Friday, October 31, 2008

The Degrees Of Mom

As we go about our daily lives, we see all different sorts of parents. Some are the ones we aspire to be, some we feel sorry for, some we shake our heads at, and some well some just shouldn't be parents at all (see the ones driving from Iowa to abandon their teenagers "legally" in Nebraska). How can we really tell which mom is which kind? It's easy:

Ideal Mom:
This mom created her child's Halloween costume from scratch (and yes, she's also throwing the class's party). She started on the costume back while summer vacation was still in full force, browsing catalogues for ideas before running them past her child. Her child may have chosen the most complicated idea, but she's going to go through with it anyway. In fact, when the costume is completed on the third day of school back in September, you can't see any seams, and it looks professionally made. While we aspire to be her, I'll admit that I also hate her a little bit.

Great Mom:
This mom talked to her kids in September about what they wanted to be for Halloween, and immediately found the perfect costumes online and ordered them. When the costumes came and the kids changed their minds (not that this ever happens), she calmly returned the costumes -- because she smartly kept the receipts -- and bought the new costumes.

Good Mom:
This mom helped her children decide what to be for Halloween based on their interests. She may have steered them to the more approporiate and cheaper costumes, but she let her children choose what they wanted to be for Halloween and went with the flow. It's possible that one of two of the favored Halloween costumes were gone by the time she went costume shopping, but everyone is happy.

Creative Mom:
She puts together a totally rocking costume with just a bit of this and a bit of that already sitting around the house. She takes an old sock, some gum, a belt, and an electrical cord and all of a sudden, her offspring look like a working microwave oven. These moms baffle me, to be honest. I look at those items and see the words Goodwill flashing in front of my eyes. Personal issue, I know.

2003 - I borrowed a costume from a friend with children and dressed Mister Man in a borrowed pumpkin costume. At three weeks old.

2004 - Mister Man was a dog. The costume was made from felt, and the hood wouldn't stay on his head. All in all, it was a pretty cheap costume.

2005 - I found a lion costume on sale after Halloween 2004 and bought it for $5. Mister Man was a lion. Oops, the costume was too big. I tied up the tail so that it didn't drag on the ground and trip him. Again. Little Miss wore the borrowed pumpkin costume.

2006 - Mister Man was the lion again (for school). It's possible that his ankles were exposed due to a growth spurt. Fortunately, he received a train engineer dress up costume for his birthday, so he wore that trick or treating. Little Miss was the puppy.

2007 - Mister Man was the engineer again. We lost the plastic walkie talkie somewhere on our trick or treating route, and I spent an hour with a flashlight retracing our route with no luck (I get points for that, right?). I'm silently cheering that this costume is one size fits all up to 8 years old! Little Miss was a witch that I found for $5 somewhere. It's possible that the dress was long enough that she tripped over it. Repeatedly.

2008 - Little Miss is steered into being Tinkerbell because we have a Tinkerbell dressup costume in our dressup trunk. She's thrilled as she's absolutely obsessed with Peter Pan. Mister Man refuses to be the engineer again (drat!). He wants to be Spiderman. I talk him into being a baseball player -- we already have a jersey, shoes, a mit, jock (1st birthday present from a friend of mine), and glove. And he can use Daddy's eyeblock. Since we're planning to have him play tee-ball next summer, we can get the pants now when they're cheap! Whoo hoo!

Oops. I went to Costco with Mister Man. He saw a Spiderman costume for $19.99. He never asks for anything and generally finds things he wants to buy for other people. He asks if he can please, please, please be Spiderman. I think back on my Halloweens prior and agree.

Last night, I pulled the Tinkerbell costume from the dressup trunk in preparation for today. She begs to try it on, and I tell her she can wear it for just three minutes. We put it on, and it slides off. Hmmm. I put it on again and redo the Velcro. It's loose, so I check the size 4-6X. It's long enough, but she's only 26 pounds at 3 years plus (and 38 inches tall). Hmm. I try pinning it. It requires pinning an overlap of almost seven inches. I put the wings on, and they immediately fall sideways. As she turns around to look at me, I see that a nipple is showing. I instigate a tantrum by explaining that the costume is too big for her, but maybe she can be Tinkerbell next year.

