Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Painting the Town Brown

For Halloween, most kids dress up as vampires, witches, superheroes or princesses.  Some imitate characters of myth and fable, while others prefer to look like their favorite TV star.  Monday night, our son Kyle was dressed like the UPS guy.

It's not easy to pick out a costume for a three-year-old, especially when he refuses to give us any suggestions.  Kyle is just as picky with clothing as he is with food, and any attempt by parents to get him to try something else will be met with uncontrollable wrath.  Yes, that means the extremely fashionable bacon suit, the perfect combination of style and cuisine, would be Kyle's ultimate punishment.  Fortunately, we tend to deal with the food and clothing aversions separately, and as Jennifer and I searched for this year's costume, we went through the extensive list of no-no's.  No bulky clothes.  No super-tight clothes.  Nothing too flashy.  Nothing too frilly.  Nothing too slimy.  Nothing with spikes.  No masks.  No funny noses.  No enormous ears.  No slippers.  No hats. 

The last bit about hats is a big one.  Kyle has one hat he likes to wear - a Brooklyn baseball cap - and he even throws that one to the ground often.  Many of the costumes we liked required him to wear an identifiable hat.  Initially we wanted Kyle to be a zookeeper, since his brother Adam was going as a lion (a hand-me-down gift from our good friends Matt & Amanda, whose son Evan was a lion last year).  But every zookeeper costume we saw looked like a nondescript beige uniform without the hat.  Then we came across the UPS costume.  It was simple.  Everyone would know who he was from the badge on his brown shirt.  The hat was nice, but not required.  Plus, Kyle nearly wets his diaper with excitement every time our UPS guy rings the buzzer, and he always demands I take him downstairs to get the package.  We just couldn't resist giving him the costume.

"I want to be BATMAN," said the little guy several days ago.  Tough luck, kid.  That ain't gonna happen, especially with Halloween less than a week away.  It would have been nice if Kyle told us that in September, or even two weeks ago.  At first, I thought we'd have a crisis on our hands, but fortunately Kyle forgot about his suggestion a day or so later.  Next year we won't be as lucky, I'm sure.

So, on Halloween, Kyle wore the UPS costume with little resistance, and Adam was a fiercely drooling lion.  Kyle first went to a party at his nursery school, where he says many girls dressed up as butterflies.  Butterflies?  That seemed like an odd costume.  We asked him if he was sure, and he said, yes, they were butterflies.  It took us a while, but then we realized his likely mistake.  The wings must have thrown him off.   The girls probably were dressed like other winged characters, such as fairies, angels or Winged Nazgul.  Not butterflies.  That would have been silly.  We didn't bother to correct Kyle, since it's often futile to correct a three-year-old on matters such as these.  The girls were butterflies.

Then came the trick-or-treating.  That was a lot of fun.  I'm guessing a couple hundred kids (no kidding) roamed our block and the next, asking for treats and getting plenty.  Kyle's pumpkin bucket was full in practically no time.  Everyone recognized his costume, and many people asked him if he had a package for them.  Of course he didn't, but Kyle didn't want the candy-givers to get upset and deny him sweets.  So he said, "yeah," then grabbed the candy and ran off before the candy-givers could respond.  Adam lurked behind, ready to scare them with his fierce lion gums should they try to go after his brother.

This was the best Halloween we've had in a long time, perhaps the best one since we've gone trick-or-treating ourselves (and we've had a lot of good ones since Kyle was born).  I just love seeing it though Kyle's eyes.  I can't wait 'til Adam can trick-or-treat with him.  That will be a blast, and it will also bring in twice as much candy.  As it is, I've been on a sugar high since mid-October, but I'm guessing it'll wind down by Veteran's Day.  Someday I hope to keep it up 'til Thanksgiving.  Oh yes, I love Halloween.

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