the week hence the wait.) I gutted that stuffed animal like a fish. I chopped it into pieces and sewed the bits as fur trim to a jacket Tex had bought when we were first dating. Then I added piping, and made him boot covers so he’d have the requisite pointy ice seller toes. Also, I made a lantern that actually lit up for our “sleigh” which was our bike.

Tex looked awesome. Mini-Tex looked adorable. I looked well, Ok. And we borrowed a stuffed reindeer toy from my in-laws to act as Sven.

The day of, Tex had the afternoon off, so we spent our son’s nap rushing around, filling water bottles, preparing dinner for the road, affixing reindeer to the front of our bike, changing bike lights over so that we would be more visible and so forth. It took two and a half hours, but eventually we were all dressed and ready. I had four layers of long underwear up top and three layers on the bottom. I was plump. But warm.

We had everything together; we were all set for the best Halloween ever. All we needed was our Olaf. But he was sleeping. So Tex and I busied ourselves with filling the candy bowl, tidying up the house and looking at the clock going “How is he still sleeping?”

Readers, until that day, I didn’t know someone could sleep belligerently; it was like Mini-Tex was trying to miss out on Halloween. Finally, it got to the point where we were going to be late for trick or treating at the mall, so Tex and I did the unthinkable- we woke a sleeping child.

Because we’re obsessive parents who both need to bear witness to our offspring’s joy, we woke him up together. “It’s Halloween! It’s time to go trick or treating! It’s time to hug the blow ups!” Mini-Tex had been waiting A MONTH AND A HALF to hug all the inflatable decorations around town. Over the past month, we had put 200 kilometers on our bike and spent countless hours pedaling out of our way so he could see the blow up monkey, the blow up dragon, the blow up Jack Skellington. And every single time we saw them, our almost three year old asked “Can I hug them?” at which point we’d answer “On Halloween.”

To say Mini-Tex was excited was an understatement. But he was also very very sleepy. He stood straight up and then promptly did a face plant back into the bed. Tex grabbed him and popped him on the potty. We started both dressing him and undressing him together. It was like an instructional video on tandem helicopter parenting.

Within three minutes our Olaf was dressed and in the sled. Despite still waking up, he would yell “Jump Sven!” at random intervals. He would only call me “Anna” and his dad was “Kristoff”. It was quite possibly the best day of his life.

While riding to the mall to trick or treat with the other little people who go to bed before seven pm, we became aware that there were houses that had waited until the last possible moment to put up their decorations. Meaning that we hadn’t seen their magnificent inflatable decoration arrangements.

“Do we want to stop?” asked Tex. And so the blow up decoration love fest began. Mini-Tex was elated, he finally got to hug every pumpkin bearing Minion, every giant cat, every spooky ghost. The first house we stopped at had four blow up decorations. We stopped at two more houses before the mall until I got panicky that we would miss seeing all of our friends whom I had made arrangements with to meet.

Of course when we got to the mall, I didn’t recognize any of Mini-Tex’s friends and we just wandered around hugging the decorations. Tex took Mini-Tex to exactly one store to trick or treat and there was an over eager salesperson who jumped in our path so she could place candy into our son’s decorative pumpkin basket.

Then, on our way out, one of the best moments of the night happened; Mini-Tex’s best friend’s family appeared. His best friend was dressed as a ninja turtle. However the friend’s little brother who Mini-Tex also plays with, was also dressed as Olaf. The kids were delighted. Mini-Tex was over the moon. The eighteen month old who was also dressed as Olaf was vaguely confused and overwhelmed. It was fantastic.

Because all of you are gluttons for punishment, I’m going to continue writing about our Halloween. But in another post, because even my family and dearest friends can only take so much banal storytelling.

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Madness, This Way Lies

Let’s all just agree that Pintrest ruins lives, that said, I think I figured out how it started. I’ve never understood the attraction of looking at all the projects that take hours upon hours of time only to look nothing like the photo.

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Start smiling Amanda! The baby on Pintrest LOVED sitting naked in a cold, wet gourd. Image courtesy of Pinterestfail.com

I swore that I would never be that mom who stays up until 2 am, piping icing names onto cupcakes and losing it over misspelling Adelaide because why in the world would someone use five As and a Y in that name?

And I was doing pretty well on that front, until this morning when I found myself running around looking for blue sparkly pants and yellow socks. Because it’s Mini-Tex’s first Halloween. An event I didn’t take too seriously until I showed up a the third Mom and Baby class having forgotten that it was costume day. Ok the last class wasn’t so bad, I actually remembered – Mini Tex was supposed to be a cowboy however in my haste to get out the door I forgot his hat, so he ended up just being a boy again.