I head out to do some costume shopping. The night before Halloween, and I go costume shopping at 7pm. Party City? It's a madhouse with full-price costumes that are primarily for adults and nothing cute, so I walk out. Target had nothing (Target let me down!). Wal-Mart's next. They had literally three costumes in a 3T size. All of them were really flimsy, and I couldn't justify paying the $12.88 for a costume even I didn't like. Instead, I bought a turtleneck and some tights so I could maybe keep her warm (and covered). I start thinking that if I put a winter coat under the costume, it might fit.

This morning when Little Miss woke up, I explained that she could either be the witch from last year to school or wear a golden princess dress that we have in the dressup trunk that I know fits her. After some pouting about Tinkerbell, she decides on the witch. Oops, the hat is missing. Fortunately, she doesn't remember that it had a hat. And instead of dragging on the ground, it's now a calf-length dress. She's happy enough, and I'm planning on the winter coat Tinkerbell outfit for trick or treating.

It's now 2:35pm and 73 degrees. This is warmer than it was the last two days I spent in Orlando. We're not wearing a winter coat under the costume. In fact, I may not even make her wear a turtleneck to keep warm. Now what?

Nope, I don't even fall on the mom scale for Halloween. I'm going to go hang my head in shame, as I start planning on costumes for next year.


Tracy P. October 31, 2008 at 3:23 PM  

I love this. Only 3% fall on the great mom scale by your standards. But do you think they are the ones who can handle it when their kid spills the milk? I am NOT a great mom! And fine with that! Your kids will be happy. :-)

Meaghan October 31, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

Happy Halloween!!

Hi from your fellow SITS-tah :) Just wanted to invite you to my Giveaway. I am doing todays drawing at 8pm ET so there is still time to get in!

Every Friday we give away 1 lb of Gourmet Coffee or tea from my new online coffee shop: Get The Bean.

To enter visit:


Outnumbered2to1 October 31, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

This is a great post. I realized I aspire to be the ideal mom or the creative mom or even the great mom but alas, I think I'm just plain ol' mom but my kids seem satisfied. Even when I was crabby today, they still wanted me to go trick or treating with them. They said it would cheer me up. They were right.

BPOTW November 1, 2008 at 8:18 AM  

My solution is to not do Halloween. No guilt, no money, no lost parts. Some would say no fun either...but my kids don't know :)

I think we all aspire to be the perfect mom, but we all know the perfect mom drinks too early in the day and probably takes some illegal substances to keep her energy up :)

Joy November 1, 2008 at 11:37 PM  

It's the memories not the details. Your a loving mom. Period

Karen November 2, 2008 at 2:22 PM  

I would be the creative mom, and it doesn't even look Goodwill kind of good. I just need help.

MaBunny November 4, 2008 at 8:49 AM  

LOL Love this post! I'm catching up on the ones I missed the last three days. I falls somewhere between the last two moms you dexcribed. Although I DID have acostume ready and she didn't evenget togotrick or treating.. /sigh

Michelle November 4, 2008 at 10:50 PM  

Tracy P - Welcome! True, few fall into that category, but I think I'm friends with all of them! And yeah, I'm fine with where I'm at, too. Thanks for reminding me :)

Meaghan - Happy Halloween to you, too.

Outnumbered2to1 - Thanks :) I'm with you on the aspiration but since sewing a button is the limit to my talents, that won't happen! Glad your kids are happy with who you are!

BPOTW - Well sure that's a solution. But we had 374 trick or treaters.... I don't think that would go over too well ;)

Joy in the Burbs - Welcome! Memories. Right. Right. Here's hoping they remember what I want them to and only what I want them to!

Karen - Creative is good. And c'mon the golden flying princess who shoots spiderwebs (Little Miss) had no wings just imaginary pixie dust and ummm don't know where the shooting webs came from ;) It's ALL in the imagination!

Mabunny - Thanks! You aren't the only one I know who missed trick or treating... and you were definitely in the right place for you.

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