After seeing all the babies dressed up as adorable apples, cute chickens and lovable unicorns, I got jealous and decided to buy Mini-Tex an actual costume rather than just throwing riding headwear on him. However it was October 28th and so the shelves were bare. Hence why my son is going as a fish/bird/dinosaur. That’s what moms who wait until the last minute get- an unidentifiable mix of the animal kingdom. Just in case you were wondering, the costume was 90% off and there were two others left, in the event that you too wish to dress your infant as a fish/bird/dinosaur.

No problem, I assured myself, I’ll simply accesorize the heck out of it. This idea would have worked better if Tex and I lived in the big city where I purchased said costume. Instead we’re an hour and a half away and grateful that there’s a Walmart. So away I went this morning to find sparkly pants at the local Walmart.

Either all of the Moms who bought the cute costumes that have a definitive theme bought up the sparkly, blue baby pants, or Walmart doesn’t carry them. Regardless, I had to think of something else, so I decided on red pants. Mini-Tex actually already has red pants at home, but they have a penguin on the bum, and I didn’t need to add to the whole lizard/fish/bird confusion. So I bought new red pants with a plain bottom.

But Mini-Tex’s costume doesn’t have sleeves, it has these capped things that might be wings, or fins, or foreshortened arms so that babies can get a head start on feeling empathy for creatures without full length limbs. Regardless, Mini-Tex would need to wear a shirt underneath the costume and not just because there might be a foot of snow here on all Hallow’s Eve. I decided that a yellow shirt would work best. Only there were no yellow shirts in Mini-Tex’s size. There was, however, a yellow Minion themed shirt two sizes too big. My husband loves “Despicable Me” so this would work for Mini-Tex’s costume and be a beloved article of clothing after. Boom! Done.

Then I had a moment of doubt. It was in this moment when I bought a round trip ticket to the crazy train AND drank the crazy cocktail. What if the shade of yellow didn’t match the costume exactly? How would people know that Mini-Tex was a bird/dinosaur/fish? They might think he was a manatee/dog/banana. So I grabbed another shirt the reflective yellow of construction worker jackets. This is the moment where the crazy balloons were released into the sky signalling that the show had started.

Unwashed, the Unwashed who readily lets her child eat off the floor, who sits idly while another baby sucks on Mini-Tex’s pacifier and then hands it back to her son once the other baby is finished, without wiping it, was gone. Instead she had been replaced by the Mom who is painstakingly trying to insert another A into Adelaide at 2:13 AM. This meant that the costume needed socks because the cutest fish/bird/amphibeans have yellow feet. So Mini-Tex’s blue socks with the paw prints simply would not do.

The only problem was that the yellow socks had Minions on them. Neither fins, nor feet, nor claws have faces on them, so Minion socks will not work for fish/bird/dragons. So I went searching for dye because the store HAD to have white socks which could be coloured to match. Even though our town has a Walmart and we are grateful to have a Walmart, it’s not a big Walmart, meaning it doesn’t carry fabric dye. So I weighed my options; colouring the socks with markers would result in uneven shading, fabric paint would make them too stiff. I wandered up and down the aisles hoping in vain that the fabric dye had been shelved in a strange place and I spotted my savior- concentrated icing colouring! Edible dye in hand, I was off to find white socks.

There were no white socks. Obviously the organized mothers whose babies were dressed as strawberries had bought them all up. There were knee high socks eight sizes too big, but those would go all the way up Mini-Tex’s legs, obscuring the red pant legs giving him just a big red butt so that people would think he was a fish-monkey or a baboon-osaur.

As I stood there trying to figure out when I would have time to dye the socks between now and Monday afternoon, a little voice quietly asked “Are you making this too difficult?” God in heaven, I wish that voice had spoken sooner. I love that voice. It’s the voice that says, “Leave the laundry, no one cares” and “Your tub isn’t that dirty; go read a book”.

So I replaced the knee highs and returned the food colouring back where it belonged and walked out of the store. When I got home, my husband, ever the wonderful man exclaimed “Mini-Tex, look at this wonderful primary coloured outfit your Mom got you! You’ll be like a box of crayons!”

So he’ll be a fish/dinosaur/bird/writing utensil. Now everyone give me candy and tell me how adorable my baby is.

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Tex decided to add a hat at the last moment. So now our son is a fish/bird/dinosaur-cowboy. Or maybe just a fish/bird-cowboy. Tha hat obscures the giant fin/plate on top of the costume so he looks less prehistoric. (Photo Credit – Yours Truly)